Leading Off

Chicago may want to stock up on beer, pizza – just in case

Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber is cheered by fans as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole in the third inning of the National League wild-card baseball game, Oct. 7, 2015, in Pittsburgh.
Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber is cheered by fans as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole in the third inning of the National League wild-card baseball game, Oct. 7, 2015, in Pittsburgh. AP

This, that and the other thing:

▪ Can you imagine what that toddlin’ town of Chicago might look like if the Cubs end 106 years of frustration and win the World Series for the first time since 1908?

The city might run out of beer for the first time since Prohibition, and those cheese-filled, chunky tomato-sauce pies at Pizzeria Uno? Just not enough to go around.

We’re assuming the parade route would include Michigan Avenue, better known as the Magnificent Mile, where trash and debris left in its wake would take an effort by FEMA to clean.

But before Chicago starts shredding paper, there is the matter of beating the St. Louis Cardinals in a National League Division Series.

▪ Alex Rodriguez should win the 2015 American League Comeback Player of the Year award.

Whether you love or hate the Yankees’ designated hitter – and it’s one or the other with most baseball fans – A-Rod put together an incredible season after being suspended for 2014 by Major League Baseball for allegedly using illegal performance-enhancing substances and having ties to the former Biogenesis clinic in Florida. At 40 and after hip surgery, A-Rod hit .256 with 30 home runs and 78 RBIs.

The two other comeback finalists are Prince Fielder and Kendrys Morales. But neither of those players missed the entire 2014 season.

And if you’re still on the steroid-era soap box, get over yourself. A-Rod did the crime, did the time and played by the rules this season.

▪ At the start of the college football season, who would have thought Saturday night’s Cal-Utah matchup at the Utes’ Rice-Eccles Stadium would be the biggest for the Bears’ program since Oct. 13, 2007, when Cal lost to Oregon State 31-28 and a chance to become the nation’s No. 1 team? It will certainly be a tough one for No. 23 Cal, but if junior quarterback Jared Goff can pull the upset over No. 5 Utah, his NFL stock and chances for a Heisman Trophy would shoot through the roof.

▪ Washington’s 17-12 upset over No. 17 USC on Thursday night spoke volumes to the growth of Huskies quarterback Jake Browning from Folsom High School. Browning’s effort alone didn’t win the game, but he also didn’t make typical errors that true freshmen do when under intense pressure.

Victor Contreras (916) 326-5527, vcontreras@sacbee.com, @sacbeevictor

Playbook

  • What to watch: College football, Cal at Utah 7 p.m., ESPN: It’s the biggest game for the undefeated Bears since they lost their chance to be the No. 1 in 2007. Look for Cal quarterback Jared Goff to have a big game.
  • Twitter chatter: “USC is stuck in the same place under Sark (Steve Sarkisian) it was when it fired (Lane) Kiffin. Another coaching change is inevitable.” – Stewart Mandel, @slmandel
  • On this date: Oct. 10, 1981, USC’s Marcus Allen rushed for 211 yards, his fifth consecutive 200-plus rushing game, in a 13-10 loss to Arizona.
  Comments