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Cub Tracks Vane Hopes

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Derrek Lee, Title Defense, and other bullets

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Time waits for no one
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Happy New Year!

Thursday, Cub Tracks went all Rube Goldberg and cranked up the Mean Green Meme Machine (waddup!). In that volume, there was a year’s end top ten list, some words about Javier Baez, and various other entertainments. Today we note the fact that 2016 is actually over, whatever your view of it, and that 2017 has arrived.

I dunno about you, but I resolved to make no more resolutions long ago, and am loathe to break that sacred oath. So I’m gonna resolve once again to maintain the status quo in that regard.

The main thing on my mind today is the question of whether or not the Cubs will repeat as World Series Champions, and that question won’t be answered for some months now. My simulation on MLB: The Show 2016 does respond affirmatively, however, and if you’re into augury, there’s a glowing sigil right there for you.

Being but a little ‘stitious, I choose to believe in that bit of lampadomancy, while I enjoy this Double Chestburster™ (four shots of Death Wish™ espresso mulled with a 99% cocoa Lindt chocolate bar, two shots of bourbon, and two shots of cream, over ice) and ponder the deep meanings of these words.

Your mileage may vary. I don’t have anything else to do today and can make up my own oxygen tent.

The bittersweetness of the drink is matched by the bittersweetness of putting away all of my Cub decorations and t-shirts and other memorabilia, symbolic of turning the page to the new year. It’s raining here, adding to the bathos of the moment. The Twilight Zone marathon playing in the background adds a surreal edge to the proceedings...the blue plastic tub carried reverently to the hall closet, assuming primacy of position among the other tubs already in residence, adorned with the bright red-and-white C denoting its identity.

I’m going to run around the house a couple hundred times to burn off this energy. In the meantime, here are a few choice words culled from the daily snooze. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Adrian Garro (Cut Four): The Hall of Fame Case: Derrek Lee. Hmm. Maybe the Hall of Really Good. That wrist injury cost him a chance, I think.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): 5 questions facing Cubs in title defense. "What are we going to rally around?" Joe Maddon said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Fly the W(edding): Fan ties knot in Cubs uniform. “Joe Mendoza wanted to get a Cubs tattoo if his favorite team won the World Series in 2016, but his fiancée nixed that. Instead, she compromised and said he could wear a full Cubs uniform on their wedding day, so he did.”
  • Andrew Simon (MLB.com): Heat '16! Swing into '17 with fastest-pitch HRs. A Cubs pitcher makes the list.
  • Ed McGregor (ESPN): Cubs fandom finally pays off for father and son. “...my son is not doomed to a lifetime of disappointment.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Will Cubs' banner year be start of newest Chicago dynasty? Keep the mound filled adequately.
  • Matt Marrone (ESPN): Make baseball fun again? Here's who made it happen: The Cubs. And then the others.
  • Chris Kamka (CSN Chicago*): Lesser-celebrated feats by the much-celebrated 2016 Cubs. Twelve friendly little factoids.
  • Mark Townsend (Big League Stew): How the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry is spilling over into the Winter Classic. Carter Hutton answers Scott Darling.
  • Ryan Davis (Cheat Sheet): MLB: 5 most toxic players in a Major League clubhouse. Nasty pieces of work. Not current.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Quantifying Hope: Cubs are projected to win 95 games. Based on Fangraphs projection. The 11 in the post-season are more important.
  • Larry Brown (Larry Brown Sports): Report: Teams unwilling to give Jason Hammel more than one year. John Perotto says so.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Duane Underwood looking for a happier New Year. Health is the key.
  • Zack Moser (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Santo’s nixed trade. He didn’t want to go West.
  • The Oklahoman: Jon Lester wins Warren Spahn Award. The award is given annually to the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball.
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Willson Contreras is destroying baseballs in Venezuela. Gioskar Amaya apparently invited him to swing.

Food for thought:

  • Tia Ghose (Live Science): 'Leap Second' will make New Year's Eve just a little bit longer. “...a minute will be 61 seconds long.”
  • Emily Esfahani Smith, Jennifer Aaker (New York Magazine): In 2017, pursue Meaning instead of Happiness. Happiness is bad for your state of mind.
  • Kaitlyn Krasselt (The Hour): The science of habit building and breaking. “...just 8 percent of people actually stick to and achieve their New Year’s resolutions.”

Thanks for reading. See you Tuesday.