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Cub Tracks Weeds It And Reaps

Javy being Javy, don’t hiss my mystery lectures, and other bullets

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs
I haven’t the foggiest notion what that all means
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Tim Vine, "If I ever find out what a Spoonerism is, I'll heat my cat."

Last time around, we copped some Ebbets feels, paid our respects to Vin Scully, and Andre Dawson and Larry Bowa discussed the Cubs’ World Series chances. The Cubs finished the Sweat Coats Wing 5-4 and are home for two more games against the Pirates and four against the Giants.

This time, we’re celebrating an extra-inning Cub win at home against the Pirates, who are simultaneously building from within and contending for a wild-card spot. You can read all about it in Al’s recap. It was a weird game, full of ups and downs. There were times when the hair was standing up on the edge of my seat. I certainly wasn’t chipping the flannels while the game was still going on.

This is the pun fart — there’s another game tonight, and it promises to be just as much fun, maybe just as weird, if maybe not as long (we hope). In the meantime, here are some things people wrote yesterday, that might be interesting to read today. It would be mad banners to do otherwise. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • ESPN*: Week 21 Power Rankings. Cubs have taken one week off from the top of this list.
  • JJ Zachariahson (numberfire): MLB Power Rankings update: Who's catching the Cubs? Nobody, that’s who.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Can we pump the brakes on pumping the brakes on the Cubs? One series is not a playoff mirror.
  • Chris Kuc (Chicago Tribune*): Despite Cubs' success, Theo Epstein isn't taking anything for granted. "The goal is to win a World Series," Epstein said.
  • Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times): Is it World Series or bust for the Cubs this season? It’s the goal, anyway.
  • Ryan Davis (Today’s Knuckleball): Ranking the Cubs’ potential NLDS matchups. “...the Cubs’ possible NLDS matchup could feature the New York Mets, Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, or even the Los Angeles Dodgers.”
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): With season’s final month looming, Cubs will apply lessons learned from 2015 playoff run. Keeping guys sharp and fresh is paramount.
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Greatness in August: The banality of brilliance. “You know the Cubs are doing well when you have no idea who the Bears’ long snapper is.”
  • Len Kasper (Daily Herald): For Cubs, priorities come into focus as playoffs get closer. Setting up the rotation, sharpness and freshness.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Strikeouts -- or lack thereof -- might be key to Cubs' postseason. “...the team’s Achilles' heel can be the swing-and-miss.”
  • Carrie Muskat ( David Ross bids Los Angeles farewell -- for now? "Hopefully, that's not my last at-bat here in this stadium, right?" said Ross, 39, knowing the Cubs and Dodgers could meet again in the postseason.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Theo Epstein believes Kris Bryant can follow in Dustin Pedroia’s MVP footsteps. Joe Maddon also had some words on the subject.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Kris Bryant is your leaderboard. Bryant is on top of the list in a lot of categories.
  • Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports): Cubs star Kris Bryant has a chance to be a very unique MVP. Misplaced adjective aside, it might offend the Best Fans in Baseball™, and that would be good too. Bryant’s versatility is the key.
  • Jeff Sullivan (Fangraphs): Here’s a powered-up Addison Russell. He patched his biggest weakness.
  • Jordan Bernfield (Daily Herald): Addison Russell may be setting himself up for future MVP nod. Anthony Rizzo agrees. "I have him pegged as an MVP." he said.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Tap Out: Jason Heyward has ditched the timing mechanism in his swing. Better hand-path leads to more contact.
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Tommy La Stella will be back with the Cubs. The whole thing was just weird.
  • CBS Sports: Cubs will promote Tommy La Stella this week. Roster expansion gives La Stella a second chance.
  • CBS Sports: Theo Epstein: Kyle Schwarber won’t return this season. “No, he can’t play this year,” Epstein said.
  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register): Who from the Iowa Cubs could be called up in September? Birch considers the names.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Sports): Will it be rest or rust for Cubs starters in September? "I err on the side of rest, within reason," Theo Epstein says.
  • Carrie Muskat ( John Lackey 'doing well,' has return in sight. Cubs are also considering a six-man rotation.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Joe Maddon is not opposed to six-man rotation for the Cubs. “It’s a luxury very few teams even have the possibility of considering.”
  • Carrie Muskat ( Pedro Strop eager to return, throws 'pen session. "He's definitely pushing a little bit," Joe Maddon said.
  • Adam Berry ( Arrieta bookends odd rundown against Bucs. Cubs caught Starling Marte on the play.
  • Paul Leibowitz (Today’s Knuckleball): Breaking down the Maddon-Hammel dynamic. Jason Hammel may not like it, but Joe has his reasons.
  • Grey Papke (Larry Brown Sports): Jason Hammel held private meeting with Joe Maddon over early hook. Hammel was a little upset. He termed the appearance a “side session.”
  • Danny Ecker (Crain’s Chicago Business): Cubs stars growing too big for Chicago market. “It’s a good time to be Bryzzo.”

Food for thought.

  • Ann Gibbons (Science): Did famed human ancestor ‘Lucy’ fall to her death? Or did ‘Ricky’ push her?
  • Wayne Freeman (ABC7 News): Science world buzzing over galactic space radio blip. The return of Disaster Area? An Outer Limits broadcast? Inquiring minds wanna know.
  • Anna Swanson (Washington Post): How to never spill your coffee, according to science. Baron von Raschke probably didn’t spill his.

I’d make a pot myself, but coffee always weeps me a cake. Tease you Sirday with lore mirth and minks, or mings and swisses.