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Cub Tracks shoulders the blame

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1-10 in 17, Bryant first, eating your veggies, and other bullets

MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs
that one got away
Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

In our previous episode, Cub Tracks took home an oscar. We’d have rather taken a Dave Berg or a Vienna Beef, but you get what you get. This time around, there isn’t much to get as we steam into Thanksgiving week, and I’m playing hurt as I dislocated my right shoulder Thursday morning, but we have what we have and you’re welcome to it. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1979 - Former Angel Nolan Ryan agrees to a $4.4 million, four-year deal with the Astros, the largest sum ever given to a free-agent signing with a new team. After inking the richest contract in sports, the 'Ryan Express' becomes the first baseball player to earn a million dollars per year.
  • 1996 - Free-agent Albert Belle signs a record five-year, $55 million deal with the White Sox. The generous contract makes the 30-year-old left fielder the first $10 million a year player in baseball history.
  • 1998 - Chicago slugger Sammy Sosa is an easy winner in the National League Most Valuable Player balloting over St. Louis's Mark McGwire. Sosa received 30 of 32 first-place votes after leading the Cubs to a wild-card spot in the playoffs.

Cubs news and notes:

“–Heading for Thanksgiving, the industry consensus is that the Alex Cobb showdown will come down to Cubs v. Yankees.” — Peter Gammons

  • David Haugh (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Length of Jake Arrieta deal should concern Cubs more than annual cost. “History says Boras will seek a six- or seven-year contract.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Cubs Quick Hits: Dillon Maplescutter command could create Cubs closer. All this plus assonance.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Acid Redux: The lesson Cubs provide for Astros, other dynasty seekers. “It’s hard to be a dynasty, period...” says Brian Cashman.
  • Mark Bowman (MLB.com): Why I put Kris Bryant 1st on my ballot. “...I believe he made the greatest impact, as his second-half production fueled the successful turnaround the Cubs experienced after the All-Star break.”
  • James Neveau (NBC Sports Chicago*): Chicago Cubs player evaluations: Javier Baez. “...he’ll have to work on continuing to fine tune one of the most aggressive and free-wheeling swings in all of baseball. “
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Examination of unluckiest Cubs Hitters may reveal big rebound for Kyle Schwarber. “Several signs point towards the hulking slugger rebounding next season.”
  • Zack Moser (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): 2017 player profile: Jason Heyward. “Heyward is bad at hitting now, or Heyward is bad at hitting now and should get better.”
  • Zach Martin (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): It’s time for the Cubs to act like the Dodgers this offseason. Pt 1. (pitching), Pt 2 (offensive depth). “...the Cubs’ most abundant resource is now cash.”
  • John Sickels (Minor League Ball): Chicago Cubs organization discussion. “Let’s talk about the future of the Chicago Cubs.”

Food for thought:

  • Michael Price (Science): Why written languages look alike the world over. “People appear to have an aesthetic preference for certain kinds of shapes and designs, and that preference seems to explain the writing systems we see,” says Julie Fiez.

Thanks for reading.