A note to all of the Cub Tracks readers out there: Erik Peterson will be making a return to the Cub Tracks desk this weekend, covering the Sunday edition of the feature. I'll be spending a majority of the weekend at a basketball officiating camp, probably looking completely out of place as I attempt to learn how to properly work in a three-man officiating crew. Hilarity and embarrassment should ensue. For me, that is.
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Joe Maddon loves that the National League Central is a "very, very competitive" division.
- Jon Lester knows that he still has some things to work on after his -- um, errant -- throw to first base in Monday night's game against the Reds.
- But with the win in Monday night's game, Patrick Mooney says that the Cubs are bigger than just Jon Lester.
- Manny Ramirez sent a positive message to Javier Baez, who is still on the temporary inactive list after the death of his sister.
- How has Welington Castillo been able to do so well as a pinch-hitter? Even he doesn't know.
- Chris Coghlan admits that he was surprised to get the call to play third base in Monday's game, but he does have his own infielder's glove.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers wonders about what's up with Jon Lester.
- There has been a lot of discussion about how the feel of the game is different at the Wrigley Field this season. That liveliness isn't only in the stands; it's also in the dugout.
From CBS Chicago:
- The Cubs' 3-2 loss on Tuesday night showed that even a dominant Cub pitcher can have a bad inning once in a while, according to Bruce Levine.
- The strongest and most reliable part of the Cubs so far, as written by Levine, has been their rock-solid bullpen.
- Another thing that has helped: lineup balance.
- [AUDIO] Joe Maddon spoke Tuesday on the Spiegel and Goff Show. One of his main topics: He wants the Cubs to embrace the pressure.
- Whenever Kris Bryant does actually make his debut -- whether it's in this homestand or when the Cubs take to the road after the weekend -- Chris Emma says that it will be worth the wait.
- Dan Bernstein says that with all of the talk surrounding Bryant right now, there's something else good happening right in front of everyone: Jorge Soler.
- Emma also writes that Manny Ramirez is a man humbled by his past and grateful for his second chance.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Joe Maddon on the Cubs' analytics department: "Our geeks are good."
- The silence from the lack of fans in the bleachers has taken some getting used to by the outfielders for both teams.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Jon Lester took some time to write some replies to tweets on Tuesday, both positive and negative. The results were quite entertaining.
- The Sun-Times is very focused on Lester and his case of "the yips". How focused, you ask? Well, they wrote not one, not two, but three stories about it.
From the Daily Herald:
- The Cubs may have lost on Tuesday, but Joe Maddon found no fault at all with the Cubs' effort.
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello gives his take on why the Cubs' plan still revolves around the three-headed-monster that is the Cubs' catching situation.
- As Bob Dylan once said, "For the times, they are a-changin'."
From Bleacher Nation:
- Brett Taylor has several reasons why you should feel good about the Cubs' 4-3 record through seven games.
- Not only have the Cubs been winning on the field, they've also been winning in the television ratings.
- As to be expected with Joe Maddon, the Cubs' first six games featured six different lineups. Michael Cerami looks at the trends.
- How hitter- or pitcher-friendly are the Cubs' minor league ballparks? Baseball America has the answer.
From Chicago Cubs Online:
- Joe Maddon may not be following Kris Bryant's progress in Iowa, but Randy Bush is.
- Breaking News: The tampering investigation is still ongoing.
From Cubs Insider:
- The Cubs have been trying to improve their plate discipline, and so far the numbers are showing that they're succeeding at it.
- Now that the video board is up in left field, Evan Alman says that it's time to let Harry Caray have the Seventh Inning Stretch back. Gotta be better than Jeff Gordon and Kellie Pickler, I'd say.
Today's food for thought:
- [VIDEO] It's the new age we live in: Here are some videos of breathtaking views of iconic cities filmed by flying drones.
- The first-ever color photos of Pluto and Charon, Pluto's largest moon, have been received from the NASA New Horizons spacecraft.