It's been quite a while coming, but I'm finally heading off for a full week's vacation. My daughters and I are heading down to Texas -- probably already on the road as you're reading this -- to spend a week at the two Six Flags parks in Arlington and San Antonio. Cub Tracks will continue on during the All-Star week with different members of the BCB crew filling in for each of the next three installments. Josh Timmers will be taking over on the Tuesday edition; Erik Peterson will be covering Thursday; and Al Yellon will round out the week on next Sunday's edition. I'll be back on Cub Tracks again on Tuesday, July 21.
I'd like to deeply thank Josh, Erik and Al for filling in for me on next week's Cub Tracks. It means a lot to me to have them covering it while I'm off riding roller coasters deep in the heart of Texas. And my daughters both thank all of you as well.
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Patrick Mooney writes about the possibility of the Cubs making a deal with the White Sox for former Cub starter Jeff Samardzija. As Jed Hoyer puts it: "We've known Kenny (Williams) and Rick (Hahn) a long time... and if it came to discussing players, we'd certainly do it."
- One thing seems certain, at least for now: Kyle Hendricks is no longer a question mark in the rotation.
- Mooney also tries to answer the question: What if Joe Maddon managed on the South Side?
- What's the proper descriptor for a day with seven walks and no runs? For Maddon, it's "non-fortuitous".
- Anthony Rizzo has his perfect pitcher for the Home Run Derby, and that person is Cubs coach Franklin Font.
- Kris Bryant also his his perfect pitcher: his dad.
- There's good news for Jason Hammel as the MRI on his left hamstring didn't reveal any issues. He's expected back as the fifth starter after the All-Star break.
- Phil Rogers writes that people who are not fans of interleague play might be the same people who have not yet witnessed a game between the Cubs and the White Sox.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers also looks at the possibility of a trade for Jeff Samardzija and asks: Would it be worth the price?
- Rogers and Doug Padilla wrote letters to Jon Lester and Chris Sale to give them tips for their first experiences in the Crosstown Classic.
- Dexter Fowler after getting called out on strikes three times on Friday, a couple of them questionably: "I had some good (at-bats). I can walk out (of here) and say that."
From CBS Chicago:
- Chris Emma writes that the buzz is back to the Crosstown Classic.
- Gotta love the snarky Jeff Samardzija. On the visitors' clubhouse: "Impressive to say the least. An engineering gem."
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Philip Hersh looks back at the origin of the first All-Star Game, held in Chicago on July 6, 1933 and played at Comiskey Park.
- Fans should expect the combination of Jon Lester and David Ross to start up once again after the All-Star break.
- [VIDEO] Joe Maddon gives his opinion of Lester's performance in the first half.
- Maddon may be the Cubs' manager, but he's also a fan of the South Side.
- Not everyone is a fan of the Crosstown Classic, as Bernie Lincicome thinks that the annual series is an overdone stunt.
- If you were to take the best part of both Wrigley and the Cell and mash them together, what would the end product look like?
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Joe Maddon doesn't see any carryover from the Cubs' tough series finale loss against the Cardinals as part of their two losses against the White Sox.
- Maddon still feels like he won the lottery with Jon Lester being on the Cubs, writes Gordon Wittenmyer.
- As David Ross prepares to come off of the disabled list, Miguel Montero might take his place after jamming his thumb in Saturday's game.
- Dexter Fowler may have kept his cool about the strike zone on Friday, but his wife Aliya had plenty to say about it.
From the Daily Herald:
- Barry Rozner also chimes in on the Crosstown Classic, saying that the series is fun but not all that meaningful.
- With Mike Olt now off of the disabled list, what's the next move for him?
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello revisits an article that he wrote in the offseason about the rebuilding strategies of the Cubs and the White Sox.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Brett Taylor looks at some trade possibilities between the Cubs and the Padres including the possibility of acquiring James Shields.
- What has been behind the Cubs' success in the first have of the season? It's science, according to a physicist from Northern Illinois University.
Today's food for thought:
- Here's a cool view of Earth from 22,000 miles away taken by a new Japanese weather satellite as it updated the image every 10 minutes.
- Apparently new telescopes have their own version of that "new car" smell, and that can be a bad thing if not handled properly.