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Cub Tracks Is A Desserter

Hoyer speaks about reliever-centricity, Shirley you’re joking, and other bullets

Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago Cubs
baby cakes
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Saturday was Ben Zobrist Day. I didn’t know. Did you?

Sunday, we went to Bargain Town (who remembers that store?), and took the fifth. Cub Tracks opined on the matters of Collective Bargaining and the Baseball Hall of Fame and possible penalties for the St. Louis Criminals, and appears to have begun a periodic discussion of higher elements. Niels wasn’t always Bohring, Mr. Feynman.

Allan Sherman approves of conversational fodder, Tom Lehrer. He is, however, at the wrong table. The picnic table is not where the elements are kept. Let’s get metaphysical, Mr. Schrodinger, but let’s not let the cat out of the bag just yet.

This World Champion stuff is a picnic, but we’re getting closer and closer to the Cubs having to start playing again, to defend the title. And without Dexter Fowler and David Ross and Travis Wood and Aroldis Chapman, to name a few notable names. It takes a lot of guts to play baseball, Jack Davis.

It is to this end that the Winter Meetings are being held. 29 teams are trying to unseat our beloved Cubbies, and they are trying to stay atop the pile. I dunno about you, but I don’t want to stop feeling this way. I like this victorious stuff. I like the big ‘W’ on my back wall, next to the kitchen (it makes the food taste better), and the feeling that the Cubs are liable to do it again. The doing it again journey can’t start soon enough, but I want to keep feeling this way, Steve Perry. Yeah, I went there. So did Mark Melancon, Aldo Soto.

It’s hard to watch the Cubs not pick up ALL THE FREE AGENTS and just bludgeon the rest of the league, and to watch beloved figures walk away, endangering the precious team chemistry. I waited more than 50 years to feel like this. It’s not lasting long enough, the euphoria. I need another fix. The WBC is fine, good ball, great players, fills the hole a little. I used to watch the Caribbean League on Telemundo in the winter-time. Same thing.

But they’re nothing like the real thing, Tom Stoppard. This is just the appetizer. February 25 can’t come soon enough. April the 2nd can’t come soon enough, Stan Lee. I need marvels right now.

The aroma from the Hot Stove is sooo tantalizing. I can’t wait to see what the Cubs order as accoutrements to the main dish. But mostly I want to see Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez get about 500 at-bats each, and I want to see Kris Bryant and Kyle Hendricks do their stuff, and John Lackey bite through the bit again. I want to marvel at the derring-do of Jason Heyward, and to gawk open-mouthed at Javy’s latest feat of wizardry, and to gasp at the grace and range of Addison Russell and the sheer will of Anthony Rizzo and all the rest of the things that come with the 2017 Chicago Cubs...

Because the rest of the world may be going to hell in a picnic basket, Ranger Rick, and there may be ants on the blanket and bees in our bonnets, but I used to be a Cub fan. I still am, but I used to be, too, Mitch Hedberg.

And I (like you) can always remember that, once, at least once, THE CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES. And that takes the cake, and eats it, too. With French vanilla ice cream and a cherry on top.

That was a just dessert, doncha think?

Below are a few cheesy comestibles and tournedos Manfredi for your consumption. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).


  • Eric Stephen (MLB Trade Rumors): 2016-2017 MLB free agent tracker. All the FA, all the time.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Jed Hoyer on the Winter Meetings [VIDEO].
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Cubs still 'exploring' White House visit with President Obama. “...logistics may prevent it from happening...”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Moises Alou endorses Cubs' hopes to honor Steve Bartman. So this is still a thing.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs enter meetings with work left to do. Adding to the nucleus.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Could Tyson Ross be part of Cubs' winter meetings plan? Not as delicious as the Chris Archer rumors, Jerry Crasnick, but still pretty tasty, Michael Cerami.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Royals closer Wade Davis among possibilities as Cubs seek bullpen help. “It's safe to say we're kicking the tires on any pitching that's available," Jed Hoyer said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs looking to bolster back end of bullpen. How euphonious. Very pleasant. "I think the postseason was reliever-centric," Hoyer said.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Cubs continue offseason under the radar looking for pitching depth. “We’ll bolster our bullpen,” Hoyer stated.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Kenley Jansen? Wade Davis? Cubs keeping an open mind for the ninth inning. Jed Hoyer opined. “In order to get those really difficult final outs in the postseason, having an elite guy is certainly a huge advantage.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs cast wide net for pitching but don’t expect to land big one. “I don’t think we’re the Chicago team that’s going to be making headlines,” Jed said.
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): Rangers have interest in Jorge Soler, plus notes on Schwarber, Chapman, Davis and more. “The problem in dealing Soler is that while everyone is aware of his tremendous ceiling as a power hitter, he has yet to prove it on the field for a full season.”
  • Mark Gonzales and Colleen Kane (Chicago Tribune): Cubs rule out winter ball for Kyle Schwarber, unsure about catching. “We have to decide how much of the catching drills we do,” said Hoyer.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): The next steps for Kyle Schwarber. “We have to talk through all that stuff,” Hoyer said.
  • Nate Greabe (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Player profile: Willson Contreras. “Here is the prospect that nobody saw coming...”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Cubs reportedly interested in closer Wade Davis, Jorge Soler could be “name to watch” (UPDATE: Cubs Serious). Market-building? Real deal? I dunno. Worth looking at, Brett Taylor.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Jed Hoyer envisions Joe Maddon-Miguel Montero peace summit. I doubt that either thinks it’s very important, or they’d have done it already.
  • Jon Heyman (FanRag Sports): Blue Jays keeping eye on outfield market. Dexter Fowler doesn’t seem to be interested in 4/60.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Report: Shohei Otani to be posted next offseason after all. All this and food metaphor too. “...this is like a chef throwing a little garlic in the pan to get tongues wagging in the dining room.”
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago): Availability of Javier Baez will be investigated by teams with quality young pitching. Might depend on who. Chris Archer and who?

Food for thought:

  • Sara Scoles (Wired): How one composer turns science into serious drama. “Multisensory technology is really changing how we work in music,” said Darren Fung.
  • Science Alert: Scientists have figured out why human skin doesn’t leak. Tetrakaidecahedrons.
  • Michael Price (Science): Your mind works more like Sherlock Holmes’s than you think. “...whether different people encode the same memory in the same way has been a topic of debate.”

Alimentary, my dear Watson. School’s out. See you Thursday. Thanks for reading.