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Cub Tracks And The Late Parrot

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Pirates pine for the fjords. Or at least a win.

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Jolly Roger, over and out.
Jolly Roger, over and out.
Justin Berl/Getty Images

Pushing up the daisies on this series... Box score.

* autoplay warning

Polly is crackers.

  • CBS Chicago: Cubs run differential through 25 games is just plain silly. Beyond silly. It's nuts. Toys in the attic, over the rainbow crazy. And fun to watch.
  • CBS Chicago: Joe Maddon on Pirates after hit-by-pitch drama: Hopefully, they'll learn from it. Baseball is theater. That stuff wouldn't play on off-off-off-Broadway. Maddon elaborates on the Spiegel and Goff show [AUDIO]
  • ESPN: Baseball Tonight Podcast: Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian discuss Bizarro World, in which Cubs am never losing and teh Yankees am bad. Also of interest on the page are interviews with Jen Lada and Anthony Rizzo. [AUDIO] [Bizarro World]
  • Lauren Comitor (Chicago Tribune): Anthony Rizzo named spokesman for BodyArmor sports drink. "All Rizzo needs now is an ice cream endorsement, and you'll never have to consume a Rizzo-unapproved product again."
  • MLB.com: Jon Lester flips glove to first (again). [VIDEO]
  • George van Benko (MLB.com): Cubs' dominant pitching sets tone for success.

Aaaaar matey.

  • Stephen Cohn (isportsweb): Be glad the Cubs kept Dexter Fowler. "Manager Joe Maddon has a well-oiled machine that’s wearing exotic suits on the team plane for trips to Pittsburgh."
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Q&A with Joe Maddon: Who makes guest list at Maddon's ultimate dinner party? Good interview. Am amused to see I'm one up on Joe -- I've met Pat Conroy. That'll likely be the only time that happens.
  • Victor Mather (NY Times): Why the Chicago Cubs won't fade this year. "While many teams that start fast in April rely on a healthy dose of luck, the Cubs amazingly have been somewhat unlucky."
  • Larry Scott: (Today's Knuckleball): Anthony Rizzo carving place among Chicago greats. "Anthony Rizzo has emerged as not only the face of the Chicago Cubs, but as one of the icons of all of Chicago sports. It’s not only that his team is currently the best is baseball, it’s that he’s leading the way on and off the field and he should be a finalist for the National League MVP when the season is said and done." I have no beef with that idea.
  • Patrick  Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Joe Maddon vents frustrations with tensions already rising in Cubs vs. Pirates. "Still smells like champagne," said one wise guy walking through the visiting clubhouse at PNC Park late Monday night.
  • Jared Wyllys (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The sustainability of Jason Hammel's early success. Sammy Hagar historically howled "Make It Last". That's what we're talking about -- second-half success.

Fear the Blackbeard.

  • Rob Arthur (FiveThirtyEight): The Cubs' start is even more dominant than it seems. We see it every game-there are small things that aren't quite right. This team can be even better. The benchmark is quickly shifting to whether they can become one of the best teams in baseball history.
  • DNAinfo: After 1st month in 1906, Cubs, Sox fans were dreaming World Series too. Charles A. Comiskey told reporters, "We are likely to have a world's championship series right here in Chicago this year," saying both teams had improved over the winter.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Jorge Soler, Ryan Kalish, and what the outfield picture looks like now. "The team with the best record in baseball can’t be in scramble mode in the first week of May, but the Cubs are almost burning through the depth they acquired this winter."
  • George van Benko (MLB.com): Cubs using caution with Jason Heyward's wrist. Heyward is nursing a sore right wrist and continues to receive treatment from the Cubs' training staff.
  • Neil (Chicago Cubs Online): Cubs reportedly will attend Tim Lincecum's showcase. Due diligence.

I'll keelhaul ye.

  • George van Benko (MLB.com): Tommy La Stella embracing role, proving valuable. "It starts with being open-minded to the idea that's it's not about me, it's about the team," La Stella said.
  • Tim Bannon (Chicago Tribune): Jake Arrieta, Mordecai 'Three-Finger' Brown, and the farming accident. "Brown's deformed hand enabled him to throw a bewildering pitch with lots of movement."
  • Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times): Day games, sun and warmth finally on their way to Wrigley Field. I have to agree with Rick, and disagree with Joe: "Two of the most beautiful words known to man: day baseball."
  • Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times): The Nationals should be a challenge for the Cubs -- should be. "We erect barriers as a challenge, and the Cubs regard them as if they were made of straw." Total bandwagon mode looks okay on Morrissey. If only he didn't sing for that awful English band...
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Javier Baez' 'spectacular' defense helps make moving parts work for Cubs. Obvious is obvious but still, true.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Javier Baez' sterling defensive game and defensive future. Includes [VIDEO]. Baez has been fairly locked in at the plate (.306/.342/.444 – 23.7% K-rate), and he’s looked  outstanding in the field.

Parrots and Cardinals are birds of a feather.

  • John Perotto (Today's Knuckleball): Cubs' torrid start inspires confidence, not cockiness. "The Chicago Cubs have seemingly transformed from lovable losers to baseball villains overnight. This is an exchange I had with a St. Louis Cardinals player on the eve of the season opener. His name has been withheld to protect the innocent:"
Player A: "Were you in Arizona during spring training?

"Me: "Yes."

Player A: "Were you in the Cubs’ camp the day they had their World Series ring ceremony?"

Scuttlebutt.

  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): The A to Z review of the Cubs' MiLB system in April. Good comprehensive overview.

  • Jeff Sullivan (Fangraphs): Jason Heyward has made some weird decisions. Heyward has been nursing a sore wrist. Could be, that’s all we need to know.

  • Michael Jiminez (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The unlikeliest of heroes. "Last year the Cubs #weregood, this year, they are on pace to be #historicallygreat and they still have a lot of room for improvement."

  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): The Cubs don't need a measuring stick to tell them they're good. "I suppose it's in our nature to yearn to be tested, evaluated and validated...we are ultimately measured by our bottom line results."

  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Cubs may have the next Eminem in their farm system. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is in your court.

Food for thought:

(** check the link  or read The Serpent and the Rainbow.)

On to the "District" for four.