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Cub Tracks Makes Blue Eyes Brown

Chapman blabbin’, a lifetime of tears, petrified lightning, and other bullets

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It’s all in how you look at it.
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Following up on the last column’s Powerball results, The Cubs and Shirley Jackson still win, Dexter Fowler is still a St. Louis Cardinal, and Diamond Jim Brady has fallen upon his sword in a pale imitation of Ryan Dempster imitating Harry Caray. Apparently something was lost in translation.

It was Peter O’Toole playing Alan Swann who noted that “dying is easy; comedy is hard”, and I’m here to tell you that he was telling the truth, cuz we’re eighty words in and I’m already dying over here. Maybe I should learn to juggle, or do weird things with my cigarette if I had a cigarette. Maybe I should just stick to the news...

wait for it...

wait for it...


I’m guessing David Ross’ wife determined that she really needed him to get out more, and we’re seeing the results. I’m hoping that Jason Heyward is having a swingin’ time in Scottsdale. I’m thinking that the Cubs won the World Series not long ago, and I’m torn between longing for spring training to start and wanting to stay in the pocket. The latter option is positively fraught with problems, though. There’s no baseball, it’s cold, reruns suck, just for starters. Let’s not even get into Jake Arrieta’s tattoo, or speculate on David Ross’ role in the front office...or his cover-boy turn. That’s yesterday’s news...

I asked Santa for spring training tickets. What did you ask for? Is your tree up yet? Mine isn’t. I dunno if I’m going to put it up. It’d be in front of a ‘W’ flag. It doesn’t snow here, so Christmas spirit is hard to come by. It should be bottled. Like different proofs. 80 proof spirits, 100 proof elvish esprit de corps, 151 donder und blitzen, like that.

Cubbie Kool-Aid should come like that too. Maybe that would solve the winter-gap issue. Just do shots of Cubbie Blue every day. Mainline it. Cubbie Blue we’re talkin’ some serious medicine.

Enjoy the reads. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1952 - In a shake-up of the Cleveland Indians, Hank Greenberg stays on as general manager, while Ellis W. Ryan resigns as president after losing a showdown.
  • 1956 - Former Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto signs as a Yankee radio-TV announcer.
  • 1973 - The Yankees announce the signing of Dick Williams as manager, precipitating a legal showdown with Charlie Finley. Two days later, AL president Joe Cronin rules that the Yankees cannot sign Williams.
  • 1990 - The NL announces the six finalist cities for the two expansion clubs that will join the league in Buffalo, Denver, Miami, Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, and Washington, D.C.

Out of left field:

  • Satchel Price (Second City Hockey): Scott Darling is trolling St. Louis with a Cubs-themed goalie mask for the Winter Classic. The Lemont native and lifetime Cubs fan has a wicked sense of humor. Mike Axisa has the story, too.
  • Jimmy Hascup (USA Today): Joe Maddon defends his use of Aroldis Chapman in run to World Series. I thought we were done with this one. It grew legs. Maddon says he needs no excuse, chimes in Phil Rogers. But wait, there’s more...
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN*): Chapman, Maddon almost became MLB's biggest goats. "Personally, I don't agree with the way he used me, but he is the manager and he has the strategy,” began Chapman.
  • Delia Enriquez (Bronx Baseball Daily): Aroldis Chapman disagreed with way Joe Maddon used him. Well, sure, of course he did. But everyone knew that Maddon was gonna do that when the Cubs got him.
  • Darrell Horwitz (The Sports Post): A lifetime of tears as a Cubs fan. The personal testimonials are growing, too.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Cubs' offseason has been about smart moves, not big ones. “The Cubs are left with contractual commitments to just four players beyond 2017, including just one pitcher, Jon Lester.”
  • Dayn Perry (CBS Sports): Cubs among the record six teams that are reportedly sent luxury tax bills by MLB. 75 bucks, every time you land there. MLB has a monopoly.
  • Lindsay Berra ( Joe Maddon's Integration Project unites community. “It's not a proper party until Bill Murray shows up.”
  • Carrie Muskat ( Reflecting on title, Anthony Rizzo hungry for another. "I think everyone will come in hungry because we're at the top and we want to keep being successful and keep winning," Rizzo said. "For me, I'm more motivated now."
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Player profile: Matt Szczur. “ seems unlikely Szczur will be able to match his 200 plate appearances from last year.”
  • Neil (Chicago Cubs Online): Tyson Ross visited with the Cubs this week. According to Bruce Levine, who reported it on his radio show.
  • Alan Blondin (Myrtle Beach Online): Myrtle Beach Pelicans coaching staff will have some new, some old in 2017. “Buddy Bailey will have an opportunity to lead the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to their third consecutive Carolina League title.”

Food for thought:

  • Sid Perkins (Science): Earth’s rarest diamonds formed in pockets of liquid metal. Low nitrogen content makes them very clear.
  • Tia Ghose (Live Science): Zap! 'Petrified Lightning' could reveal the shocking heat of the strikes. Studying ‘fulgurite’ can reveal what we don’t know about the phenomenon.
  • Daniela Sternitzky, Di Napoli (Houston Chronicle): Science just proved that literally everyone has brown eyes. “Eye colors like blue, green, hazel, etc. are what people might call an optical illusion...”