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Cub Tracks Smells Success

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And Soto it goes, Happy Rizzo Day, RIP Stan, and other bullets

Washed Up Gas Mask
It’s a gas, gas, gas
photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

That’s all that needs to be said.

Better news:

In other news, Cub Tracks’ latest tangent has been arrested without further developments and has been placed into solitary confinement for the duration. Indeed, the company Get Out Of Jail Free Card has been revoked, along with the suspension of any and all artistic licenses.

“Elementary,” proclaimed Bustamove Contradictory, without elaborating.

“Fly the ‘W’, proudly,” added Watson. “Go Cubs.”

The author was likewise hounded into seclusion until prevailed upon to once again take pen in hand and continue the series. A star was bored, and wept a single tear, which became a torrent.

“As falls Reichenbach, so falls Reichenbach falls, as the saying doesn’t go,” professes Moriarty. Puzzling. Very puzzling. (A Cubs-themed crossword puzzle is downloadable in .pdf and .puz formats at the links. Enjoy. Thanks, cubzfan!)

And now that we’ve stretched that continuity into some sort of Moebius donut, let’s warp-speed out of here back onto the holodeck and find out what happened Today in Baseball History without further obfuscation, procrastination, dillying, dallying, or any other form of Mike Hargrove imitation, Commander Data:

  • 1953 - The Cleveland Indians bar night games with the Browns due to St. Louis owner Bill Veeck's refusal to share receipts of the game telecasts.
  • 1981 - The Reds finally give in and sign their first free agent - Larry Biitner. The Reds are the last of the 26 major league teams to sign a player through free agency, which began in 1976.
  • 1986 - Willie McCovey, collector of 521 home runs and 1,555 RBI in 22 seasons, becomes the 16th player elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Billy Williams falls four votes shy of the 319 needed for election.
  • 1987 - Ten free agents (Tim Raines, Lance Parrish, Bob Horner, Andre Dawson, Rich Gedman, Ron Guidry, Bob Boone, Doyle Alexander, Toby Harrah, and Gary Roenicke) fail to meet a midnight deadline and thus will not be allowed to re-sign with their former clubs until May 1 if they are not offered contracts by new teams. The general lack of interest in the players will become the focus of the Players Association's first anti-collusion suit against the owners.
  • 1991 - For the first time since 1984, three players are inducted into the Hall of Fame: two 300-game winners, Gaylord Perry and Fergie Jenkins, and a member of the 3,000-hit club, Rod Carew. Ironically, none of the three players ever appeared in a World Series.
  • 1995- Mike Schmidt, who hit 548 home runs and won two MVP Awards in 18 years with the Phillies, is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 1996 - For the first time in 25 years, no one garners 75 percent of the votes needed to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Phil Niekro comes closest with 68 percent.

That was some nonsense about Billy, Number One. Justice for Williams would have been a first-ballot HoF nod. I was hoping at the time that the Cubs would sign Raines. Would have looked awful good in Cubbie Blue with the Hawk. What the list doesn’t mention is that five years ago, the Cubs traded for Anthony Rizzo [VIDEO].

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jim Belushi is pretty sure the Cubs will repeat [TMZ VIDEO] and Yankee fans are not gushing about the second baseman we sent them. Read all about it! As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Matt Provenzano (Pinstripe Alley): The Starlin Castro trade has not worked out as the Yankees hoped. “Even acknowledging the low cost, Castro hasn’t been that good in pinstripes.”
  • Chuck Wasserstrom: An unexpected goodbye. Chuck worked for the Cubs for many years. Here he talks about Stan Zielinski.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Longtime Cubs scout Stan Zielinski dies at 64. Kyle Schwarber and Jeff Samardzija were among Zielinski’s signees.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Longtime Cubs scout from Winfield was heart and soul of staff. “...he was honored as Cubs' 2015 scout of the year.”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Central): Eddy Julio Martinez should be ready to take off in 2017. His unplanned two-year vacation might figure large.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Cubs organizational breakdown, Pt 6 – Outfielders could push for spots in Chicago. Bijan Rademacher didn’t make the Top 5 and he’s got an outside shot.
  • Dan Hodgman: Addison Russell’s mid-playoffs adjustment. Center-right, resulting in increased hard contact.
  • Tim Huwe (the Zygote 50): The case against Tyson Ross. Jason Hammel might be a better bet.
  • Darren Albert (Larry Brown Sports): Report: Rangers considering Jason Hammel. Could be a better bet.
  • Sean Holland (Cubs Insider): Where does Rob Zastryzny fit in 2017? Left-handed bullpen arm of some kind...
  • Jessica Cillella (Daily Herald): Cubs World Series trophy appearance in Naperville thrills fans. I know some of you people were going. How was it? I touched the Stanley Cup once — I didn’t want to wash my hands for the longest time...
  • Buster Olney (ESPN Insider {$}): Top third basemen: Plenty of talent at the hot corner. The MVP is the MVP. Kris Bryant has spoken for the top spot.
  • Phil Thompson (Chicago Tribune): Kris Bryant’s upcoming wedding draws a media crowd. The other side of being the MVP.
  • Buster Olney (ESPN Insider {$}): Top shortstops: How do the young stars stack up? Addison Russell is a Top 10 shortstop.
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): Cubs Prospect Series: 2B. Not to be outdone, Arguello provides a capsule look at second baseman. Ian Happ and Chesny Young are prominent.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Anthony Rizzo is clearly one of the Top Five first basemen in baseball. Clearly. I’d switch Paul Goldschmidt and Freddie Freeman, though.
  • Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): How visiting the Cubs helped Clemson's Dabo Swinney teach the Tigers not to suck. “Joe Maddon taught Dabo a couple lessons in their short time together last spring.”
  • Jerry Burnes (Beyond the Box Score): Curveball consistency will hook Mike Montgomery’s rotation spot. He’d be a decent fifth starter as is. Consistency would elevate his status.
  • Cliff Corporan (Sports on Earth): 5 Best Cubs moves of the Epstein Era. Who remembers Zach Cates, besides Josh?
  • Zack Moser (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The Right Field drought and Sammy Sosa’s Hall of Fame pickle. Not gonna touch that headline. Moser goes on to say that “...the Hall of Fame’s existence is contingent on comparisons...”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Let’s talk about...six-man rotations, baby. Five was unheard-of, not so long ago.

Food for thought:

Indubitably. Thanks for reading. Smell you later.