MILWAUKEE – Sticking to sports becomes impossible when Donald Trump calls protesting NFL players sons of b------ and feuds with NBA superstars Stephen Curry and LeBron James on Twitter while the University of North Carolina’s national championship men’s basketball team declines a White House invitation (scheduling conflict) and Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell takes a knee during the national anthem. All that happened within 24-plus hours, a head-spinning news cycle that will not stop. It’s impossible to escape for a high-profile organization with political connections like the Cubs. That’s how manager Joe Maddon wound up feeling the heat in Miller Park’s visiting dugout before Sunday’s game
Oh, and here is the reason why, Bruce Maxwell notwithstanding, you’re not likely to see all that much protesting in Major League Baseball like we saw in football yesterday. Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 2: J.D. Martinez hit a two-out, bases-loaded RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to secure the walkoff win and, more importantly, to clinch the top Wild Card position for the Diamondbacks. Rockies 8, Padres 4: The Rockies have been faltering of late, but so has everyone else on their tail for the second Wild Card, so a split with the Padres is Ok for the moment. Gerardo Parra hit a tiebreaking single in a two-run third inning and Pat Valaika and Charlie Blackmon hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth for some insurance as Colorado extends their Wild Card lead to two games.
When the 2017 schedule came out, we’re guessing very few people bothered to circle any series featuring the Brewers in September. If anything, savvy fans may have seen this weekend’s series in Milwaukee as the potential time frame for the Cubs to clinch another division championship. Beyond that though, they just looked like another three games on the schedule as Chicago prepared for the postseason and Milwaukee played out the string.