Random thoughts on a fall day, from Kyle Schwarber’s postseason record to the mind-boggling popularity of Pat McAfee – Twin Cities

Fall may be the best time of year to live in Chicago.

The changing colors and cooler temperatures are always pleasant. The start of the Blackhawks And Bulls seasons provide hope for better days ahead. And the countdown to the first mock draft also gives Bears fans something to look forward to.

It’s a good time to let your mind wander aimlessly, leading to random non-sequences like the following.

There was only one Mr. October.

Philadelphia Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber equaled Reggie Jackson’s postseason home run mark for left-handers on Tuesday in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

Both have 18, so Schwarber expects to set the record soon.

The difference is that Jackson hit 10 of 18 home runs in his five World Series appearances. He posted a 1.212 OPS in 98 World Series at-bats and earned the nickname “Mr. October” with his three home runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the 1977 Series.

Only three of Schwarber’s 18 home runs came in a World Series, all of which came in last year’s loss to the Houston Astros. He went home run-less for the Cubs in the 2016 Series as he made a remarkable comeback after missing nearly the entire season and the first two rounds of the postseason following knee surgery.

This is not intended to diminish Schwarber’s achievements. He is one of the greatest hitters of his time. When mentioning such “records,” however, it is important to note that the expansion of the postseason has distorted the record book. Getting started is much easier than it was in Jackson’s day.

In other words, the Schwarber versus Jackson debate deserves an asterisk.

Chicago’s growing immigrant population needs our help.

It is heartbreaking to see so many migrants camping in tents around local police stations. Seeing residents react angrily to the possibility of relocating migrants to their neighborhoods stirs different emotions.

It seems like a problem that doesn’t have a good solution. But when I saw the tents at the Town Hall Station on Addison Street, just a few blocks from Wrigley Field, I wondered about our two empty ballparks.

How difficult would it be for the city to pay the Chicago Cubs for temporary use of their ballpark for the next four or five months while they need to prepare for Opening Day? The suites may be small, but they are larger than the tents currently used as living quarters. The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, which owns Guaranteed Rate Field, also could be paid as shelter in the cold winter months.

Yes, there would be costs for security, heat and electricity, and it would not solve all the problems of the growing immigrant population.

But it would help some families survive Chicago’s cold winter.

I’m sure neither Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts nor Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf would mind as long as they had enough time to prepare their stadiums for the 2024 season, right? By then, Mayor Brandon Johnson might have a plan in place.

If anyone has a better idea, let’s hear it.

Be prepared for a long delay before the World Series.

The pitch clock has sped up the game, but it can’t speed up the postseason schedule in October.

The Phillies appear poised to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS. The Texas Rangers appear poised to close out the American League Championship Series at home against the Houston Astros in the next few days. That would mean there could be a long gap between the LCSes and the start of the World Series.

MLB long ago scheduled Game 1 of the World Series for October 27th. But if the Phillies and Rangers win in four or five games, that would mean no baseball for five or six days.

We all know that television dictates the postseason schedule. But if both series end early, wouldn’t it make sense to move the World Series up a few days and maybe even finish it by Halloween?

The list of famous people whose popularity eludes me gets longer every year.

That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve their fame. It just means I’m too old to understand what everyone else sees in them.

Celebrities who, in my opinion, lack real talent include Pete Davidson, Kevin Hart, Awkwafina, Sharon Osbourne, Jared Leto, Andy Cohen, Whoopi Goldberg, Ryan Seacrest, Russell Brand, Chris Pratt and all the Kardashians.

It’s much longer, but you get the point.

My newest addition to the list is ESPN’s Pat McAfee, a former NFL punter and wrestler who rose to fame by interviewing Aaron Rodgers on his podcast. He adopted a signature look by wearing a black tank top to show he’s different from other sports analysts, and apparently it’s working.

There’s no doubt that McAfee is different, but he’s neither funny nor particularly insightful. Flattering Rodgers is what he does best. What’s worse, he’s now ubiquitous on ESPN with his own show and a guest appearance on College GameDay, where his clowning ruins an otherwise good show. When it’s on, I always reach for the remote.

I assume McAfee’s audience is made up of millennials and “brothers” generation. However, McAfee clones will soon be all over television.

It’s a copycat world and we just live in it.


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