We've got another sabermetrics fight, veterans tuning out the manager (wait, what?!?!), and debate on who, and when, to trade.
I've also noticed that whoever gets used for the photo in one edition of Cub Tracks gets talked about even more prominently for the next one. You're up, Darwin.
From Comcast SportsNet
- The team sees the keystone combination of Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney as game changers.
- The brass also expects Anthony Rizzo to take his game to the next level.
- I'm not a fan, but it looks like the club will be following another Boston Red Sox blueprint by using a closer-by-committee approach. Granted, in this case necessity is probably the mother of invention.
- After a slow start, the team has finally gotten its wakeup call.
From Cubs Den
- Has Dale Sveum righted the ship?
- At what point do the Cubs need to start keeping short-term assets? Here's an argument for / discussion about hanging onto Carlos Villanueva, Matt Garza, and Nate Schierholtz.
- Kevin Gregg is helping to stabilize the bullpen. (Shakes head in disbelief.)
- The long homestand is underway and the team happy to be home.
- Dale Sveum seems to have gotten the message across.
- Not specifically Cub-related, per se, but a Chicago seventh-grader is looking to break down barriers. She was one of the winners of a MLB essay contest.
- Five things: Gregg is emerging as the closer, Rizzo is fine (and valuable), Carlos Villanueva is human, close is good, and the manager is facing more scrutiny.
- Despite missing out on a sweep of the Miami Marlin (no "s", since Giancarlo Stanton is one man), Dale Sveum sees the arrow pointing up.
- What he doesn't see is naming a closer.
- Despite that, Carlos Marmol is having fun.
- Is it time for friendlier confines?
- Ruh-roh. Jorge Soler has been benched for not hustling.
From the Chicago Sun-Times (can read a paragraph, register to read the rest)
- Maybe not everyone is listening to Dale. Veterans say they already know what they need to do.
- The starting rotation has been a big bright spot early this season.
- The team has made a big jump since Darwin Barney returned. Coincidence?
From the Daily Herald (registry required for all)
- This was discussed elsewhere on BCB, but the "Matt Garza trade" has frustrated the Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays.
- Matt Spiegel writes that lovers and haters of sabermetrics shouldn't just dismiss each other. There's also some Theo notes later in the column.
From miscellaneous sources
- Joel Sherman rights about the proper organizational mentality. This gives you some more fodder for discussing how Theo is going about building things the Cub Way.
Today's food for thought
- Cicadas are back. The reporter describes it as a "giant sex and death party".
- Speaking of sex, a couple's anniversary trip had a pod of "killer" guests.