This will be a small item.
Correction: It will be small in length but large in content.
That’s because the Associated Press came out with its preseason college football rankings, and Baylor is ranked fourth.
The top three are Ohio State, TCU and Alabama. No big surprises there, I guess, though when did the Horned Frogs get better than Texas and Texas A&M?
Back to Baylor, another Texas school better than Texas and Texas A&M. The Bears have a tight end named LaQuan McGowan who goes 6-7, 410 pounds. No typo. More than one-fifth of a ton.
McGowan is no longer allowed to block in practice after devastating things happened to his teammates when he was allowed to.
Nor is he a skill-less lard-butt. He is fast and agile and makes one-handed catches easily.
If I were a skinny defensive back and saw McGowan charging toward me with the ball, I would assume the fetal position. Justifiably, I believe.
There are no rules about size or weight limitations in college football. I think McGown is a great place to start.
Hey, Cubs fans, keep your hands to yourselves
Joe Maddon is reasonable.
He’s aware most Cubs fans are not.
They are a crawling, waterless army in the desert, so desperate for fluids they’d tip over a truck and drink the crankcase oil.
So the Cubs’ manager has asked fans at Wrigley Field to keep their hands off baseballs that are anywhere near the field of play. No matter how souvenir-crazed they might be.
He doesn’t know Steve Bartman, but he has heard of him. On Saturday, a Bartman-esque fan reached over the basket in left-center field and tried to catch a home run by Cubs shortstop Addison Russell before the ball reached the stands.
The ball bounced off the guy’s hands (of course) and dropped onto the field. Fortunately for the Cubs, it still was ruled a homer. It was kind of the opposite of the 2003 Bartman foul ball that eluded Moises Alou’s glove and fell into the left-field seats.
Either way, a fan was messing with a Cubs victory, with history.
It happened in June, too, when a clueless guy with an infant in one hand reached over the tarp on the first-base side and interfered with a ball, costing the Cubs an out.
Sometimes it seems the Cubs should fly an ‘‘M’’ flag over the center-field scoreboard — for moron.
Maddon has seen enough.
“That’s something that seems to be an issue at the ballpark here. It’s been going on for several years now,” he said Saturday. (By that he meant the Bartman Game, actually 12 years ago.) “I was wondering if the guy had a Braves shirt on or not. I don’t know.”
No, he was a Cubs fan. Just typical.
You wouldn’t think you’d have to plead with Cubs fans to be kind to their team, to remind them it has been 106 seasons without a World Series title and that a real major-league baseball, for God’s sake, can be purchased for $18.92 from Amazon, with free shipping.
“Cub fans, just keep your hands in your pockets until the ball goes over the wall,” Maddon said.
Is that so hard? Must the Cubs set up an anti-Bartman law with the playoffs looming?
“YOU REACH, YOU LOSE.”
Followed by banishment from Cubdom forever.
Might be necessary.
Cubs might mash their way to top of standings
Oh, brother, here come the Cubs!
They wiped out the Braves 9-3 on Sunday at Wrigley Field, where the sky was blue and the wind was blowing out and the stands were bursting.
The Cubs are now — and I shudder to say this — 20 games over .500 and in great position to contend for postseason riches. If things keep going like this — great God in heaven — the Cubs could end up with the second-best record in baseball.
Maybe the best, if the NL-best Cardinals and AL-best Royals falter and the Cubs keep the hammer down.
Their pitchers are good — Jason Hammel got this win — and their young hitters are insane.
I’ll just mention young All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant because this kid seems to have a home-run swing as natural as his sky-blue eyes.
Bryant went 3-for-4 with two homers, giving him 19 in the first 112 games of his major-league career. It’s indeed an ill wind that doesn’t blow this masher something good.
“I have never seen a ballpark where the wind affects the ball so much,” he said generously after the game.
True, but you gotta put it up there in the jet stream to find out.
Then Steve Goodman sang, “Baseball time is here again …” The Wrigley crowd sang along, and a showdown with 106 years of history grew closer.
Follow me on Twitter @ricktelander.