Enjoy the links. Mostly good news, despite the last two games before the break.
Some bookkeeping: I'm off for the next two editions of Cub Tracks on Thursday and Sunday. But don't worry, Al or Josh will fill this space with linky goodness. Be nice and click often.
From Comcast SportsNet
- Starlin Castro is showing humility, saying "nobody is better than baseball."
- Arismendy Alcantara keeps doing the job.
- David Kaplan goes about solving the Cubs "position player problem." These are good problems to have.
- Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth look at the Cubs' road ahead in the second half.
- ICYMI, Javier Baez hit a big homer in the Futures Game.
- And the confident youngster feels ready for the big leagues. Bonus: if you listen to the video, Kris Bryant drops a "Javy being Javy."
- The Cubs, like the rest of us, had to sit through an embarrassing game by Edwin Jackson.
From Cubs Den
- This piece is just great and adds detail to why I had no qualms whatsoever about making a $25 Cubs Care bet with NBF. The article summarizes why the Yankees will probably flounder while watching the Cubs rise. And the "cuz Yankees", "but the Yanks will spend what it takes", and "cuz Cubs" refrains ring awfully hollow.
- Arismendy Alcantara and Jorge Soler are "messing" with the Cubs' timelines.
- Kris Bryant is mature beyond his years, making him almost too good to be true.
- The Cubs helped honor Lt. Colonel Donald Hausser, Jr., upon his return home.
- Javier Baez made a 400-foot case for a promotion to the big leagues.
- The back of the Cubs' rotation is TBD heading into the break.
- Having young All-Stars is a good sign for the Cubs.
- Jesse Rogers says Arismendy Alcantara is making the decision easy: he should stay in the big leagues.
- Rogers also identified the first half positives that fans should feel good about.
- (Video) A couple Cub prospects were listed as future fantasy stars.
- Anthony Rizzo is a little apologetic in Minnesota, but he has no reason to be.
- The Futures Game was just flat fun for Kris Bryant and Javier Baez.
- (Video) Bryant talked about his friendship with Texas Rangers slugging prospect Joey Gallo.
- (Video) Baez talked about his bomb.
- And here are some pictures from that exhibition.
- Anthony Rizzo is assuming leadership of the Cubs his way.
- (Video) He's also learning to separate the business side from the baseball side.
- Former Cub Ryan Dempster is finding that "dad time" is time well spent.
- For those interested in the real estate market, Jeff Samardzija sold his condo in Lakeview for $600,000.
From the Chicago Sun-Times
- Rick Renteria is still upbeat about the club's potential.
- Some players are giving credit to strength coach Tim Buss as their secret weapon.
From the Daily Herald
- Travis Wood is showing some cracks.
- Len Kasper knows the trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel stings, but it was the right move in the long-term.
- Fangraphs gives its midseason updates for the top 25 prospects. Can you guess who is number one? And the Cubs have three of the top eight.
Today's food for thought
- The destruction of a blue supergiant star is unlike any other.