In our online edition, eminent Cubs virologist Ron Berler, positer of the Ex-Cubs Factor [scroll down] made famous by Mike Royko, weighs in on whether this year’s Cubs have anything to fear from the phenomenon. I won’t give away the answer, but what with last night’s disaster and the other Chicago head-case pitcher up tonight, it’s tempting to say they should fear themselves. (Take a pitch for once, Soriano! Jesus!)

And in the Sports Section, Ted Cox–who’ll be blogging the playoffs for us–takes off on the “party-hearty dunderheads” who give a bad name to real Cubs fans–you know, people who actually watch what’s happening on the field instead of calling all their friends to tell them they’re at the game.

Elsewhere, Edward McClelland (aka Ted McClelland ne Kleine, aka Tedward McKleineland) advances the bizarre view that a World Series victory would actually harm the Cubs by stripping them of their lovable losers tag. Is he living in John Cusack’s Chicago?

Pictured: a Cubs cremation urn