Uhhh....I don't know?
The Lead-Off Man:
First Inning: Con-ster-nation.
- Chris Emma (CBS Chicago): Todd Ricketts fueling a Cubs/Mets fire? That's cool. In case you missed it, Cubs Co-Owner Todd Ricketts playfully jabbed Mets fans over the weekend. Ernie Palladino replied. Much fun -- A recap.
- Kyle Thele (Chicago Sun-Times): Kids ask Cub players questions at Cubs Convention. "The Cubs hosted a kids only press conference, allowing young fans to hurl questions at David Ross, Jason Hammel and Anthony Rizzo. It’s difficult figuring out which was more entertaining, the questions or the answers."
- Dan Cahill (Chicago Sun-Times): Watch: Cubs fan in crazy hat rips Theo Epstein's offseason moves.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Cubs Convention Recap: Arrieta and Sutcliffe talk fitness and preparation, reigning Cy Young winner steals show. "It was really interesting to hear the two discuss the varying pre-game routines they utilized and the way the game has obviously changed over the last 30 years."
Second Inning: Hammel Time
- Cubs Jason Hammel focuses on lower-body strength after wearing down in second half of 2015 season. Repeat after me -- he's in the best shape of his life (tm). Includes [AUDIO].
Steve DelVecchio (Larry Brown Sports): Jason Hammel jokes about playing hooky to watch Pearl Jam concert.
Dear Theo, I think I'm gonna b feeling really sick on Aug 20&22. I should stay home n get some rest. Thx 4 understanding.#PearlJamAtWrigley— Jason Hammel (@HammelTime39) January 20, 2016
Third Inning: Catching up.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago): Kyle Schwarber the Catcher. "The Kyle Schwarber question doesn’t have a simple, yes-or-no answer."
- Joe Maddon refers to Eric Hinske as Kyle Schwarber's dad. [VIDEO].
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Offseason tasks at hand: Kyle Schwarber busy working on all facets of the game. After hitting well enough to earn a significant role in the Cubs' lineup last summer, Kyle Schwarber is playing catch-up this winter.
- Shawn Ramsey (Fox Sports): Cubs love Kyle Schwarber's bat, but is his future at catcher or in the outfield? Schwarber believes he can eventually develop to play both at a high level.
Fourth Inning: Making every pitch count.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Salary gap is large, but Jake Arrieta likely to settle. Apparently Jake likes to "settle". He has his foot stomping, after all.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Is the $5.5 million gap between Jake Arrieta and the Cubs really a big deal? "In short, no."
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago): Cubs called their shot with Jason Heyward signing. "As part of the elaborate presentation during Jon Lester’s recruiting visit to Wrigleyville, the Cubs unveiled a diamond diagram projecting their 2016 lineup – with Heyward playing center field. "
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Jason Heyward was part of the sales pitch...to Jon Lester. Wizards plan ahead.
- Chicago Cubs Online: Cubs reportedly told Adam Warren was acquired to be a starter? English is such a funny language. The Cubs "told Warren he was acquired to be a starter, but weren’t specific when he could break into the rotation." As reported by Jesse Rogers, in the previous Cub Tracks. iswydt.
Fifth Inning: Batter up!
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): If the DH comes to the NL, the Cubs will have plenty of options. Who stands to benefit? Here is a list.
- Michael Salzman (Baseball Essential): Keep the DH out of the National League. "Maybe we should be getting rid of the DH altogether instead of talking about it being added to the National League." Now you're talking.
- Drew Jenkins (DRaysBay): Mapping out a Cubs trade for Alex Cobb. "The Rays have been connected to Javier Baez and Jorge Soler, but what if they targeted Cubs' prospects instead?"
- Thomas Kohs (isportsweb): Why Anthony Rizzo will be most valuable hitter. What Rizzo's bat means to the Cubs.
Sixth Inning: Second thoughts.
- Jon Lester on his first Cubs season: It took me a while to feel myself. [VIDEO] Not gonna touch that title but good interview with Lester about 2015.
- Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Former Cubs draft pick and Super Bowl champ says the unthinkable about football. More on Antwaan Randle El's controversial statements.
Seventh Inning: All in fun.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Dynamic duo: Joe Maddon, Ben Zobrist re-unite. I can sorta see Joe as Bruce Wayne. Zobrist would look funny in that uniform. Perhaps Nightwing?
- Cubs quotables (Chicago Tribune staff): Who said it? Can you identify which Cubs player, coach or front office member said each recent offseason quote? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
- Kyle Thele (Chicago Sun-Times): Young Cubs fan has special tribute to Addison Russell. Shaved by a whisker!
Eighth Inning: Down on the farm.
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Javier Baez comfortable in brief stint in center. Baez's comfort level in center field improved as more fly balls were hit in his direction last month.
- Kyle Thele (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs prospect Albert Almora makes all-defense team. "Despite all of the players who made their MLB debut for the Cubs, their minor league cupboard is not yet bare."
- Chicago Cubs Online: Cubs prospects news: Gleyber Torres set to start season at Myrtle Beach; Eloy Jiminez at South Bend. Cubs’ farm director Jaron Madison gave an indication Sunday on where two of the organization’s top prospects will begin the 2016 season.
- Luke Blaize (Bleacher Nation): Cubs prospect progress report part twelve -- Ryan Williams.
- John Sickels (Minor League Ball): Chicago Cubs Top 20 prospects for 2016. "The list and grades are a blending of present performance and long-term potential. All of these grades are preliminary and subject to change."
Ninth Inning: Seriously.
- Dan Bernstein (CBS Chicago): Cub's security measures a sign of the times. "The Cubs decided that the friendlier thing to do was to work harder to keep the fans safe."
- Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs showed their greedy side by asking city to close Clark and Addison on game days. A slightly different take one recent events.
- Mike Imrem (Daily Herald): Bulls, Cubs, Hawks news reflects what it takes to succeed. "Three events during the past few days connected three prominent periods in Chicago sports..." Imrem connects the dots.
Tenth Inning: Uneasy lies the head.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN) Cubs Twitter mailbag -- where could things go wrong?
- Jim Bowden (ESPN Insider -- $): Best fits for seven remaining free agents. Bowden likes Austin Jackson back to Cubs.
- Buster Olney (ESPN Insider -- $): Ranking of MLB's Top Ten teams: How 'bout those Cubbies? The Cubs' Joe Maddon and Royals' Ned Yost manage the best two teams in baseball, according to MLB evaluators.
Extra Innings: They don't play the games on paper.
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): Taking a quick glance at the NL Central. "There are so many variables that we just can't pin a team's hopes based on what happens between October and April."
- Chris Sosa (RedEye Chicago): Survey: Cubs popularity soaring with millennials. Well, duh. It's easiest to identify with someone who looks and acts like you, is the same age, etc.
- Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): ESPN picks the Cubs to win the World Series. The time has arrived.
Food for thought:
- Sara Zielinski (Science News): Meet the bugs that call your house home. The good news is that the vast majority of arthropods found inside houses in a recent census were not pests.
- Five planets to make rare alignment in early morning sky. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all appear in the predawn sky from Jan. 20 to Feb. 20.
You're all invited back Sunday for another heaping helping. Thanks for reading!