Chicago Cubs

Cubs gave city the season it needed, if not the ending it wanted

The worst part was that when former Cub Brandon Kintzler threw the final strike of the game past Jason Kipnis Friday, the lights came up in the theater.

It was easy to forget in the wash of frustration and deafening silence of Cubs hitting Wednesday and Friday that this was a major-league season built in the middle of a COVID-19 minefield during a time of simultaneous social, economic and health crises like no living American has ever seen.

But the larger context of this season was measured not only by the number of masks, coronavirus tests and players around MLB who opted not to play because of the health-risk within the game’s 2020 framework, but also by the stark realities outside baseball’s bubbles.

Cubs and Marlins players who went to bed before midnight Thursday awoke Friday to news that President Trump and his wife had tested positive for COVID-19.

The man who threw Friday’s first pitch, Yu Darvish , was the game’s first player in spring training to talk publicly about his fear and the risks of the virus.

Whether influenced by the star pitcher’s perspective, the Cubs devised a protocol system that exceeded MLB’s and the union’s initial safety agreement, and they finished the season as the only team without a player testing positive.

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