My name is Erik Peterson (obviously) and you may have known me previously as the spirited and verbose fsuapollo. I will be your regularly scheduled host of this new feature, a task I'm greatly looking forward to. I'm also thankful to Al Yellon for entrusting me with this new BCB feature.
Cub Tracks is meant to be a collection of links about the Cubs, primarily from the beat writers who follow the team closely. That means largely local writers, with some national outliers here and there. Except in rare circumstances, there will not be links to columnists, since I refuse to feed the beast my passing along the mindless musings of "writers" whose sole purpose is to stir up controversy (and clicks) by being outspoken. That means, for instance, you won't get any of Steve Rosenbloom's... ahem... "insights" here. This feature will be for articles with actual information, though of course those of us who are familiar with the work of the beat writers know there is still plenty of mindless available on a day-to-day reporting basis.
Some of you will surely post fanshots to some of these articles individually as they are posted - and that is still perfectly ok. This twice-weekly feature is more about aggregated catch-up as it is "breaking news".
As a journalist originally and now as an educator in career path 2.0, I've always been about information and education. So you'll get a pile of links about the Cubs... and I'll always throw in a "did you know?" extra link, just to give you something unrelated to Cubbie Occurrences to chew on.
All right, all right... enough of the intros -- on with the debut (hey, I warned you I can be rather verbose).
From Comcast SportsNet
- In my opinion, this is the current best source for new Cubs content. Patrick Mooney and Tony Andracki do a generally really nice job.
- And with that personalized intro, the first link naturally comes from Sox beat writer Dan Hayes, who says Anthony Rizzo feels more comfortable this offseason. Rizzo says its nice to know he won't be traded... he thinks.
- Mooney says Bud Selig believes in the Cubs plan (more on that below). This article dovetailed nicely off of the previous day's article, where Mooney wrote about how the Cubs are waiting for game changers while other clubs hit the reset button.
- Presumably with the intent to steal Tim Huwe's thunder, Tony Andracki summarized the performance by Cub prospects in the AFL. The article also proves that not all layout designs are successful, as a Bud Selig video loads at the top of the page.
- Many/Some/All/No Cub fans are looking out west at the Dodgers' spending spree and getting pangs of jealousy. But is there something else about the Dodger Way the Cubs could glean? How about a Dodgers owner (the one who didn't play for the Lakers) talking with Dave Kaplan about renovating Wrigley Field? Of course, Guber was there to pitch a book, but that didn't stop Kaplan from getting Cub content.
- David DeJesus also took his five o'clock shadow to the set of CTL (Chicago Tribune Live, for the uninitiated) to reflect on his first Cub season.
- The Cubs signed Scott Baker. You probably knew that by now. But one of the reasons I like Patrick Mooney is he frequently takes the 'today news' and weaves it into a bigger picture. It's almost like he understands each Cub move doesn't happen in a vacuum. Crazy, huh?
- Since you're on BCB clicked on this link and have already read / scrolled through this growing pile of words, you're also probably a fan of baseball's silly season: the Hot Stove. Well, CSN is here to feed your addiction... "Chicago Baseball Hot Stove" returns to the CSN program rotation next week. I watched a couple of editions last year and they do a pretty solid job. It is usually hosted by Dave Kaplan (from the North side) and Chuck Garfien (from the South side, like an old episode of CNN's Crossfire) and features relevant interviews and analysis along with a healthy dose of rumor mongering.
From the Chicago Tribune
- Tribune offerings on the Cubs have been rather sparse in recent days, as they've focused mostly on general baseball articles. But Paul Sullivan did write about Matt Garza being cleared to resume rehab and the Cubs signing Dioner Navarro. It includes a couple of Theo quotes on what these news bits mean for the Cubs' pitching staff.
From the Chicago Sun-Times
- Because it can often appear that beat writers share one brain for the group, Gordon Wittenmyer wrote about the same topics as Sullivan. And because it is his style, Gordo has a side dish of snark.
- Uh oh. We Theo Acolytes might want to reconsider this rebuilding plan. Gordo summarizes why Bud Selig thinks the Cubs are in good hands. And since Gordo's understanding of the 'inverted pyramid' seems to be off, he's got a nugget buried in the bottom of that article: Bud is willing to help the Ricketts family raise public money, now that the election is over. (In my best Al Yellon voice..... no political discussion, people!)
de facto PR reptotally independent beat writer Carrie Muskat always has links to signings, if you want more of that. But she also does features, including one that explains why big Dan Vogelbach has a big goal to be a big part of the Cubs' future. Did I mention he's big?
- To be more supportive, Carrie's Muskat Ramblings blog does a nice job with spot updates, including the most recent (as of this writing) post about the Cubs' roster status.
- Bruce Levine says Logan Watkins is reminding some of Darwin Barney. They're both short, feisty, and play 2B. And they're friends.
From Cubs Den
- John Arguello is focused on scouts the last couple of days. He takes a look at the pitchers in the Cub organization, at both possible top starters and guys who could close, through the eyes of scouts.
- Is Rick Porcello a fit for the Cubs? He was much discussed last year.
- The Marlins and Blue Jays made their highly discussed trade. Does that deal grease the tracks for possible moves between those teams and the Cubs?
I will usually include content from the Daily Herald, but Bruce Miles has been fairly quiet lately.
Today's food for thought
- We all want to see the Cubs grow up and field a winner. In the meantime, why not watch a cub grow up?
Lastly, for the sake of context... not all Cub Tracks will be this long. But there are some articles I've been "saving up" for the big debut.
Discuss away... and please feel free to toss in suggestions and feedback. If you all like this feature enough, Al might even double my salary!!