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Cub Tracks Has A Last-Minute Substitution

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Russ La Croix' internet is out. Don't you hate when that happens? And so, I'm filling in on Cub Tracks today. (No, Joe Maddon isn't substituting. But clearly, he's happy to be here.)

David Sameshima

Be nice to the fill-in Cub Tracks writer, won't you please? It's been rather quiet in advance of the Winter Meetings beginning next Monday, other than persistent Jon Lester rumors.

From Comcast SportsNet:

  • Now that the non-tender deadline has passed, other roster issues are coming to the forefront, writes Patrick Mooney.

From Cubs.com:

From CBS Chicago:

  • Bruce Levine sums up the "Jon Lester Noise" (could be a rock band name!) and specifically quotes Jed Hoyer on how long they've known Lester and how "special" management thinks he is.

From Cubs Den:

From Chicago Cubs Online:

  • The CCO has an intriguing look at batting the pitcher eighth in the lineup, something Joe Maddon did in all three games his Rays played at Wrigley Field last August. Hmmm. Could we have another Tony La Russa-type lineup constructor in the home dugout at Wrigley next year?

From Cubbies Crib:

From Chicago Cubs 101:

From Cubs Insider:

Miscellaneous:

  • The South Bend Cubs are unveiling their new logo and apparel in a news conference today at 2 p.m. ET, which is open to the general public at their ballpark, Four Winds Field. In or near South Bend? Go to the n/c and take some photos!
  • Joe Maddon's Twitter account, which had been "RaysJoeMaddon" when he managed at Tampa Bay, had been changed to "Maddonini" after he left that club. Now he'll be known as CubsJoeMadd.
  • New Cubs hitting coach John Mallee put on a hitting clinic in Elkhart, Indiana and did a detailed Q&A with writer Steve Krah about what makes for a successful hitter.
  • Ever heard of vavel.com? Neither had I before I found this article by Dan Schmelzer suggesting the Cubs should take a flyer on power hitter Kyle Blanks. Intriguing idea for a NRI, I'd say. (And here's a discussion of using the word "flyer" vs. "flier" in this context. I choose "flyer.")
  • ICYMI on the FanShot bar, BCB's Mike Bojanowski put together an updated Wrigley rendering showing the new sign positions plus adding the new Jumbotron sponsor.

Today's food for thought: