After further review, the jury is still out. Dexter Fowler is still hot. John Lackey looked good. Fly the W for the blue.
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- Craig Edwards (Viva El Birdos): The Cardinals should destroy the Cubs. I laughed.
- Tyler Smith (Cubs Insider): Get ready to hear more about 1908 and Jason Heyward's batting average. "Bringing up the past is often an indicator of feeling threatened about the present and future."
- Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Best nicknames in the last 25 years of Cubs baseball. Sort of. Some of the better ones I've heard are not here.
- Tim Baffoe (CBS Chicago): Cubs-Cardinals about much more than bragging rights now. The chase for the title begins in earnest, in St. Louis.
- David Schoenfield (ESPN*): Cubs-Cardinals rivalry could hit peak status in 2016. A look at the rivalry as it stands and over the years, with a side of other baseball rivalries.
- Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times): Joe Maddon brings the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry to another level. "The Cardinals are as old school as Oxford. The Cubs feel like a hot start-up run by guys with big ideas and big beards..."
- Toni Ginnetti (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs-Cardinals rivalry taking on a whole new tone. Anything that happened before last fall doesn’t matter.
- Matthew Van Tryon (The Sporting News): Jason Heyward: Cubs 'have a lot to do' to catch up to Cardinals. "They've got World Series championships. They've got division titles. We want to be established as a group in Chicago."
- Josh Planos (Washington Post): Cubs are winning by being patient at the plate. Walks are offense, too.
- ESPN: MLB week two power rankings. The Cubs are #1.
- Austan Kas (Number Fire): The Chicago Cubs have been historically good so far in 2016. "If this was a video game, they’d need to bump up the artificial intelligence to stay interested."
- Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Let's talk about the Cubs' various low averages, and why I'm not concerned. "...batting average is not a terribly useful statistic...but hits are still critically important."
- Cody Stavenhagen (MLB.com): Javier Baez off to fast start since rejoining Cubs. "He definitely belongs here," Joe Maddon said. "He knows he belongs here. We just have to get him out there with the appropriate number of reps so he maintains all his skills."
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Jon Lester has a sense of humor about latest throw. On Monday, he took to Twitter to acknowledge it.
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Joe Maddon: Kyle Schwarber to have surgery this week. Maddon declined to disclose details.
- David Just (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs notes: Joe Maddon will start Javier Baez 2-3 times a week.
"He’s got a high-maintenance swing, and he’s young," Maddon said. "So he needs to continue to play and get at-bats."
A lot of pluck.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Perverse entertainment aside, Jon Lester's yips mostly just scare me. "...they’re real and they’re not very spectacular."
- Cody Stavenhagen (MLB.com): Ben Zobrist reflects on wild season with Steve Foster. Not with a banjo on his knee, but with a fungo bat. Foster is the Rockies hitting coach. Zobrist played for him one summer.
- Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Prospect profile: Dan Vogelbach removing all doubt. "Sometimes I see Twitter trades posted by Cub fans and they always start with Vogelbach as a main piece."
- Justin Breen (DNAinfo): Meet Christopher Kamka, Chicago's ultimate sports stats guru. His poncho is a tarp.
- Chuck Wasserstrom (MLB Trade Rumors): Jed Hoyer discusses Wesleyan University. Hoyer was an athlete, pitcher and pitching coach at the school.
- John Harper (NY Daily News): Approach of Theo Epstein's Cubs a lot like that of his mid-2000s Red Sox. "It’s like watching the Red Sox all over again," a veteran scout said on Friday. "Obviously it’s no coincidence."
Food for thought:
- Tina Haesman Saey (Science): Will we know extraterrestrial life when we see it? Chances are, the first aliens that humans encounter won’t be little green men. Ack ack, ack ack ack!
- Elizabeth Bernstein (The Wall Street Journal): The science of making friends. People with solid friendships live healthier, longer lives.
- George Dvorsky (Gizmodo): The most effective way to wash your hands. Keeping our hands clean is the best way to prevent the spread of infections.
Plenty of red ahead. Two more with St. Louis, four with Cincinnati.