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Cub Tracks Exceeds Projections

Ready for Prime Time, and other bullets

Macy's State Street Welcomes Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez To Celebrate 2016 World Series Championship With Autograph Signing
Javy being Javy
Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Macy's

When we last met, Cub Tracks was trying to process the process. The second SNL skit got the waterworks working and capped off the cycle of joy, just in time for the offseason to get kicked into gear with the announcements that Jason Hammel’s services will not be required in Chicago next year, and that Dexter Fowler will be extended a Qualifying Offer.

The what-ifs are beginning to pile up, and “wait ‘til next year” has a whole different connotation as the pilot light for the Hot Stove season has been lit. GM Meetings, then Winter Meetings, personnel moving from team to team, electronic dossiers, projections, madness, all moving in the general direction of 2017. Theo and company will be sure to be competitive in the offseason as well.

As part of our ongoing quest to bring you the best and the brightest narrative elements, we bring you some thoughts about the victorious 2016 baseball season as well as a selection of looks into the crystal ball. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): Jenkins, Hands, Holtzman, thrilled for World Series-winning Cubs descendants. “This time, the baseball Gods paid the Cubs back with compounded interest.”
  • Dan Gartland (Sports Illustrated): Cubs fans get engaged in front of Wrigley ivy while posing with World Series trophy. “Things just keep getting better for Cubs fans.”
  • ESPN: The Art of Victory. Gallery of commemorative art.
  • Nick Kangadis (MRC-TV): A Love Letter from a Chicago Cubs Fan. “Don’t let anyone say that it’s just a game," Eddie Vedder once said.
  • Davis Potter (The Oxford Eagle): From doubt to delight, Don Kessinger revels in Cubs’ World Series title. “I guess that picture of Kris Bryant catching that last ground ball says it all,” Don said.
  • Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports): Theo Epstein and the Cubs are doing a great thing for Jason Hammel. “I really do believe with any other team, I would have been taken advantage of,” Hammel said Monday. “If they would have picked up my option, it very easily could have ended my career.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Fowler only Cubs player to get qualifying offer. Where will Dexter go?
  • Dayn Perry (CBS Sports): 2017 World Series odds: Vegas has Cubs as early favorites to repeat. 7/2, Bovada says.
  • James Neveau (NBC Chicago): Cubs Free Agents: Who's staying and who's going? Neveau gives Travis Wood the best odds of coming back.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs up for MVP, Cy Young, Manager of Year. Bryant, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Joe Maddon could bring home more hardware.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Cubs look to dominate BBWAA Postseason Awards yet again. “Last year it was Joe Maddon, Kris Bryant, and Jake Arrieta...”
  • Dakota Gardner (Cut Four): Cubs stop by Tonight Show to celebrate with Fallon. Not enough 30 Rock? Bryant was on Kimmel.
  • ESPN: Mike Montgomery [AUDIO].
  • Adrian Garro (Cut Four): David Ross poses in Batmobile, because why not? Better than a golf cart.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs make adjustments to 40-man roster. Jose Rosario from Triple-A Iowa and right-handed pitcher Conor Mullee were added, along with other moves. The roster stands at 34 right now.
  • Corinne Landry (Cut Four): Theo Epstein celebrated breaking the Curse of the Billy Goat by literally eating a goat. In the left-field bleachers, even.
  • Buster Olney (ESPN-Insider {$}): Cubs' decline of Hammel's option a surprise. Not really...but Buster has reasons.
  • Eric Adelson (Yahoo Sports*): Why the Cubs' championship – and his Disney moment – meant so much to Javier Baez. His little sister would have loved it all.
  • Len Kasper (Daily Herald): A lifetime of memories from a spectacular Cubs season. The most fun ever.
  • Tim Broderick (Daily Herald): The 1,732 Cubs ballplayers from 1909 to 2016. In alphabetical order.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): How Theo Epstein operates and why Cubs won’t be satisfied with just one World Series title. He’s as competitive as one of his players.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): After betting on himself, Mike Montgomery has emerged as vital piece to Cubs pitching staff. “Montgomery was ready to pack his bags for Japan.”
  • Grey Papke (Larry Brown Sports): Yankees have reached out to Aroldis Chapman. Brian Cashman confirmed interest.
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Say bye-bye to all the chalk messages on the Wrigley Field walls. I was hoping they’d never wash them.
  • Patty Wetli (DNAinfo): Murphy's Bleachers honors Cubs by funding all 60613 DonorsChoose Campaigns. James Murphy did it in remembrance of his father.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): New world order for Cubs means new sales pitch to free agents. Let’s do it all over again.
  • Colleen Kane (Chicago Tribune): Theo Epstein named Sporting News Executive of the Year. Well-deserved praise.
  • Ted Diadiun (Cleveland.com): Chicago Cubs fans took away the Cleveland Indians' home field advantage, and it's our fault. “The people who gave away the Indians' home field advantage were the most loyal fans there are ... the season ticket holders.”

food for thought

Thanks for reading. Smell you Thursday.