Five breakthroughs that pushed Cubs into playoff showdown against Nationals

Patrick Mooney
Comcast SportsNet Chicago

On Opening Night, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred huddled with a small group of reporters on Busch Stadiums service level, listening to questions about what the Cubs could do for the sports profile (think late-1990s New York Yankees), why their personalities connect with fans (like todays Golden State Warriors) and how Theo Epstein ranked No. 1 on Fortunes Worlds Greatest Leaders list (or two spots ahead of Pope Francis). Well, listen, Im a good Catholic, Manfred said. Manfred projected new-year optimism on April 2, because the Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals would be on ESPN that Sunday night, and what he said then remains true now: An iconic franchise with a great storyline is something special.

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