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Cub Tracks’ Untidy Bowl

Chinwags, jawflaps, much ado about nutters, and other bullets

NHL: Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks
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Last time around, Cub Tracks went in search of Ig-Nobel pursuits, had turkey salad, turkey hash, turkey croquet (with wickets), went turkey bowling, got three strikes, and was out.

Today, the principals are still chinwagging over the fine print in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and mulling the idea of an International Draft, which I think is a dimwitted notion. I’d prefer a cap on Int’l signings. That makes more sense to me than trying to project hard-throwing Nepalese eighth-graders. Baseball would then have to compensate the teams that have development academies and nurture the talent for all 30. Since that seems sensible, something else will probably happen. MLB wants to control those ‘academies’ and is turning the CBA into political football.

Isn’t that special? Maybe Tony Clark can hold a seance and summon the ghost of Marvin Miller.

In other news, I still sprinkle my cornflakes the Bill Lee way, Bowie Kuhn. Don’t pee in them, please, Rob Manfred.

We’ll not see a deal like Jorge Soler’s again, either way. Here are a few items that chew on that and other issues. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Obsessive CBA Watch: Winter Meetings in Peril? Based on a Buster Olney tweet.
  • Zack Moser (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): An International draft serves only the owners. “ remains unclear how the current system...appreciably disadvantages certain teams.”
  • CBS Chicago: Free-agent compensation, International draft are top MLB issues in new CBA negotiations. The CBA expires Thursday.
  • Jesse Borek (FanRag Sports): Indiana names Kyle Schwarber honorary captain against North Carolina. The former Hoosier has been named as honorary captain for the game by head coach Tom Crean.
  • David Woods (WGN-TV): Chef creates 400-pound gingerbread replica of Wrigley Field. Gerald Madero, not ‘Chef’ from South Park, did the deed. It’s almost completely edible.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Cubs aim to build around nucleus at Winter Meetings. “...much of the nucleus is under control through 2020-2021. That's not something we're looking to break up,” said Theo Epstein.
  • Manny Randhawha ( Lou Piniella to learn Hall of Fame fate on Sunday. Also, Bud Selig and others. Selig is probably a lock, but I’d vote no. I’d also vote against Piniella.
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN): Taking the field: How all 29 other teams can beat the Cubs in 2017. The title of the article makes it sound like they’re gonna gang up on our Cubbies. Not really, but...
  • Jim Bowden (ESPN-Insider {$}): Sale, McCutchen, Archer? Trades I'd like to see before the winter meetings. The much-maligned Bowden makes a pitch for a Tampa/Chicago deal. It’s even in the realm of reasonable. I dunno if I’d do it though.
  • Dan Szymborski (Fangraphs): 2017 ZIPS projections. Kris Bryant leads the way.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): How do the Cubs solve the Christian Villaneuva and Jeimer Candelario conundrum? “...there are questions aplenty about what to do with the twosome.”
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Player profile: Hector Rondon. “There’s really only one thing that’s going to determine which Hector Rondon we’re going to see in 2017 and that’s the health of his triceps.”
  • Caitlin Swieca (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Travis Wood: Potential offseason target. Good lefties are not plentiful on the free-agent market.
  • Matt Meffe (Call to the Pen): MLB Free Agency: Best options for Dexter Fowler. Cardinals, Rangers, Orioles are discussed.
  • Kyle Glaser (Baseball America): Cubs build from ground up to title. “Not just wins and titles, but passion and joy for an entire city.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Cubs earn 2016 Organization of the Year honors by Baseball America. “The Cubs...earned the honor for the first time since the publication started the award in 1982.”
  • Danny Ecker (Crain’s Chicago Business): Kris Bryant jersey sale sets new Cubs auction mark. Sixteen thousand dollars plus.

Food for Thought

Dig that crazy beat. See you Thursday. Hopefully we’ll have better CBA news then.