Years ago, in my Baseball in American Narratives class at Northwestern, a student handed in a paper about Bernard Malamuds The Natural. His submission featured a spellcheck typo for the ages: My student wrote that the novel ended with Roy Hobbs at bat to clench the pennant for the New York Knights.Clench vs. clinch, one vowel and worlds apart. The Cubs are ahead 3-2 in the National League Championship Series, and as they close in on the World Series, can Section 416 feel confident in a clinching celebration, or are we clenching our jaws, and other body parts, in anxiety about yet another failure?Azz is utterly confident: Any Cubs fan who doesnt know were in the World Series is a liar. As a Cleveland native, perhaps Azz has absorbed some of the confidence Indians fans can flex as the Tribe await their National League opponent.Teach feels the opposite: I seriously cant handle this. How does [Cubs manager] Joe Maddon get anyone to buy into this pressure not exceeding the pleasure nonsense? Im in a constant state of clenching. I cant sleep, I cant take deep breaths, I cant eat. Well, OK, Im eating plenty. But my heart rate is up the whole time, and its unrelated to my sodium intake. Lets just say Im not looking forward to a Game 7. Ill go if it happens, but only because of my extreme fear of missing out. Even if they were to win, I would not enjoy any part of it until the very last out is recorded and reviewed in New York.Perhaps its both clinch and clench. Frank says, If you are asking how it will feel this weekend, the Dodgers have won some big games of their own against long odds, so I would expect some white-knuckle moments between now and Monday morning.If you are asking for a prediction, its clinch. The Cubs have scored 26 runs in five games. If they are going to average more than five runs per game, they are going to be very tough to beat.Franks statistical reasoning recalls, for me, the 1960 World Series between the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. If total runs decided championships, the Yankees would have won 55-27. They blew out the Pirates three times: 16-3, 10-0 and 12-0. (For an image of how this felt to Bucs fans, see Wilfred Santiagos great graphic novel, 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente.) But the Pirates won four close games: 6-4, 3-2, 5-2 and 10-9, this last on Bill Mazeroskis walk-off home run in the final contest. Sure, the Cubs just laid 10 and eight runs on the Dodgers, but they were shut out the previous two games. That sort of offensive disparity can cause some serious clenching.My own coping strategy: try to think of other things.For example, how much I hate replay. Any rhetoric from Major League Baseball about changing rules for defensive shifts or relief pitchers to speed up the pace is laughable when games are delayed by replay review after replay review after...Still ... I cant help but think about the next game. Can the Cubs beat Dodgers aceClayton Kershaw on Saturday in Game 6? Clinch: Kershaw has had his postseason meltdowns in the past. Clench: Word on the street is that these meltdowns were all against the allegedly sign-stealing Cardinals. Clench: Maybe his back injury earlier in the year has left him fresh for October. Clinch: At least were not facing him in a potential elimination game. He can keep the Dodgers alive, but he cannot kill the Cubs hopes.Maybe it will come down to Game 7, the one Cubs ticket I have ever had that I really hope I dont get to use.Think of other things. Nope ... cant.A modest proposal: If -- if -- the Cubs advance, Fox Sports and Major League Baseball should schedule a day game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs home park was long synonymous with baseball in the sunshine, and a 1:20 p.m. World Series first pitch would show some respect for that history. (Scary stat: the Cubs have never won a World Series night game! Also, they have never played one.) Somehow, I suspect that the ratings on Saturday afternoon would suffice for advertisers, and if TV executives are afraid of going up against college football, theyre cowards, fools or idiots. Will more people want to watch Idaho take on Appalachian State, or Rutgers at Minnesota? The historic nature of a World Series game at Wrigley will draw tens of millions of viewers, whenever its scheduled. Hell, make it Friday afternoon so corporate ticket holders have to skip work to sneak out to the ballyard, just like the good old days.Maybe I can try to think of other sports. How are the Bears doing this year? Never mind. Theyre 1-6, and the Cubs television audience was double theirs on Thursday night, an unheard of disparity in a town where everyone, whatever their baseball loyalties, roots for the Bears and against the Packers. Maybe the McCaskeys can sell their NFL franchise to the Ricketts clan.No use: I cant avoid thinking about the ramifications of a Cubs World Series. If -- if -- the Cubs do make it, what happens to the half of Chicago that roots for the White Sox? (Full disclosure: Though I am a born-and-bred North Sider, due to being lucky in love, I spend most weekends on the South Side, home turf to Sox fans, so I have studied their habits from a detached anthropological perspective for some time.) While it may gall them to hear it, Sox fans are divided into three parts: reasonable humans who love the Sox but are OK with the Cubs winning because they too are a Chicago team; those who love the Sox and dont care about the Cubs one way or the other; and the haters, who despise the Cubs even more than they like the Sox. There are bars on Western Avenue in Beverly, or Halsted in Bridgeport, where sporting a Cubs cap or jersey is not a fashion statement -- its an absolute affront.But just as there are North Side Sox fans, there are South Side Cubs fans, and smarter bar owners get that. One piece of news that helps me unclench comes from the owner of the Blue Island Beer Company, Bryan Shimkos. He tells me that his customers are roughly two-thirds Sox fans and one-third Cubs fans. Yet Shimkos and his crew are embracing the Cubs moment and a ballpark tradition started at Wrigley Field in 1941 -- organ music. If -- if -- the Cubs make it, Shimkos has hired an organist to play live during the first game of the World Series. Instead of listening to the network TV talking heads yammer on, BIBC customers can hear short ballpark classics and some contemporary songs during pitching changes and commercials.Not that the tension of clinch vs. clench is driving me to drink, but I do look forward to a six-pack of Blue Islands tasty Five Bridges ale this weekend.And heres hoping Azz is right, and Ill have a reason to head down their way Tuesday night when the World Series opens ... but until the Cubs clinch, I will remain in clench mode. Authentic Cheap NFL Jerseys . Pirlo limped out of Sundays 1-0 win over Udinese after just 13 minutes. Juventus says Pirlo underwent tests on Monday which revealed he has "a second-degree lesion to the collateral medial ligament in his right knee. Cheap Jerseys Authentic . 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Lombardi, the grandson of former Green Bay Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, has been an offensive assistant on Sean Paytons New Orleans staff since 2007. TOKYO -- Staging games in Fukushima for the 2020 Olympics will not present any health risk to players, the president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation said Friday.Tokyo Olympic organizers are planning to hold part of the baseball and softball competition in the region devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.The WBSC held an under-15 baseball tournament in Fukushima this year. Cuba beat Japan to defend its title.From the data I have received, the situation is not dangerous in Fukushima, WBSC president Riccardo Fraccari said. The situation is fine now so I dont think we will have any problems three years on.Holdingg Olympic events in the disaster-affected areas could send a powerful message of reconstruction.ddddddddddddFraccari is scheduled to visit Fukushima on Saturday for an inspection tour of several proposed stadiums.We just staged the under-15 tournament in Fukushima and I know how passionate the people there are about baseball, Fraccari said. The main issues for me are the facilities and the schedule.The IOC is expected make a final decision on the location in Fukushima Prefecture at its Dec. 6-8 executive board meeting. Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jersyes Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '