Cubs

Finally: The Cubs are World Series champions

Finally: The Cubs are World Series champions

CLEVELAND - You've waited your whole life to see these words:

The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series.

The Cubs are champions. 

Let that soak in. For a long while.

The 108-year drought is over.

The moment millions upon millions of people dreamed about for their entire lives is here. It's actually here.

This is not a dream. You are not asleep. 

It just took a little longer.

Well, maybe a LOT longer.

The Cubs were dealt one more blow of gut-wrenching misery when Rajai Davis deposited Aroldis Chapman's 97 mph fastball onto the Home Run Porch in left field to tie the game.

And then extra innings happened.

And then a 17-minute rain delay happened.

And then Kyle Schwarber happened. And Albert Almora Jr. And Ben Zobrist. And Miguel Montero.

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

The Cubs had a host of heroes in the top of the 10th inning as they battled for an 8-7 victory in an impossibly thrilling Game 7 that started Wednesday night and stretched into Thursday morning in Cleveland. 

The Cubs pulled the rug out from underneath an Indians team that had built a 3-1 lead in the series.

After all the Cubs fanbase had been through, what a way to end it all: Rallying with their backs against the wall for a Game 7 victory.

Of course it had to be Game 7. Of course it went to extra innings.

Everybody had to know this wasn't going to be easy.

Screw narratives. The five-hour affair that took place at Progressive Field on Nov. 2 and 3 was the greatest baseball game ever played. Don't even try to argue that.

As Wrigleyville hosted the first World Series games on Chicago's North Side since 1945, the anxiety and tension was through the roof. 

That pressure filtered onto the field, where the Cubs dropped the first two games, leaving fans depressed and bewildered Saturday night.

But by the time everybody recovered and woke up Sunday morning, the hope and positivity was back. 

Fans came out in droves to write their wishful thoughts on the brick wall outside Wrigley and everybody watched as the Cubs held off the Indians in a pressure-packed 3-2 victory in Game 5.

That shifted all the pressure onto the Indians, and the Cubs took full advantage.

After a Game 6 throttling, Dexter Fowler got the party in Wrigleyville started early Wednesday night with a solo homer off Corey Kluber to start the game.

The Cubs built out a 5-1 lead before the fifth, but the Indians kept battling back, eventually evening the score in the eighth off Chapman.

After no scoring in the ninth, Kyle Schwarber started out the 10th after a rain delay with a single through the shift.

Almora Jr. pinch-ran for him and tagged up on Kris Bryant's fly ball to the wall in center. Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked before Zobrist drilled a go-ahead double down the left-field line.

Montero later added the game-winning single through the drawn-in infield for insurance.

Rookie Carl Edwards Jr. recorded the first two outs in the ninth inning before surrendering a walk and an RBI single by Davis. Mike Montgomery came in to nail down the save by retiring Michael Martinez.

What a game. 

What an ending. 

What a season.

See you all at the parade in Chicago.

It's gonna be lit.

More on the World Series victory

--Joy to the World: Cubs finally end 108-year Series drought

--Finally: The Cubs are World Series champs

--The wait –and the weight- is over: Cubs fans celebrate World Series title

--Barack Obama congratulates Cubs World Series championship

--Famous Cubs fans celebrate World Series title on Twitter

--Ben Zobrist becomes first Cub ever to win World Series MVP

--Numbers game: statistical oddities of the Cubs World Series title

--Jed Hoyer: Rain delay was ‘divine intervention’ for Cubs

​--Fans give Cubs a taste of home in Cleveland

--Ben Zobrist delivers exactly what the Cubs expected with massive World Series

--‘Dreams come true’: Bill Murray reacts to Cubs winning the World Series

--Big surprise: Kyle Schwarber plays hero again for Cubs in World Series Game 7

- Ryne Sandberg: World Series ‘made it able for me to live in the present

Javy Baez should be the frontrunner for NL MVP heading into the All-Star Break

Javy Baez should be the frontrunner for NL MVP heading into the All-Star Break

If the season ended today, Javy Baez may be your National League MVP.

Of course, the season isn't ending today, only the first half of the 2018 campaign is.

He flashed his skills again over the weekend — scoring the game-winning run Friday, posting a 5-RBI game Saturday and then drove in the Cubs' first run in their 7-4 victory Sunday to close out a sweep of the Padres.

Entering the All-Star Break, Baez should be the frontrunner for Most Valuable Player.

For starters, he's the best player on the best team in the league.

Thanks to a recent hot surge by the Cubs and an ugly weekend for the Brewers (who have lost 6 straight), Baez and Co. will go into the break with the best record in the NL. 

Baez, meanwhile, leads the Cubs in WAR and nearly every offensive category — OPS, slugging percentage, homers, RBI, runs scored, doubles, triples, total bases, stolen bases and hits.

And that's not even saying anything about his glovework at any position on the infield or dynamic baserunning.

He's on pace to become the first Cubs player to drive in 125 runs since Sammy Sosa in 2001.

Baez also is on track for a 30-30 season — something only Sosa accomplished in a Cubs uniform in 1993 and 1995. 

El Mago will enjoy his week in the Home Run Derby and as the NL's starting second baseman in the All-Star Game, but those shouldn't be the end of his accolades this year if he can find a way to keep this pace up in the second half.

What other NL candidate would be a better choice for the MVP right now?

Baez is tied for the league lead in RBI. Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar is just behind Baez with 70 RBI, but he also has 70 fewer at-bats than the Cubs star due to a platoon to begin the year. 

Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett are also having great years, but the Reds are nowhere close to a playoff spot. 

Nolan Arenado, Freddie Freeman and Paul Goldschmidt are also having very good seasons on teams that are currently in the playoff hunt, but how do you deny the best player on the league's best team?

After all, where would the Cubs be without Baez this season? 

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have battled through injuries and bouts of ineffectiveness, the pitching staff has had all kinds of consistency/health woes and Willson Contreras has yet to find his power stroke at the plate.

At the very least, "El Mago" has been the most important player on the North Side of Chicago during the first 3.5 months of 2018.

Nico Hoerner makes great catch in first game with South Bend

Nico Hoerner makes great catch in first game with South Bend

Cubs first-round pick Nico Hoerner made his debut with the Class-A South Bend Cubs, and he did not disappoint.

The 23-year old shortstop showed off impressive hops during an acrobatic grab in the topf of the second inning in his first game with the South Bend Cubs. Hoerner will surely be an exciting defensive prospect with ability like this.

As far as offense goes, through four at-bats at South Bend, Hoerner is batting .500, and this comes after he hit .318 with a home run and two RBI through seven games with the Eugene Emeralds, the Cubs Class A short-season affiliate.

Here is to hoping we continue to see big-time plays from Hoerner.