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Cub Tracks Throws Changeup

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Introducing random changes to appease the baseball gods.

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Different format today. Sunday we had the "Brunch of Champions" before another loss to the Marlins, who I officially hate. I can't stand their owner, I loathe that monstrosity in the outfield, their uniforms are fugly, and I don't like that they've even been to the World Series, let alone won two. I try to get over this irrational hate, but I cannot. Their very existence angers me obscurely. Glad to be done watching them, writing about them, even thinking about them, for a while. Now I can concentrate on my entirely rational strong dislike of the Reds, and of soupy chili with macaroni and way too much cheese on it. I used to regard them with fear and loathing. Now there's just loathing. And with Dusty Baker gone, it's diminished in intensity.

Even if the MLB Power Rankings don't say so, the Cubs are still the best team in baseball, cuz ESPN says so.

This just in: Kris Bryant can hit a little bit.

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Bullets and ballots.

  • Jeff Passan (Yahoo Sports*): MLB All-Star voting is down, and the Cubs want ballot-box anarchy. Passan doesn't like Addison Russell starting.
  • Buster Olney (ESPN-Insider ($)): Potential All-Star snubs. 3/5 of the Cubs' starting rotation is on the list.
  • Jordan Bernfield (Daily Herald): Cubs' depth on display with recent injuries. They've skipped a beat, but it hasn't been due to the young position players.
  • Isaac Chipps (ESPN): Are Chicago Cubs preparing to trade for a Yankees reliever? The rumor that would not die.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Cubs reportedly continue to watch Yankees relievers closely. George King III keeps it going. Taylor considers it due diligence, and he's probably right.
  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register): Dan Vogelbach not worried about his future. "The Iowa Cubs slugger is trying to tune out all the extra noise that seems to be building as the trade deadline looms..."
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Tommy La Stella, Clayton Richard join Iowa Cubs for rehab assignments. "They're both ready to roll," Joe Maddon said.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Joe Maddon isn't panicking but admits 'we have to firm things up'. Players echo his sentiments.
  • Mark Simon (ESPN): Look for Jake Arrieta to load up on fastballs when facing Reds again. He's thrown the pitch a lot more this season, especially against the Reds. He used the fastball almost 2/3 of the time during his no-hitter against the team.
  • ESPN: The evolution of Jake Arrieta -- and his beard. His fastball seems to have more hair on it when he has a beard.
  • Zack Meisel (Cleveland.com): Projection systems say only Chicago Cubs have a better chance at a World Series triumph than the Cleveland Indians. "If the Cavaliers' championship didn't cause pigs to fly, the swines might be soaring come October."
  • Joseph Gerardi (isportsweb): Why the Cubs shouldn't trade Kyle Schwarber. He's too good to lose unless the perfect deal comes along.
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Kyle Schwarber reunites with shattered windshield. Yesterday, Schwarber took a break from rehab to reunite with the shattered glass when he dined at Harry Caray’s, which sits adjacent to the Chicago Sports Museum.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Hit ’em where they ain’t? Not working for Cubs’ Heyward so far. "It’s all about geometry sometimes," said Joe Maddon.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): No need for Cubs to overreact when best years should be in front of Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. So who's overreacting? They're both in the lineup nearly every day.
  • ESPN: Joel Peralta discusses being back in the big leagues [VIDEO]
  • Tommy Meyers (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Organizational depth: Bullpen edition. 14 pitchers on the list.
  • Daniel Pauling (The Clarion-Ledger): Former Ole Miss closer Wyatt Short signs with the Chicago Cubs. Diminutive lefty reliever has a live arm.
  • John Seidel (Chicago Sun-Times): Former Oak Park cop caught up in Wrigleyville rooftop scheme. Richard Zasiebida was charged Wednesday with failing to report the income he made from a sports betting operation and ticket brokerage service.

Food for Thought: