20 explosive hits! 20 original stars! All singing, all-dancing. Pathos! Artemis! D'artagnan! D'oh!
(*denotes autoplay video/audio/ads)
I've taken the liberty of providing the soundtrack for this edition of Cub Tracks. You may of course choose to listen or not. I grew up on K-Tel albums, and played in a cover band for many years. My band covered these and many other tunes during our career as the opening band for the opening band. All tracks are instrumentals.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Ian Happ wishes he could share big-league moments with dad. Happ's father passed way last year.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): John Lackey calls age a "non-issue." He's in the best shape of his life (tm). He almost says it : "I feel probably better now than I did when I was 30."
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Rebuilt arm and more pitches have John Lackey feeling better. "I feel better now than when I was 30, to be honest with you," Lackey said.
- William Boor (MLB.com): Cubs, Rangers to play annual Futures Game Wednesday. After the regular game, the second of of the unique doubleheader starts. No word on whether Roy Nabryt will play in the second contest as well as the first.
- Gemma Kaneko (CutFour): A catcher on a youth team didn't have a glove..so Kyle Schwarber gave him his. But wait, there's more: ...after the game was over, Schwarber brought Alvarado back into the clubhouse, where he gave him one of his very own, unused catcher's mitts. Then Schwarber grabbed a couple arms full of gear and brought it back to the practice field. One kid got a pair of shoes. Another got a bat. Another batting gloves...
- Hidden Wrigley Field: Photos of the ballpark before renovations.
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Taylor Davis makes favorable impression in Cubs camp. Joe Maddon: "This guy knows how to play."
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Jake Arrieta goes about his business as teams work to solve him. Arrieta said that he might break out his eephus pitch. All of his pitches are put-away pitches.
- Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Don't sell Javier Baez short in center field -- or anywhere else. "I have no concern with him on defense at all, at any position," added Maddon, who has started Baez at first base, second, shortstop and center field this spring. "He’s just a good baseball player."
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Why Cubs bet $155 million on Jon Lester's left elbow. "I think my track record speaks for itself. And I haven’t missed any time for any elbow problems. Knock on wood," Lester said.
- Joe Posnanski (NBC Sports): This could be the year the Cubs go all the way. "We came out of the dugout for opening day," Cubs pitcher Moe Drabowsky remembered, and this was way back in the 1950s. "And we saw a fan holding a sign: ‘Wait ‘Til Next Year.'" Nobody's doing that now.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Cubs getting Hector Rondon ready for closing time. "Right now, I feel good and I’m really happy with the situation I’m in," said Rondon.
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Hector Rondon's spring results have been up and down, but still all appears well. There are simply too many nuances and variables to each pitcher’s Spring Training plan to pass judgment on any one individual performance.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Joe Maddon not concerned yet about spring bullpen meltdowns. "Can’t say it enough don’t be deceived by spring training performance," he reiterated. "Good guys going bad or bad guys going good. You get it both ways," he said.
- ESPN: Anthony Rizzo relaxed heading into camp. [VIDEO]
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Jason McLeod Q&A: Dylan Cease is a "lottery ticket". McLeod sat down over the weekend to discuss some of the next wave of players.
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): Pierce Johnson, Dylan Cease, and the unexpected race for the last bullpen spot. Spencer Patton, Manny Parra raise their hands.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Cubs figure to improve on 2015's NL-best baserunning. Sure. Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist are improvements on Chris Coghlan, Starlin Castro. Cogs wasn't bad, but Castro was.
- Luke Norris (Sports Mockery): Awesome new Cubs ad campaign features players when they were kids. Little Anthony is imperial.
- Luke Norris (Sports Mockery): Miguel Montero knows Willson Contreras is coming for his job, only wants to help him.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Jake Arrieta effect could help next generation of Cubs pitchers.The Cubs have to account for Arrieta’s intangibles.
- Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): How Jake Arrieta might go about grooming his own replacement in Cubs rotation. (Italics mine-delivered without a trace of irony.) Pierce Johnson is clean-shaven. Duane Underwood sometimes has a small shrubbery. The sartorial editorial.
- Luke Norris (Sports Mockery): The Chicago Cubs have the best dress code in sports. I bought that shirt at WalMart last night.
Food for thought:
- Alexandra Ossola (Popular Science): There's not much evidence that standing desks benefit your health. Sit down and be counted.
- John M. Blodgett (Washington Post): How to find a flying squirrel. Citizen scientists are enlisted. I'd ask Boris and Natasha.
- Robert Service (Science): Researchers take small step toward silicon-based life. Researchers reported that they have evolved a bacterial enzyme that incorporates silicon into simple hydrocarbons.
- Barbara Keiser (Nature): Versed in Science. "...science and poetry are not-so-strange bedfellows..." See above for clues.