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Cub Tracks Is Two-Thirds Smoked

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Looking for the missing links in Washington, D.C., and other Cubs news.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

If a "Southern Meatloaf" is chicken-fried steak, then a "DC Meatloaf" must be a Half-Smoke with chili. Cubs earn one Chicago-style then. Wrap it to go, and we'll leave the Dusty trail for some home cooking.

Hat tip to ESPN's Eddie Matz:

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Rumors abound.

  • Phil Rogers (MLB.com): Cubs eyeing Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller. New wrinkle in the old saw. "How about this?" Phil writes. "Both Miller and Chapman, in the same deal." Doesn't really give valid trade options though.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Why Jon Lester lobbied for Jonathon Papelbon and believes the Cubs will be trade-deadline winners. Last summer, Theo Epstein asked Lester about Papelbon."There’s definitely no disconnect between players and the front office, " Lester said, in part.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): If Cubs think big at trade deadline, Anthony Rizzo is cool with Aroldis Chapman. "Rizzo knows Theo Epstein as well as any other player in the clubhouse, how the president of baseball operations won’t hesitate to make a bold, aggressive move."
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Remember that time Aroldis Chapman set off Anthony Rizzo? There's no bad blood. It was the day Anthony Rizzo took ownership of the Cubs’ clubhouse. Rizzo thinks highly of Chapman’s play on the field.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): A little food for thought as Cubs trade rumors fly. "...the Cubs aren’t in win-or-else mode...(they) aren’t going to mortgage the future for the sake of the present."
  • George King III (New York Post): MLB's best already scavenging Yankees for bullpen's monsters. "Scout Jason Parks was at Yankee Stadium, and according to industry sources, he was looking at the trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman." Yay industry sources.
  • Marc Normandin (SBNation): The Cubs want Aroldis Chapman (and maybe Andrew Miller, too). "Chapman might be a goblin, but baseball teams like winning regardless of who helps them do it."
  • Steven Cohn (isportsweb): Chicago Cubs trade rumors: Matt Kemp edition. Umm, no.

Vote early and often.

  • Phil Rogers (MLB.com): Five Cubs players lead position voting for 2016 All-Star Game. Only once in history has a team's entire infield started the All-Star Game -- of course, it was the Cardinals, in 1963.
  • Mark Newman (MLB.com): National League All-Star voting update. The Cubs are front-runners in ASG polls, with four Cubs vying to be the league's overall balloting leader.
  • Ben Cosman (Cut Four): On Flag Day, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant sang the National Anthem during an interview. Intentional Talk, it was. The rest of the interview was pretty cool too.[VIDEO]

School of ghoti.

  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): New school of thought benefits Albert Almora, Jr. "He's already established himself as a good teammate. This kid is going to be playing in the big leagues for a long time, " said Joe Maddon.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Oh: Cubs will reportedly stretch Brian Matusz back out as a starter. Just for starters? Building on articles by Rich Kubatko (MASN) and Mark Gonzalez (Chicago Tribune). Jake Arrieta had a few words to say on the subject.
  • ESPN: The Chicago Cubs' chase: In pursuit of history. All of the details. Dig in.
  • Bill Savage (ESPN): The view from section 461: Can we just call it New Wrigley Field? "...the JumboTron seems like it's always been there."
  • Dave Clark (Cincinnati.com): Pete Rose: Cubs will find a way to screw it up. Vote him into the the Hall of Lame.
  • Nunzio Ingrassia (Fox Sports): Jon Lester says that pitching around Bryce Harper isn't 'wussing out'. "That's just being smart and understanding the game and trying to make the next guy prove that he can do it."

Players' Club.

  • ESPN: Inside Heat*: Jesse Rogers and Buster Olney talk about the playoff atmosphere of the Nationals series, The Cubs' deadline plans, Kyle Schwarber, and more. [AUDIO]
  • ESPN*: Anthony Rizzo talks to David Kaplan and Nick Friedell.[AUDIO]
  • Steve DelVecchio (Larry Brown Sports): Joe Maddon could appear in an episode of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. Jeff Garlin, who co-stars and produces Curb with David, is a huge Cubs fan.
  • Leigh Coridan (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Indomitable Kyle Schwarber making the most of it. However the plan for him evolves, Schwarber will be ready and willing to attack it.
  • August Fagerstrom (Fangraphs): Another thing at which the Cubs are best. "The thing is this:Lowest team BABIP allowed." It's a good thing to be best at.
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Here's why the Cubs have turned into the most hated team in baseball. Success breeds hate. Bring it on.
  • Scott Allen (Washington Post): D.C.'s invite-only Chicago Cubs fan club: Part nostalgia trip, part ‘lobbying gimmick’. "The Emil Verban Memorial Society, which has counted presidents and Supreme Court justices among its members, was founded in 1975 by Bruce Ladd, a reporter-turned-lobbyist from Chicago." And that's as close as we're gonna get to politics here.
  • Nathan Lurz (mySuburbanLife.com): 'Ernie and Me': Longtime DuPage County resident reflects on Chicago Cubs fandom in new memoir. Timm Boyle (former Downers Grove Reporter editor) traces his fandom with the Chicago Cubs beginning with his childhood to the present day.
  • Lolly Bowean (Chicago Tribune): Ernie Banks' caretaker given tentative ok to sell some of legend's assets. Judge James Riley instructed that Banks' estranged wife, Elizabeth, first be provided a list of the inventory and the sales plan.

Unhappy birthday:

Food for thought:

I'll need at least one off-day to grow my fingernails back. Tough series.