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Cub Tracks' Brunch Of Champions

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"In nonsense is strength"

I liked him better when he was a Mike.
I liked him better when he was a Mike.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut: "Ideas on Earth are badges of friendship or enmity. Their content does not matter. Friends agree with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagree with enemies, in order to express enmity." I don't necessarily agree with this, but it's a fine quote to lead off with.

In our previous edition, we shared items about All-Star Game voting, the Cubs' "prospects for the future", the state of the Cubs' organization, and the Wrigley Field Plaza before segueing into silliness about hangovers, giant hogweeds, and weed.

We don't have anything about the return of the giant hogweed today. What we do have are things about baseball, and beer, and barbecue, and a heap of dimestore philosophizing. Game three of this four-game series has concluded, with the Marlins prevailing. What this all means is debatable. It's clear that the Marlins are far from hapless, and that not all of the Cubs' farmhands are ready for prime time just yet. Injured players will start filtering back soon, and we'll see how that all shakes out.

There's a fourth game against the Fish today. Here are some facts and near-facts for your possible edification and infotainment purposes. Apologies for any faulty wiring or bad chemicals. This article is not sponsored by Pontiac. We must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos. That is why I had chocolate cake and a martini for brunch. Even better than beer in your Wheaties.

Onward.

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Kilgore Trout fishing.

  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Clayton Richard has struggled, but has he been unlucky, too? "...maybe the eye test has failed us a little with Richard." Or not.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Cubs can get quality reinforcements in trade without giving up top youngsters. Dan Vogelbach is prominently mentioned in this recap of a Jon Heyman article.
  • Jon Heyman (Today's Knuckleball): Cubs not interested in trading top prospects. Heyman says that Gleyber Torres may not be off the table.
  • Michael Marcanonini (The Sports Quotient): The Cubs should trade Kyle Schwarber. "Players currently deemed untouchable might not be in a month, and that’s when the fun begins." Yabbut DL. And the alt-title "could" would work better.
  • Andy (World Series Dreaming): Could Cubs be better off moving Jason Hammel to the bullpen? After all, Oakland did it, and it didn't work. Plus trade discussion.
  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): 'Froggy' Hands: Maybe cut down Cubs rotation workload in second half? Maybe. They've been doing that themselves recently. Bill Hands knows what he's talking about, though

Looks like Gary Cooper.

  • Cat Garcia (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Emerging from the shadows, Gerardo Concepcion shines. If Concepcion can continue to harness his control he can be a valuable LOOGY or another solid left-handed bullpen option.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Ben Zobrist day-to-day with ankle injury after HBP. "They said it's just a bruise, and I'm day to day," Zobrist said. Not that the Marlins are Pittsburgh south or anything, but the Cubs have been hit quite a bit in this series.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Joe Maddon on Willson Contreras effect: It's like oxygen. "Contreras has been so beneficial to the manager that he’s become a metaphor for breathing." Triple-A may have seen the last of him.
  • Rice Cube (Cubbies Crib): The Cubs' Bert Campaneris, revisited. Positional versatility as a meme.

It takes all kinds.

  • Paul Hagen (MLB.com): 'Last Cubs Dynasty' revisits 1907-08 champs. Among other things. Review of recent book.
  • Isaac Bennett (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Calling for help from our old friend Chris Coghlan. The numbers make it look like Coghlan's wires were crossed in Oakland.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Three years later, Tony Campana trade will soon bear fruit. Erik Leal and Jesus Castillo are getting closer to the Show.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Chris Coghlan understands his role with Cubs. "I'm excited for this opportunity, however big or small it may be," he said.
  • Fox Sports: He's 41 and coming off his second Tommy John, but Joe Nathan is not ready to retireNathan is pursuing the biggest item missing from his résumé.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Justin Grimm's role changes amid struggles as Cubs try to fix leaky pen. "I’ll probably give him a little breathing room right now and just try to get him back at the right time," Joe Maddon said.
  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): Baseball Under Glass: Eerie replay of 1977 glittering record by 2016 Cubs. "After what the paying customers have endured, they are owed, with compound interest, a collapse-free season.

Food for thought:

And so it goes. Remember that  it is natural for people to pitch abominably, and with abominable results. Read about it here.