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Cub Tracks This And That

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Grandpa Rudy, grandpa Montero, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs Victory Celebration
Tom terrific?
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last time around, Cub Tracks indulged in chalk talk, hydrated hangovers, and changed the dog. This time, we convey a letter from Tom Ricketts, muse about free agent and trade possibilities, and provide plenty of human interest. The hotstove is starting to warm up — a couple of players have changed teams. No doubt Josh will update you Monday.

My Cubs championship shirts arrived Saturday. I got two each of long sleeve hoodie and short-sleeve t-shirt, and a cap. Cost more than I’d like, but worth it. I’ll wear them proudly here in DBacks country.

Lots of duplication of subject, so I tried to choose the best of each and spread it out among the various writers. Enjoy. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).


In case you didn’t get this in your email box:

Dear Cubs Fans,

It happened! From this season’s many magical moments to Game 7’s epic ending, your 2016 World Champion Chicago Cubs made history.

Throughout the entire season, our team never quit and you never lost faith. From the first pitch to the last out, we felt your energy and enthusiasm. It’s only fitting the greatest journey in all of sports was fueled by the most loyal fans in the history of the game. While no fan base should have to wait more than a century, your love for the Cubs never wavered.

I’d like to offer a heartfelt thank you for your support of my family, our team and the entire Cubs organization over the past few years. Your patience and trust enabled us to build a championship organization the right way.

They say a team is a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal. All year long, our talented team played for each other and for you. They persevered in the moments that mattered most in their quest to win the World Series. Last year, they had us believing in magic. This year, through their character, chemistry and no-quit attitude, they proved dreams really do come true.

None of this is possible without the tireless efforts of our baseball operations staff working throughout the farm system and at the Major League level. Thank you to Theo, Jed, Jason and their incredible teams. And to Joe, our entire coaching staff and the best players in the game, thank you for bringing the World Series trophy home to Chicago.

It was a true joy to watch Cubs fans, whether young in age or young at heart, embrace old traditions and create new ones while cheering our team to victory. You flew your W Flags with pride, crafted thoughtful chalk memorials on our beloved bleacher walls and participated in the largest parade and rally in U.S. history. We’ll never forget the cheers of our few million friends as the team’s double-decker buses rolled down Michigan Avenue and the sea of blue that greeted us at Grant Park.

While our number one goal was to deliver a championship to our deserving fans, we’ve also made great progress on preserving Wrigley Field and set records for our fundraising and community contributions. In addition to baseball operations, our business operations, from Crane and senior leadership to our front office associates and nearly 2,000 dedicated individuals who make Wrigley Field such a special place, deserve thanks for helping us deliver on all three of our organizational goals.

Only a week removed from achieving our ultimate goal, it’s hard to think about the future. With that said, I truly believe this is just the beginning. With one of the youngest starting lineups in World Series history, our team is built for sustained success. As we cherish the moment and enjoy our championship together, work is already underway to defend our title in 2017.

Let’s Go Cubs, Tom Ricketts


  • Clinton Riddle (Minor League Ball): Kris Bryant: potential Hall of Famer for the Cubs. The Cubs’ third baseman’s career is off to a good start. He might need to play a little bit longer, though.
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Cubs World Series Win is even better when it’s done by Legos. Second time around but still very cool.
  • Irv Leavitt (Chicago Tribune): Northbrook Cubs fan, 108, dies after team finally wins World Series. Mabel Ball passed after a heart attack. But she got to see the win.
  • Anthony Marazzo: Grandpa Rudy was wrong. Grandpa didn’t believe.
  • CSN Bay Area *: Dusty Baker’s son signs to play baseball at Cal. Darren Baker has some skills.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Central): Ten Days Later – Gaining a Greater Appreciation of Jake Arrieta. “...one player needs to get more credit than he’s received in the press.”
  • Ken Davidoff (NY Post): How Padresfailed experiment spawned Mets, Cubs clashing evolutions. “...who ever thought the Padres would play such a critical role...”
  • Capi Lynn (Statesman Journal): Local men share Cubs connections. Rick Bladt and Vincent Dunn both have ties to team.
  • Andy Grimm (Chicago Sun-Times): Family: ‘Go Cubs Go’ success a fitting memorial to Steve Goodman. “I hear people say that he’s buried under home plate at Wrigley Field, which is one of my favorite rumors I’ve heard about my dad,” Rosanna Goodman said.
  • Sports Illustrated: Watch: Cubs’ Javier Baez surprises a high school in Chicago. “It was only five or six years ago that he was in high school. Now he’s a world champion.”
  • Derrick Goold (St. Louis Post-Dispatch): Yankees know how Cardinals feel about Cubs. “We’ve been able to make it a real rivalry,” said Jed Hoyer.
  • Alicia Hauser (DNAinfo): That cute kid from Cubs Nike commercial is the son of a Chicago firefighter. 12-year-old Brandon Rogers like both the Cubs and the Sox, roots for Dexter Fowler and Jose Abreu.
  • Rick Tarsitano (WGN-TV): Anthony Rizzo adds Platinum Glove to trophy case. “Only two players in Major League Baseball win the Platinum Glove as the best defensive player in their respective leagues.”
  • Corky Siemasko (NBC News): Joe Maddon goes to bat for hometown Hispanics. "My city was dying," he told The Washington Post.
  • Billy Watkins (The Clarion-Ledger): Madison man helped build Cubs' title team. Jim “Crawdaddy” Crawford scouted Anthony Rizzo, among others.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Arkansas celebrates Travis Wood day. “Special guests at the event included family members of Arkansas native Hank Wyse, the last Cubs pitcher on the mound in the 1945 World Series.”
  • Dexter Fowler (The Player’s Tribune): You go, we go. Gonna miss him if he goes.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Catch me if you can: A quick look at the Cubs’ backstop situation. Grandpa Montero with grumpy Jake.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Wanna go Dutch? Cubs could have interest in Greg Holland. He’d be less expensive than some, but hasn’t gotten his velocity back yet.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Who’s got next? Cubs have several prospects close to Chicago. Good list.
  • Connor Byrne (MLB Trade Rumors): Theo Epstein discusses offseason plans. Mike Montgomery and Jorge Soler are among players discussed.
  • Tommie Meyers (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Controllable SP trade targets: the affordable edition. Wouldn’t have much trouble with any of them but the affordability might be a question.
  • Jared Wyllys (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Going long: Mike Montgomery, starter. “Given the release of Jason Hammel and the now-open spot in the rotation, Montgomery has been very plain about the fact that he expects to be in the conversation.”
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): Merging the Cubs rotation and bullpen search. Multiple fronts.
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune): Outfield logjam could leave Jorge Soler odd man out as Cubs trade bait. Soler hasn’t yet proven himself, and defensively ability could leave him behind others such as Matt Szczur and Albert Almora Jr.
  • Tim Huwe (The Zygote 50): How many free-agent pitchers do the Cubs need? Maybe just a couple, barring trades.

food for thought

  • Bruce Brown (Digital Trends): Science aims high, delivers splash-free urinals to a grateful world. Rubber or gel coatings could make it work.
  • Emily Underwood (Science): Watch these ticklish rats laugh and jump for joy. One of the more fun experiments ever.
  • Nir Eyal (The Week): The science of the placebo button. Go ahead, push the crosswalk button. Most of them don’t do a thing.

Thanks for reading. We’ll be back Tuesday with more Cubs news you can use.