Ah, the things Cub Tracks could do, if I only had a brain, Ray Bolger. But instead of art, we do snark here, or satire satirizing the satire, which is just so next-level meta that it appeals to me. Or work work, Jackie Gleason. Or maybe, now that I’ve done this column for more than a year now, the honeymoon is over. Hard to tell since these things never really go anywhere...
At any rate, it’s Tuesday and a brand-new baseball day, and we have yesterday’s news, cuz there ain’t a heck of a lot of today’s...
- 1922 - Alarmed at the increase in home runs (1,054 in the major leagues, up from 936), some AL owners back a zoning system setting a minimum of 300 feet for a ball to be called a home run. The motion dies.
- 1930 - The 15-year career of George Sisler ends when the Boston Braves release him. A lifetime .340 hitter who twice led the AL with averages above .400, Sisler will be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
- 1956 - The Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to the Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield and $35,000. Robinson retires rather than accept the trade.
- 1974 - Catfish Hunter wins his claim against Oakland owner Charles Finley and is declared a free agent by arbitrator Peter Seitz. He will sign with the Yankees.
- 1996 - Free agent Roger Clemens seems poised to either re-sign with the Red Sox or go to the Yankees, but shocks everyone by signing with the AL East rival Toronto instead.
Well, that was fun. In today’s news, we have player profiles and lead-off hitter conjecture, and more baseball dreams than you could swing a stick at. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).
- David Cihla (PR News Channel): Original SCHWARB-O-METER to be donated to Chicago History Museum. It’s the same size as the SHAWON-O-METER.
- Todd Johnson (Cubs Central): The Schwarber sufficiency. Ideally, he catches a little, knee willing. But his bat is sufficient.
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): On Kyle Schwarber as a leadoff hitter, Jed Hoyer “loves that idea”. It’s about “getting your best hitters the most opportunities to hit.”
- Sean Sears (Sports Mockery): Here’s why Jason Heyward should bat lead-off for Chicago in 2017. His career numbers favor that prospect.
- Isaac Bennett (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Player profile: Anthony Rizzo. He has been consistent and good for a while now.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Rizzo honored in hometown before annual 5K. "Anthony Rizzo is a hometown hero with a big heart," local chairman Michael Udine said. "Through his event, he's raised more than $2.5 million for cancer research and to assist families and children battling cancer in Broward County."
- Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Cubs Organizational Breakdown, Pt 2: First base is often second or third. “...the Cubs have been notorious for not drafting first basemen.”
- Tim Stebbins (Cubbies Crib): Will Tommy La Stella or Matt Szczur make the Opening Day roster? Only one of them plays infield.
- Andrew Marchand (ESPN): Aroldis Chapman's remarkable year rocked baseball. “...the Yankees will enter 2017 with Chapman back.”
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Cubs talking to Tigers about Justin Wilson trade? Might not be done yet. We’ll see.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): If you’re still dreaming about Chris Archer, you might want to wake up. “...the Rays want more for Archer than what the White Sox got for Chris Sale.”
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Getting to know new Cubs lefty Brian Duensing. “...it’s fair to plan on Duensing being in the pen for 2017 as the Cubs’ primary LOOGY.”
- Zack Moser (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Player profile: Pedro Strop. Full recovery from his knee injury is the key.
- Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Bill Murray tries to convert President Obama into a Cubs fan in funny ad.
- Chicago Tribune: Cubs ticket packages on sale Wednesday. “...eight-game and 14-game ticket packages.” Single-game tickets in February.
Food for thought:
- Laura Geggel (Live Science): Ancient marsupial relative may have eaten little dinosaurs. The footprints in the sands of time keep going backward.
- Michael Price (Science): Why monkeys can’t talk — and what it would sound like if they could. They lack control of their vocal tract muscles.
- Rachel Cernansky (Civil Eats): Food is a terrible thing to waste, and your mind might be at fault. Waist is a terrible thing to mind — Terry Forster.
Thanks for reading. See you Thursday.