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Cub Tracks Gets The Facts

Badge 714, Section 601, and other bullets

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Dragnet (1966-1970)
Tangled Webb
Getty Images

Last time we met, Cub Tracks labored in vane, discussing briefly Derrek Lee and Title Defense while sticking one finger up to check the direction of the wind and resolving to make no resolutions. Since Cub Tracks has never been arrested, we have no prior convictions.

Leaving no left turn unstoned, today we look at a few different takes on the direction of the Cubs now and in the near future, including a good funny by a Yankee fan and some minor-league players who are on the way up. Not too much on the beat-writer front yet. The regulars are still on vacation, apparently.

We do have Today in Baseball History. This turns out to be a rather important day in yesteryear, especially for the aforementioned Bronx Bombers:

  • 1920 - The New York Yankees purchase the contract of pitcher Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for $125,000 and a $350,000 loan against the mortgage on Fenway Park. The "official" announcement of the sale is delayed until January 5 due to Ruth's contractual demands.
  • 1962 - Ground is broken for the Houston Astrodome.
  • 1973 - A group of investors, headed by shipbuilder George Steinbrenner, purchases the New York Yankees from CBS for $10 million.
  • 1974 - Unable to pry Dick Williams away from A's owner Charlie Finley, the Yankees sign Bill Virdon as manager.
  • 1977 - The Royals release pitcher Lindy McDaniel, ending his career after 21 years. He had appeared in 987 games.

Could have sworn I already ran that first item but whatever. I’m sure it was complicated. Nothing special happened today in Cubs history. Yesterday was Bill Madlock’s birthday. Tomorrow is the natal event for the immortal Theodore Roosevelt Lilly, the infamous Herman Franks, and sparkly-eyed third baseman Kris Bryant...and the anniversary of Ryne Sandberg’s enshrinement in Cooperstown, NY.

Also, in 1943, Red Ruffing was drafted. Mary Shane became the first female announcer to do play-by-play for a “major league team” (e.g. The White Sox) on a regular basis in 1977 (Bill Veeck didn’t renew her contract), Terry Francona won the Golden Spikes Award in 1981, and other things happened, especially to Nick Swisher...not to mention the Battle of Princeton, the excommunication of Martin Luther, the beginning of construction on the Brooklyn Bridge, the patenting of margarine, and the premiere of Dragnet, among other things.

Cub Tracks can get behind that, on a limited basis. Here are a few comestibles from Monday night’s harvest - as always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): Can’t-miss listening is Pat Hughes’ ‘The Cubs Win the World Series!’ CD. Iron, man.
  • Matt Marrone (ESPN): Open letter to Cubs fans: You're hateable winners now. Plenty of laughs in this epistle.
  • Luke Blaize (Bleacher Nation): Chesny Young, the Batting Champ who wasn’t – and the future big league utility man. Young could be in Chicago by late 2017.
  • Justin Koonce (Call to the Pen): Is a Jason Hammel comeback a possibility? He’d be a good piece at a good price.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Draft Profile #3 – Garrett Mitchell checks off a lot of boxes. “...Jason McLeod, in my estimation, will go with a bat.”
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): Prospect Series: the Catchers. Beyond Victor Caratini, who is who in the Cubs’ pipeline?
  • Tracy Ringolsby ( Relief is sweet, but don't overlook rotation. “...durable rotations have been a key to success.”
  • Quinn Allen (Fansided): What can we expect from Kyle Schwarber in 2017? 25+ homers given sufficient at-bats...
  • Carrie Muskat ( Kerry Wood to host 6th "Winter Warm-Up" to support youth. January 13 at Harry Caray’s Tavern, Navy Pier.
  • Nate Greabe (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): While we have time: A look at some minor acquisitions from the offseason. Five signings that may, just may, have a chance in 2017.
  • Andy Dolan (The Athletic {$}): Cub o’ Coffee: Where will Cubs’ free agents go? Jason Hammel, Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, Joe Smith, and Chris Coghlan are all veterans looking for new teams.
  • Matt Weyrich (Fansided): The Dynasty has only just begun. The Cubs are going to be the Cubs for a good long time.
  • Madhu Krishnamurthy (Daily Herald): Little Wrigley among suburbs' first 2017 babies. Wrigley Rose Dalbey was born at 12:12 am.
  • Tim Huwe (The Zygote 50): Who is the BPA? The Cubs like ‘maximum effort” guys.
  • Jackie Spinner (Columbia Journalism Review): Fuel for subscription gains in Chicago: Cubs, not Trump. Subscription drivers differ from city-to-city. The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times have an unique attraction. Not a political article.

food for thought:

  • Carolyn Gramling (Science): Dinosaur babies took a long time to break out of their shells. Dentine isn’t just for gum any more.
  • Stephanie Pappas (Live Science): The 10 Strangest Science Stories of 2016. “...from relatively academic to very relevant to daily life on Earth...”
  • Anne Dominguez (iTechpost): Star Trek Aliens: Biologists explain why aliens would look like humans. Convergent evolution or no? I dunno. Bipedal symmetry isn’t a must.

The Eighth Wonder of the World is no more. Ten million for the Yankees. Wow. Sgt. Friday's famous catchphrase "Just the facts, ma'am" was never heard on the series in that format. The closest phraseology: "All we want are the facts, ma'am."

Thanks for reading. See ya Thursday. I’m off to go lead a Section 601 - “an idle, dissolute, or immoral life,” Jack Webb.