Links of the Week: The 2016 Chicago Cubs, International Borders, and the Plan to Destroy Time Zones

Links of the Week: The 2016 Chicago Cubs, International Borders, and the Plan to Destroy Time Zones

It’s February, there are a few inches of snow on the ground, temperatures are below freezing, and the most of the region is thinking, “What can I do inside?". So let’s talk about the Chicago Cubs.

The phrase “Wait until next year” has been one thrown in Cubs’ fans faces for some time now. It’s always “Next Year, next year, next year.” Even when the Cubs are positioned well, like they were in 2003 or 2008, there has seemingly been a black goat-shaped cloud hanging over the heads of fans because of the organization’s… let’s say less than stellar history of winning.

It’s been since 1908, after all, since the Cubs hoisted a World Series Championship.

Despite glowing reviews in the offseason, the Cubs still had one small red flag - centerfield. The Cubs played hardball with Dexter Fowler and had planned on one of their many, many young players to develop into an everyday centerfielder or to play their current outfield crew of Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, and Jorge Soler to play out-of-position (or in Schwarber’s case, poorly no matter where he is at).

Fans were in for a treat on Thursday, though, as really the only true loss of the offseason in Fowler, surprised teammates at Spring Training after signing a one-year deal. Reports were filed that had Fowler signing with the Orioles but, - nah - he’s with the Cubbies!

While it is still early for breaking down the team’s starting line-ups, rotations and bullpen, the 2016 season is looking like a great one for the North Siders. Sports Illustrated’s Jonah Keri ranks the Cubs as the #1 team heading into the year before signing Fowler. So did Fangraphs. So did I could go on.

I’m not saying that Cubs fans will - or won’t - have to wait for next year. I’m as excited as I’ve been in a while for Cubbie baseball.

It may be February, but for Cubs fans - spring is in the air. #GoCubsGo.

Here are your Links of the Week.

How to Waste TIme on the Internet: Volume 583: Check out these 44 unique international borders! [Radass]

You *may* file this under “Sucking up to the boss”, but our publisher Chris’ son Trevor had some awesome shots of Saturday’s IU-Purdue boys basketball game. I checked them out even though that may have been one of the single most frustrating college basketball watching experiences of my life. HEY PURDUE, GIVE THE BALL TO HAMMONS. REPEAT. []

Nothing to see here, just a woman running across the Irish Sea in a giant inflatable ball. [Mashable]

More good news for Chicago sports fans: Derrick Rose has actually been pretty good recently! Just from watching, it looks like he isn’t settling for as many long 2-pointers, he’s finishing at the rim, and just looks more confident. Numbers back it up too. Maybe breaking your face in the preseason means you need to take some time to recover? [BlogABull]

Take a look at the $4-billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which is ultra-modern. [Curbed NY]

I am a big Kanye West The Musician fan (not so much Kanye West The Weirdo). I have not listened to The Life of Pablo yet because it is only on Kanye/Jay-Z’s Tidal platform, which requires a monthly subscription and has less music than Pandora or Spotify. This is me saying that decision is dumb. [The Verge ]

A funny read from GQ’s Drew Magary, who is the magazine’s “Unethicist”, on whether or not you should blame stuff like weight gain and absent-mindedness on having kids. Some PG-13+ language - heads up! [GQ]

I hate-love when tech writers declare something they have absolutely no real proof on. This week, TechCrunch writes that “Tablets are Dead,” when I don’t think I have ever seen more people with tablets - not giant phones, but tablets - for work, play, messing around while watching TV, etc. But hey, TechCrunch said it. [TechCrunch]

The NBA Draft is one of those odd “problems” in sports where on one hand it works really pretty well, but on the other hand, it rewards the worst teams so it causes some sort of controversy. Mark Cuban has some good ideas to fix the draft including “slotting” teams with X-amount of “draft dollars” so teams can bid on players like free agents, thus giving the players more of a say into what organization or situation they go to. I think inherently has some flaws, but no one gets the wheels turnin’ like Cuban [The Big Lead]

This one is a little older, but I stumbled across it this week. I need some time to gather resources, but this will be my number one cause to support in 2017: “The Radical Plan to Destroy Time Zone”. #TeamOneTimeZone [The Washington Post]