In ‘Wild World,’ If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

The novel begins essentially as the shots were fired in Ohio. Steve Logan and his partner Roxy Fisher, students at Brown University, witness the aftermath on television and the events propel the two onto different paths. Steve, whose plan was to enroll in law school, instead enlists in the Providence police academy hoping to fix the problems from the inside out. Roxy, however, redoubles her efforts as a peaceful protester. Steve faces opposition from the corrupt members of the Providence police force, and Steve is caught between his own morality and the dangers of going against the grain.

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Offseason Player Profile: Jon Jay

When it was announced the Cubs had signed Jon Jay to a one-year contract, I assumed that Theo Epstein was still on his post-championship bender. Jay hadn’t really been good or healthy the past two years, and he hadn’t put together an above average season since 2012. Nevermind that he was going to turn 32 this year and he had never been a good defender even in his prime. It seemed like a passive signing for a team primed to go into full dynasty mode, but Theo and Jed Hoyer must have seen something in him.

Read the rest at BP Wrigleyville.

Ian Happ’s Role Down the Stretch

There was a point this season where Ian Happ felt like the only thing that had gone right for the Cubs. The rookie came up in mid-May and immediately started raking. Ten of his first twenty-five hits went for home runs, and he was one of the few players keeping the team from sinking further in the standings. He even showed enough defensive capability to play every position in the outfield. He looked like the heir apparent to Ben Zobrist, but with less contact and more power.

When Happ was called up, there was a question of how long he would be up with the team. Until this year, he hadn’t played a game above Double-A, and he only turned 23 a few days ago. Happ was never immune to getting sent back to Iowa, especially after Kyle Schwarber was sent down to get his swing back. But Happ carved out a place for himself on the 25-man roster, even if he’s looked overmatched in the past thirty days.

Read the rest at BP Wrigleyville.

Appreciation for Brian Duensing

Halfway through the season, it’s become apparent that we’re living in one of those alternate PECOTA-projected simulations where the Cubs are a .500 team, the Brewers are just good enough to hold on to first, the Diamondbacks and Rockies are legitimately good, and the Giants are having one of the worst seasons in their history. There have been a lot of surprises this year, most of them unpleasant, like biting into a bone hidden in your sandwich. Surprise! You chipped a tooth. Surprise! Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, and Kyle Schwarber can’t hit anymore. Surprise! The rotation unanimously decided to self-immolate.

Read the rest at BP Wrigleyville.

Second City October: NLCS Game Five, The Climb

In what was likely Jake Arrieta’s final start as a Cub, he managed to stave off elimination for one more day. It was a fitting sendoff for a guy whose last four years have rivaled Greg Maddux’s best four years with the Cubs. Without Javier Baez’s pair of dingers and leaping catch on an errant throw, it might have been another tough-luck loss for the hirsute right hander. But the Cubs hung on with an exceptional outing from Wade Davis at the cost of sidelining him for tonight’s game. If the Cubs are going to win tonight, they’ll have to do it without Wade Davis.

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Permission to Write

There’s an important distinction between writers we imitate and writers who grant us permission. Writers we imitate tell us what we should be writing and writers who give us permission tell us what we can write. They expand our limitations and allow us to take risks. They jump off the cliff and disappear beneath the water’s surface, only to reappear a moment later and call up to us, “Come on in. The water’s fine.”

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I Couldn’t Write About My Hometown Until I Left

Like many young writers, I had the idea to write a book of interconnected stories about my hometown and its people, my own Dubliners or Lost in the City. I’d call it, I don’t know, The Avenues after the series of parallel streets intersecting the Esplanade. Each story would be like each row of homes like broken teeth hidden under a canopy of oak.

My final semester at Chico State, I wrote two of the stories that I envisioned would be part of the collection, but I didn’t get any further than that. In some dark and forgotten corner of my Google Drive, there exists a folder of false starts, scenes that didn’t make it past 250 words.

Read the rest at Wiki Lit.