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Cub Tracks parks it

Rollie Fingerless, expect another division title, PlanetMcPlanetFace, and other bullets

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League Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs - Game Five
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Cub Tracks tooled around the track a little and then had to take a nap, just as the GM meetings were beginning. This meant my ear was relatively close to the ground, and I gathered the following always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1961 - John Fetzer, a passionate fan of the game, becomes the lone owner of the Tigers when he buys out the estate of Fred Knorr. After the 1983 season, the media mogul will sell the team to pizza entrepreneur Tom Monaghan.
  • 1985 - Thirty-nine year-old Rollie Fingers is released by the Brewers, bringing an end to his 17-year Hall-of-Fame career.
  • 1986 - The Doubleday Publishing Company agrees to sell the World Champion Mets to Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon for $80.75 million.
  • 2001 - For the second time in his career, Seattle skipper Lou Piniella is named the American League Manager of the Year. 'Sweet Lou,' the only person to appear on every ballot, guided the Mariners to an historic 116 victories, which tied the 1906 Cubs as the winningest team in major league history.
  • 2011 - Mike Matheny is named to succeed Tony La Russa as Cardinals manager.
  • Happy birthday Willie Hernandez, Kent Bottenfield, Xavier Nady

Cubs news and notes:

“The Cubs said a news report Monday listing the team as one of six penalized for exceeding the competitive balance – or “luxury” – tax threshold in 2017 was in error.

The Cubs actually were far below the threshold this season.

It’s a significant difference because that would have meant a second consecutive year of penalties, which would have impacted draft pick compensation this winter.” — Gordon Wittenmyer

Although some observers think the ship has sailed on an Arrieta-Cubs reunion, some haven't given up on the idea.

"After a bunch of back and forth, I see the Cubs and Arrieta realizing that they are meant for each other," an AL scout said. "He got his career on track there and they won a World Series. Why leave now when they know each other best?" — Jerry Crasnick

Sign him!

The most underrated moment in the GM meetings is when everybody gathers for the first session and somebody looks in the direction of John Mozeliak and Mike Girsch of the Cardinals and asks, “Anybody know what the WiFi password is?” — Andy Dolan

  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Theo Epstein: Fans ‘absolutely should expect’ another division title in 2018. “I think fans should be extremely optimistic about this seven-year run that we’re hopefully on,” Epstein said.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Cubs preparing for 'challenging' pitching market. "There's no doubt pitching is expensive," Jed Hoyer said. "It's expensive in trade, it's expensive in free agency. It's not going to change.”
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Sports Chicago*): Cubs vow to be aggressive in pursuit of pitching. “We are open to either way of doing business,” president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said when asked about the preferred method of adding to his club.
  • Patrick Mooney (NBC Sports Chicago*): How Wade Davis returning to Cubs could fall into place. “...just look at the supply-and-demand dynamics and there appears to be a way Davis could return to Chicago.”
  • Jon Heyman (FanRag Sports*): Dodgers and Cubs interested in Orioles closer Zach Britton. “...he’s a free agent after this year...”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs will have trouble rebuilding rotation with Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist deals. “...there’s little appetite for another megadeal this time around.”
  • Bill Thompson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): 2017 player profile: Jen-Ho Tseng. “...while he’ll never be a top of the line starter, he adds much needed organizational depth that could blossom into rotational depth if he stays on track.”
  • CBS Sports Chicago: Jason McLeod: Adbert Alzolay took ‘Biggest Step Forward’ among pitchers in Cubs’ farm system. Full interview included [AUDIO].
  • John Manuel (Baseball America): Baseball America’s top 10 Cubs prospects. “...some of the most talented pitchers have yet to log a full season of work in the minors.”
  • Todd Johnson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Why have the Cubs not developed some pitching by now? “Fast track prospects are the exception, but the pitchers are getting close now.”

Food for thought:

There you go, ddoubleheader.

  • Sarah Kaplan (The Washington Post): Thousands of scientists issue bleak ‘second notice’ to humanity. “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory.”
  • David Gelles (The New York Times): Floating cities, no longer Science Fiction, begin to take shape. I’m still holding out for my promised flying car.

Thanks for reading. Have a day.