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Cub Tracks’ Blue Magic

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Unconventional wisdom, elastic glass, and other bullets

Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Bryant. Love that Cubbie Blue tux.

If you follow your nose to the sweet smell of success, that’s where Cub Tracks will be, right in the thick of it. If the thick of it is at my house, that is... I don’t people very well.

Last year, as you remember, things didn’t go pear-shaped for the Cubs. Even now, the faithful throng to the Cubs Convention, and a good few are said to be contemplating attending the UnConvention. Others will simply mill about aimlessly outside of Wrigley Field for connection through geometry, or perhaps ley lines. It wouldn’t be surprising to me to find out that the El is laid out along the Old Straight Track in much the same sense in which all roads lead to O’Hare, and that the pitcher’s mound is the seat of power, the nexus of strange energies.

This would then indicate that the NUVEEN sign points to the spot where the sun rises on the vernal equinox, a week or so before the season opens. The spot is behind the right-field screen. It is my theory, and I thought of it myself, that Kyle Schwarber’s titanic home run moved the screen just enough to adjust the vibratory rate of the primal energies in a favorable fashion, thereby enabling the Cubs to secure the prize they had sought for so long.

I may be viewing the universe through elastic glass, as memorably depicted in The Yellow Cab Man, a fine movie that’s playing on my screen at this moment, and my glass may be half-full of Cubbie Kool-Aid, but that’s as good an explanation as anything else. It was magic, Anthony Hopkins.

Or it was aliens. You choose. Don’t forget your towel.

I’m waiting for the end of the Vogon recital. In the interim, feel free to regale yourself with this collection of quotes, remarks, comments, statements, notions, ideas, and theories. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1945 - Baseball writers fail to elect a new Hall of Famer. Frank Chance, Rube Waddell, and Ed Walsh come closest, but none gets the required three-fourths of the vote.
  • 1957 - Commissioner Ford Frick rules that singer Bing Crosby can keep his small stock holding in the Detroit Tigers, even though he owns part of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • 1983 - New York Supreme Court Justice Richard Lane issues a preliminary injunction barring the Yankees from playing their season-opening series against the Tigers in Denver. The club had sought to move the games because it feared off-season renovations to Yankee Stadium would not be completed for the series April 11-13.
  • 1984 - Luis Aparicio, Harmon Killebrew, and Don Drysdale are elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA.
  • Also -- in 1960, Mickey Mantle beat Willie Mays in the first episode of Home Run Derby. Dayn Perry tells us about it. But wait, there’s more.

Stuff people said:

  • Danny Ecker (Crain’s Chicago Business): Chicago’s 25 highest-paid athletes. Four of the top ten are Cubs.
  • Phil Rogers (MLB.com): Cubs should go with Ben Zobrist over Javier Baez at second. Because leadoff.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): The Cubs Have two of the best second basemen in baseball … kinda. “It’s hard to know what to do with a player who might be the best defensive second baseman in the majors, because he doesn’t always play second base.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Champs, trophy due at Cubs Convention. Everybody who is anybody will be there.
  • AP via ESPN: 18-month sentence given to rooftop owner who cheated Cubs. R. Marc Hamid goes to the hoosegow.
  • Dave Cameron (ESPN Insider {$}): Left for dead: Baseball's power outage in left field. Matt Kemp and Kyle Schwarber represent the last of a dying breed.
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): Prospect Series: Albert Almora, Jr leads solid group in CF. DJ Wilson, Donnie DeWees, Jacob Hanneman, and more.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): The arbitration process is coming – just how much will Jake Arrieta make in 2017? 6.1 million more? Elaborating on article by Matt Swartz.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Even with another big arbitration raise, Jake Arrieta’s final contract year will be a good value. “For now, though, the Cubs only need to worry about what Arrieta can do for them in the defense of their World Series title.”
  • Sean Sears (Sports Mockery): Tyson Ross will have an answer for the Cubs this week. Money might trump warmth.
  • Luke Blaize (Bleacher Nation): Jen-Ho Tseng is potential second half starter depth. “...the Cubs need starters with minor league options left...”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Thomas Hatch looking to take fast track as he debuts in Cubs system in 2017. Starting in South Bend, probably.
  • Tommy Meyers (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Southpaw Roulette: Assessing the Cubs left-handed bullpen options. Brian Duensing, Caleb Smith, Jack Leathersich, David Rollins, Zac Rosscup, Gerardo Concepcion, Koji Uehara (!), Mike Montgomery. Uehara isn’t even left-handed, but he makes the list.
  • John Manuel (Baseball America): Chicago Cubs Top 10 prospects. “...the Cubs are positioned to win more than one championship.

Food for thought:

  • Bill Turner (Inquisitr): Can altered human consciousness change ‘Objective’ reality? Heisenberg said to be uncertain. Schrodinger on the fence.
  • Drake Baer (New York magazine): Speaking another language makes your brain more efficient. They used the “Simon test”. You can play, too.
  • Matthew Jancer (Popular Mechanics): The Amish horse-drawn buggy is more tech-forward than you think. “...buggy builders have become electricians and metalworkers to build in all the new tech you can't see under the traditional black paint.”

Thanks for reading. See you Thursday.