Not to be a broken record, but in our last edition, we spoke at length about Met-hate. Let's not talk about the Mets for a while, please. Instead, let's talk about the Reds, who are in town for a series. The Cubs are back in Chicago, the land of big shoulders and pizza with real sausage on it and Wrigley Field, where they're something like a 25 or -6 or -4 games over .500.They've owned the Reds recently, so it's a good time to circle the chuck-wagons. Home cooking will answer a lot of problems.
Dunno about you, but I'm not even in the same room as the ledge (I've taken the precaution of staying on the ground floor, though, which is where the kitchen is). The Cubs are still chasing records from where they are, and there's every possibility that they'll improve their level of play with a little more repetition. Monday's game could certainly stand as an example. The losing streak's over with.
Now, in the 241st year of our republic, let's work on a new winning streak and keep our future firmly in our hands, independent of the depradations of the rest of the NL Central, should they awaken at some point. This is hardly a revolutionary idea. It is in fact a day late and likely more than a dollar short, but cliches often become cliches because they revolve around basic truths. Let us not endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune -- let's spin the wheel and make our own luck.
I'd like to buy a vowel, but I'll settle for the W after a 4-7 road trip.
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"We’re not at our normal DEFCON right now." -- Joe Maddon
- ESPN: Week 13 Power Rankings. Cubs are still Kings of the mountain.
- Nicholas D. Blazek (Cubbies Crib): This isn't the team you'll see in October. Playing chicken doesn't mean the sky is falling.
- Vinnie Duber (CSN Chicago*): Jason Heyward dropped to sixth in lineup. Batting order shakeup sees the often-underwhelming hitter working from lower in the order.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Heyward suggests lineup shift to benefit team. Seemed to work Monday.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Cubs shuffle lineup, move struggling Heyward. Rearranging the musical deck chairs.
- Vinnie Duber( CSN Chicago*): No return date for Dexter Fowler, but Cubs can't wait to get him back. Leadoff is a traditional trouble spot for the Cubs. A good glove is one thing, and effective leadoff man another. They've been unable to replace Fowler's presence in the lineup.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Dexter Fowler hopes to be healthy for first All-Star Game. Fowler would like to play. Joe Maddon said Fowler will need to play in a couple of Minor League games before he is activated.It's not an impossible dream.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Ben Zobrist breaks down what's wrong with the Cubs offense. A rut is just a different kind of groove.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Cubs at halfway point: Which problems are real, which ones are temporary? Rogers cites the bullpen and the offense as areas in need of improvement.
- Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Hello, old friend: Cubs reportedly scouting lefty Rich Hill. Due diligence or canvassing for a rental starter? It's a small world. Painting it is optional.
- Doug Mittler (ESPN): MLB Rumor Central: Cubs scouting Rich Hill? Working at building another mountain out of a seeming molehill. This stuff goes around in circles.
- Luke Blaize (Bleacher Nation): Cubs Minor League Daily: Time for the pitching? Who else could debut? Felix Pena, Armando Rivero, Corey Black, Rob Zastryzny, Pierce Johnson are mentioned as possibilities.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Jeimer Candelario makes big-league debut as Cubs continue youth movement. He looks pretty good at the plate.
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): Daily minors recap: Clayton Richard looking solid at Iowa; a couple of draft picks make their pro debut. Also, Brian Matusz news.
- Len Kasper (Daily Herald): What distinguishes Chicago Cubs from others? Work, and more of it. Pulling in the same direction.
- Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs' championship plans start with Jake Arrieta's return to dominance. "I fully anticipate it’s going to happen," Joe Maddon said. "Hopefully, sooner rather than later. But I’m not here to tell you exactly when."
- John Sickels (Minor League Ball): A report on Cubs rookie Jeimer Candelario.
- Brandon M. Cain (Cowboys Ride For Free): A report on the Cubs' top draft pick this year, Thomas Hatch, from SB Nation's Oklahoma State blog.
Food for thought.
- Nicola Curtis (The Guardian): Mars satellites may have been created by a third moon, scientists say. Authenticated with a ball.
- Maya Smith: (Science Magazine): Bonobos lie about sex to keep the peace. We aren't alone in sending mixed messages.
- Steven Poole (The Guardian): Why bad ideas refuse to die. "The marketplace of ideas does not work as advertised."
Thanks for reading. See ya 'round.