The first in a series of Cub Tracks written as if someone else had done the work. I think you can figure this one out pretty easily.
Football induces nothing less than FEAR and LOATHING. I can feel the FEAR coming on even now as I see that not even ESPN Deportes has baseball on tomorrow. I may be forced to watch Downton Abbey. Cazart! Is there nothing sacred in this country? What has happened to the National Pastime?
We were just around Winslow, on the edge of the desert, when Spring Training began to take hold. Suddenly the sky was full of bats and balls and gloves, and I could smell fresh-mown grass, and damp dirt, and hear the sound of people cheering.
We sped on. My attorney and I were here on business. Serious business. We were in town to check out Savage Javy. He was supposed to have the quickest bat since the heyday of the Say Hey Kid, and was said to be so quick that he could short-sheet Cool Papa Bell's bed before he reached the light-switch...
If you must do the wave, don't pick up hitch-hikers:
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Jed Hoyer: Everyone is getting ready. In Arizona already, Hoyer and the Cubs are preparing for a highly anticipated spring training, which begins in less than two weeks.
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): Spring Training restaurant recommendations from players, staff, and media (1st edition). Get some help from some veterans.
- Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune): Winning offseason nearly complete: now Cubs have to execute on the field. "With the most anticipated Cubs season in decades on the immediate horizon, Kris Bryant and Theo Epstein spent the last week dealing with sharks."
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Kris Bryant swims with the sharks. As reported elsewhere on BCB, the third baseman had a cage match.
- Dan Cahill (Chicago Sun-Times): Jake Arrieta agrees to one-year deal with Cubs, avoids arbitration. Boras doesn't bite Theo. Everything is Jake. As reported elsewhere on BCB.
- Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Why Cubs' deal with Arrieta is good for both sides. It spares both sides a hearing, and then win+win=WIN.
The death of the American Dream:
- David Schoenfield (ESPN): Don't credit tanking for the success of the Cubs and Astros. "...some teams have expressed concern about a strategy that is drawing more and more attention among baseball operations officials." -- Buster Olney. Article builds on the obverse of that premise.
- Luis Medina (Bleacher Nation): The Cubs picked a really good year to be hyper-active in free agency. Building on an article by FanGraphs’ Craig Edwards.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Quantifying hope: A comprehensive breakdown of the Cubs' schedule, including splits, streaks, and strength of opponents. Not Foggy Mountain, but statistical analysis.
- Nicholas D. Blazek (Cubbies Crib): Suggestion of tanking is a bit ridiculous. Baseball put the system in place, and now they might not like that it’s working? Bad craziness.
- Chicago Cubs Online: Cubs system ranked no. 20 in Baseball America's prospect handbook. The best system in the game prior to last season dropped to 20th after graduating four players to the major leagues.
- Rice Cube (World Series Dreaming): The Cubs' payroll numbers, I think. Money money money.
Tanned, rested, and ready:
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Will the Cubs youngsters handle added heat? "Cubs executives don't sound worried."
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Jake Arrieta takes to Twitter to interact with fans. "NL CY Young Award winner shows off beard, expresses desire to win Silver Slugger."
- David Laurila (Fangraphs): David Ross: Future big-league manager. "According to several of his peers, he’ll be a worthy candidate."
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): David Ross gets a ton of love from other players about his future. "Ross really could be an excellent coach or manager."
- David N. Wilson (Baseball Essential): The inestimable value of David Ross to the Cubs. He’s smart, he’s experienced, and he sees the bigger picture in a game better than most who have settled in behind the plate. And people like him. They really like him.
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): Ben Zobrist a perfect fit for the Cubs. "The Shredder" and his cronies rated Zobrist high. The Cubs rate him higher.
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Clayton Richard's versatility should provide the Cubs value and options in 2016. The Cubs have four super utility pitchers. Richard is one of them.
- Henry Druschel (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Kyle Schwarber, catcher. "...I like thinking about Schwarber’s defense." Hmm. I don't. But okay.
Food for thought:
- Pill measures gut gas. It has its uses. But "the preliminary design — about as long as a Brazil nut — may still be a hard pill to swallow."
- Asteroid mining may be space's new frontier: The problem is doing it legally. Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, "is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty."
- Astronauts crave spicy food in space -- here's why. "Your sense of taste is a little compromised because you're a little stuffed up," Astronaut Mike Massimino said.
Did you hear the one about the sidewinder reliever whose arm grew so crooked that he had to screw his uniform on? I didn't think so.
See you in Vegas --- a man on the move.