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Cub Tracks’ Sandwich Picks

A hero by any other name, Top 100 lists, and other bullets

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs
Dogging it
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

In the last installment of Cub Tracks, we transcended space, time, and sanity to bring you items about metaphysics, Javy at the hospital, and words from Theo Epstein. Today we have more Cubs wisdom gleaned from the immediate past and shared in your present.

So gather ‘round the percolator, boys and girls, and we’ll conduct this rickety old engine around once again. Spacetime donuts will be served in the dining car, for your pleasure, and perhaps we’ll open up an omelet cart, and an egg station for those who walk away from omelets. Perhaps.

We have a passel of selections from Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus today, a few from Cubs Insider, and some interesting bits from the usual suspects, on white bread, toasted, with cheese.

My “Hero”. LOL...seriously...beef comes in a roll, hot dog comes in a bun. Buns are different-shaped bread. Therefore, it’s a sammich. A sausage sammich.

As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history. More about the national pastime.

  • 1948 - Commissioner Happy Chandler fines the Yankees, Cubs, and Phillies $500 each for signing high school players.
  • 1951 - Baseball signs a six-year All-Star Game pact for TV-radio rights for $6 million. A number of owners criticize lame-duck Commissioner Happy Chandler, believing that in a couple of years, the broadcast rights would be worth much more than $1 million per annum.
  • 1958 - Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella suffers a broken neck in an early morning auto accident on Long Island. His spinal column is nearly severed and his legs are permanently paralyzed.
  • 1960 - The Illinois Appellate Court says Dorothy Rigney, sister of Charles Comiskey Jr., was entitled to sell her mother's shares of White Sox stock to Bill Veeck, Sr. Her brother brought suit in an effort to gain control of the club.
  • 1967 - Branch Rickey and Lloyd Waner are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote of the Special Veterans Committee.
  • Phil Thompson (Chicago Tribune): Matt Szczur shows off his artistic side. He’s pretty good -- the results are being auctioned off for charity.
  • Jeff Long, Jonathon Judge, and Harry Pavlidis (Baseball Prospectus): Unlocking Kyle Hendricks. Next part of a feature from the last edition. Good read.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Who will serve as Cubs' setup man? Muskat answers fan questions.
  • Keith Law (ESPN-Insider {$}): 2017 prospect rankings: 100-81. Dylan Cease and his fastball make the list. Also 2017 prospect rankings: 20-1. Eloy Jimenez makes this one. So does Gleyber Torres. The rest of Law’s rankings are also available.
  • Dan Szymborski (ESPN-Insider {$}): ZiPS' top 100 MLB prospects for 2017. More Eloy, Ian Happ, Dylan Cease, Jeimer Candelario, Victor Caratini. Dan Vogelbach is the caboose. Gleyber Torres is in the first car.
  • Luis Medina (Bleacher Nation): The Cubs have a great deal of outfield depth available in Iowa. “The Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate will likely carry at least four outfielders who could appear in the Major Leagues this season...”
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Cubs have high hopes for top prospect Ian Happ in 2017. "He's an exciting player; he can do a lot of things on the field. Switch-hitter with power and really controls the zone. We all have high hopes for Ian in the 2017 season,” said Cubs director of amateur scouting Matt Dorey.
  • Luis Medina (Baseball Is Fun): This umpire caused an all-out brawl by calling strikes with no Cubs batters in the box! A look at a game from yesteryear. #devilmagic
  • Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports): 5 reasons why the MLB trade deadline will be insane. Plenty of impossible past and possible future Cubs trade targets are mentioned. Start speculating now; why not?
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): So Jason Hammel had dinner in Chicago, huh? Might mean something. Might not.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Quantifying Hope: Theo Epstein explains how Cubs identify and foster elite baseball IQ. “It’s about more than just metrics and projection models with these guys.”
  • Henry Druschel (Beyond the Box Score): The Gleyber Torres trade doesn’t look good in hindsight. “In a few years, this might be as unhappy a memory for Cubs fans as could possibly result from the 2016 season.”
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Just how elite is Anthony Rizzo? “How does he stack up against some of his counterparts at the position?”
  • Tommy Meyers (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Predicting Albert Almora, Jr’s 2017. Everything will depend on fine-tuning his pitch selection.
  • Larry Scott (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Is a Cubs “D-Peat” imperative? “The good news is that the Cubs defense could be even better this season.”
  • Darius Austin (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): BP annual retrospective: A decade with Rich Hill and Jeff Samardzija. “There’s no limit to how .480 this team could be.”
  • Isaac Bennett (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Maintaining financial flexibility: 2017 vintage – part one. “The core is intact, financial windfalls are flowing, and the future is exceedingly bright.”
  • Greg Wellemeyer (Baseball Prospectus {$}): Tale of the tape, dynasty edition. Ian Happ vs. Raul Mondesi.
  • Mike Ashmore (mycentral Former MLB All-Star Bryan LaHair is back in Bridgewater. LaHair enters his second season with the Somerset Patriots and second in the Atlantic League.
  • Ryan Davis (Fanrag Sports): Who poses the biggest threat to a Cubs dynasty? Dodgers, Indians, Red Sox, and then...
  • Ben Frederickson (St Louis Post-Dispatch): Catching up on the Cubs. National League Central spring training preview.
  • Bret Beherns ( Cubs players give back at Tom Jones Challenger Fundraiser. “David Ross and Kyle Schwarber talk about giving back to Central Illinois kids.”
  • Tommy Dee (Fansided): You’re probably going to want Kris Bryant’s baseball card even more now. “It’s a huge honor with Card No. 1 depicting legends before me,” Bryant said. “It’s very humbling and nice to know it came from the fans.”

Food for thought:

  • Emily Conover (Science News): New claim staked for metallic hydrogen. “Some experts doubt report of creating elusive material.”
  • Michael Price (Science): Why tomatoes got bland—and how to make them sweet again. Breeding for higher yield mitigated against taste.
  • Sophie Weiner (Popular Science): Scientists create a new kind of matter: Time Crystals. “The crystals' patterns repeat not in space, but in time.”

I’m putting those crystals in my coffee, to make it last longer, Tom Baker. My favorite is the Reuben. Also, since people have asked about my non-Cub Tracks things, here’s the GoFundMe for an anthology I’m editing. I have a book due out next week.

Smell you Tuesday! Thanks for reading.