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baseball

Updated at 1 a.m. ET

The Chicago Cubs, ending a championship drought that has lasted 108 years, beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

They did it the hard way, too, coming back from a 3-1 game deficit, winning three straight games, including the last two on the road in Cleveland. And it took ten innings to win it all in Game 7.

The Cubs are the first team since the 1985 Kansas City Royals to claw back from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series. They won 103 games during the regular season.

The Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 9-3 in Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The best-of-seven series is now even at three games each. The decisive Game 7 will be played Wednesday in Cleveland.

The Cubs were led by starter Jake Arrieta, who gave up two runs and three hits in five-plus innings. He struck out nine and walked three Cleveland batters. He also had the luxury of watching teammate Addison Russell collect six RBIs, with a two-run double in the first inning and a grand slam in the third.

Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp homered and rookie Ryan Merritt delivered shutdown pitching as Cleveland beat Toronto 3-0 to win the American League Championship Series in five games.

The Indians are heading to the World Series for the first time since 1997 and will host the first two games. Cleveland last won a World Series in 1948.

Mike Napoli's double off of Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada put Cleveland on top in the first inning. Estrada also gave up two home runs.

Best-selling author Scott Turow once described the act of being a Chicago Cubs fan as "quasi-spiritual."

He's right. Generations of Cubs fans have come and gone without ever seeing their belief in the team validated. It's been 108 years running without a title.

There's something about that blind faith that feels holy to Chicago's North Siders. Their fandom is purer and more absolute because they give of themselves over and over again and get nothing in return. (No World Series wins, at least.)

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Things may be looking up for Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, as the city and the insurance company for the developer have finally signed an agreement that should get construction at the stalled baseball stadium going again.

Madison Bumgarner pitched a four-hitter in his latest postseason gem, Conor Gillaspie hit a three-run homer off Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning, and the San Francisco Giants beat the defending National League champion New York Mets 3-0 Wednesday night in the wild-card game.

Trying to follow their World Series titles in 2010, '12 and '14, the Giants open the NL Division Series on Friday at the best-in-the-majors Chicago Cubs.

The Red Sox and their fans will celebrate the legacy of David Ortiz during the team’s final regular season series, which begins Friday night at Fenway Park.

The day the baseball player known as Big Papi became a Boston legend is easy to pinpoint: Oct. 18, 2004.

[Youtube]

Just after midnight, Ortiz hit a walk-off home run to prevent the Sox from being swept by the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

Keith Allison / flickr creative commons

So here's what happened. Lucy Nalpathanchil got a pitch from some PR person about covering David Ortiz's retirement at the end of this baseball season. And she forwarded it to Colin and me and said it sounded like our kind of show.

And Colin (a Red Sox fan) said that I (a Yankees fan) "would [expletive] hate that." And he's right. I would [expletive] hate that.

And so here we are doing that show.

Arturo Pardavila III, Flickr Creative Commons

This hour, we mourn the loss of 24-year-old Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boat accident over the weekend. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The insurance company that will pay to finish Hartford’s minor league baseball stadium is already fighting to get its money back. Arch Insurance is demanding nearly $19 million from the developer and at least one other company. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The insurance company behind the ousted developers of Hartford's stalled minor league baseball stadium has agreed to take over and pay for the completion of Dunkin' Donuts Park in time for games in 2017, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Tuesday.

City of Hartford

Is the city if Hartford facing Bankruptcy? This hour, we explore that question, and the future of the vacant ballpark. 

City of Hartford

Hartford’s total investment in its minor league ballpark and related developments is over $102 million, according to a new report by city auditors

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As lawyers for the city of Hartford negotiate restarting construction at Dunkin' Donuts Park, minor league baseball is losing patience. 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Matt Iannazzo was a baseball star at Norwalk High School, pitching them to an FCIAC title in 2007. At the University of Pittsburgh, he was an All-Conference pitcher. Out of college, Iannazzo signed with the Chicago Cubs and played two seasons near the bottom of their organization. Now he pitches for the Bridgeport Bluefish in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A day after the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats publicly offered to loan the city the money it needs to complete its stalled baseball stadium, Mayor Luke Bronin has declined to take him up on it. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Under intense pressure from Minor League Baseball, the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats said he has offered to loan the city the money it needs to finish Dunkin' Donuts Park in order to make sure ball is played in 2017. 

The Yankees have announced they are releasing slugger Alex Rodriguez. The club says Rodriguez will play his final major league game on Friday, then serve as a "special adviser and instructor" for the team through 2017.

There's a voracious little bug destroying forests across the eastern U.S. Scientists say emerald ash borers, exotic beetles imported accidentally from Asia, have killed as many as 50 million trees.

They're now threatening groves in New York's Adirondack Mountains that are used to make an iconic kind of baseball bat.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Architectural design work at Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park will start again as early as Wednesday, a move Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said was an “important step” towards restarting construction at the shuttered, unfinished minor league baseball stadium. 

Centerplan Companies

With the 2016 home season lost and Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park unfinished and shuttered, the minor league Yard Goats have told the city that they need to know what will happen in 2017 -- or they could leave the home that Hartford built.

 

On Thursday, they got an indication from the city that construction might soon begin again.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

After missing his entire first season at Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon desperately wants the city to get the stadium finished for baseball in 2017.

But just in case, Solomon has apparently let Hartford officials know that he has options -- and one of them is to take his team elsewhere.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats say they won’t play a single regular season game in the city for which the team is named, making official what has been all but certain for weeks. 

  Back in April, young baseball players from West Hartford traveled to Holguin, Cuba, the first leg of the 2016 USA Cuba Goodwill Tour. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The developers of Hartford's stalled baseball stadium said they'll need more than twice as much money as the city has left to finish the park for the minor league Yard Goats. 

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