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The Cub TraX Files

I Want To Believe.

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Is this a joke?
Is this a joke?
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

-- At the end of our last episode, heroes Moldy and Scowler had been abducted by Greys and taken to St. Louis against their will, subjected to indignities such as listening to Tim McCarver, watching Cardinals games, and drinking Budweiser.

Scowler managed to escape and headed to Eureka, where she had an epiphany and continued west on Rt. 66 t get her kicks. The loaned gunmen stayed until she was due north of Tombstone, where they turned the Page and headed for Boot Hill.

Moldy succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome and fell in love with a butter cake. The gooey confection was eaten up by his desire and left the scene.

The smoking man took up vaping. Moldy claims that all of the evidence is right there before our eyes, but we refuse to see it.

We rejoin them as the truck pulls into Chandler. Baseball is right around the corner...and so are the little green men.

-- Agent Fonebone.

Squeeze:

  • Jared Wyllys (Cubs Den): The narrative vs. the numbers. Campbellian analysis of Cubs surge to prominence, i.e., hero's journey.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Cubs spring preview: more arms than jobs. The bullpen is where the fiercest competition for jobs will take place this spring. Good players may be sent to Triple-A.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB): Bullpen spots up for grabs. The Cubs weren't the first team to move starting pitchers to the bullpen full time, but they definitely had success doing so in 2015 with Travis Wood , Clayton Richard and Trevor Cahill. Besides Wood, Richard and Cahill, the list of returning relievers includes closer Hector Rondon, Justin Grimm, Neil Ramirez and Pedro Strop. Plus...John Doggett is also in the mix.

Young At Heart:

  • Rob Ogden (Chicago Sun-Times): Bill Murray wore argyle Cubs pants during golf tournament. Good article with pictures and tweets and video and ads and everything. The pic of Murray is worth seeing.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Cubs early arrivers at spring training -- pictures, video, happiness. There are already a bunch of players at Cubs camp. They have donned interesting clothing. Baseball starts soon.

The Post-Modern Prometheus

  • Obstructed View: The gospel according to Joe (or how to be a Cubs fan in the Maddon era). "It's the problem we always wanted to have, but now that it's here, the challenge of handling success has many Cubs fans and media members perplexed." Media members perplexed? Srsly?

Nothing important happened today:

  • Thomas Kohs (isportsweb): Why Addison Russell is so valuable. "With Russell at the core of the defensive lineup, the Cubs are ready to contend for years to come."
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago): Why Cubs think their rock-star young players won't believe all the hype. [Plus random VIDEO]. "...Theo Epstein name-dropped Eddie Vedder, comparing this team to the band that bursts onto the scene and blows up with an amazing first album."
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Pre-spring training outlook for Cubs' 2016 roster. Assessing the personnel on the ST squad.

Fresh Bones:

Tempus Fugit:

  • World Series Dreaming: 2016 should clear questions about the top of the 2012 draft. "...none of the top of the 2012 draft have advanced past Double-A Tennessee. Don’t read that statement as a comment on that draft being a bust."

Unusual Suspects:

  • Jared Wyllys (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): A call to arms: the next wave of prospects. Discussion of the arms on the farm as they get nearer to the Show.
  • Chicago Cubs Online: Jed Hoyer talks Cubs on 670 The Score. Hoyer joined Brian Hanley and David Haugh last Friday morning on the Mully and Hanley Show. Long article with plenty of transcription.
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): BP video: Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, Willson Contreras.

The Pine Bluff Variant:

  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): MLB.TV is back, but so are the blackouts. "...not all that glitters is gold and not all that streams is water." Yeah. I saw that. I re-upped today. Blackouts don't really apply as I seldom watch games live, but for most folks it still doesn't work right.

Closure:

Sunshine Days are coming. Baseball is almost here. Soon there will be unidentified frying objects on ballpark grills all across America. Can you guess what I was watching when I did this? Will William B. Davis wed Ann B. Davis? Trouble comes in bunches, you know.