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Cub Tracks Flies North

"He who feathers nest, feathers best." -- Woodsy Owl.

Rich Pilling/Getty Images

I'm tickled to bring you news of the spring. This is because I'm a bird-brain. If I fly overhead, you'll probably need an umbrella. And a scraper. Because I'm full of it.

Catching worms:

  • Joe Morgan (Cubs Prospect Watch): The Chicago Cubs catching conundrum. Alliteration is back in a big way. "The Chicago Cubs have four legitimate catching options heading into the 2016 season..." Do tell.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): The downside of winning: not all aspects of Cubs baseball get better with success. "With last season’s success, however, the Cubs have moved from art-house indie flick to full-blown summer blockbuster."
  • John Baker (MLB Trade Rumors): Spring Training Eve. "For many players, report day is like Christmas in February. For others, Spring Training can be a source of great anxiety."
  • Rob Ogden (Chicago Sun-Times): The Yankees just threw some major shade at the Cubs on Twitter. Oh noes!!!! Not teh Twitterz!!! We can haz the high road?
  • Ryan Blake (Baseball Essential): Is a Kris Bryant sophomore slump looming? I say thee nay, nay-sayer. Ni! Ni! Ni! The legend of the blue-eyed phenom is only beginning. Don't let that rumor develop wings.

Fishing for answers:

  • Thomas Kohs (isportsweb): Why Kyle Hendricks is important. "The key to the Cubs pitching staff next season could very well be Kyle Hendricks."
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago): Cubs had to think big to keep up with the National League elite. "The dynamics of the National League this year will mean that it will take a lot of wins to make the playoffs," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "We know that."  [annoying random video]
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago): Long-term deal still makes sense for Jake Arrieta, Cubs. Greinke was 32 after his walk year. You do the math.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Jake Arrieta preparing for heavy workload, but Cubs would be fine with less. "Sometimes more isn't better," recalled Jim Schlossnagle, Arrieta's coach at TCU.
  • Kyle Thele (Chicago Sun-Times): Don't worry, Cubs fans, John Baker isn't going to beat up Jake Arrieta. As if. No jujitsu to see here. Keep on moving.
  • Kazuto Yamazaki (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus):  Hello again, old ginger friend: What might Matt Murton be for the Cubs? Thoughts about Murton's possible role.

Birds of a feather:

Preening:

Food for thought:

  • Experience Science: Count birds from your backyard. Bird-watchers worldwide will flock to parks and backyards this Presidents’ Day weekend to record the winter whereabouts of millions of birds.
  • Don't blame winter for that bleak mood. Winter doesn’t deserve its dour reputation as the season of depression, scientists say. It isn't winter. It's lack of baseball.
  • Do animals feel empathy? It isn't that animals are like us. We are like animals. This is because we are animals.

"Remember, you can catch more flies with sh*t than you can with honey." -- Heckle and Jeckle.