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Cub Tracks plates one up

The Hot Stove gets lit, Wrigley Rajah, Mune, Mune, and other bullets. In which we fall into bad old habits...

MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs
It’s Bleed CUBBIE Blue, not Dodger Blue, hot dog.
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

“Kill your darlings”, they say, hemming and hawing.

For sale, baby shoes, never worn...

“They” being William Faulkner, reportedly. Perhaps it is apochryphal, perhaps not...in any event, the postman never rang. He just dropped the package on the stoop...

Hi. Welcome to Lester’s Diner. My name is Duane. My hair is brownish-gray, my eyes are washed-out green, my collar is yellow from all the egg, and I’ll be your server today — Samantha Eggar couldn’t make it. In our previous episode, Cub Tracks lumbered up to the plate and barreled up a couple of meatballs (little round meat loaves), the Hot Stove has gotten lit and the sprinklings of delicious rumor and the enticing aroma of all that cash will no doubt keep the pachydermus pundits ponderously pounding their pulsating pulpits well into the coming new year.

A man comes in with a gun...

Here at Cub Tracks, we plan to bring you only the hottest of the hot takes, the very blue-plate specials of speculation, the zeitiest of the geist, if you will, if and when they occur....in the meantime, we have the stuff, ‘specially-selected to address your infotainment needs du jour, concocted by the usual chicken-fried cohort of chefs.

“Well, I never...” She began.

“Maybe that’s part of the problem”, he said, wrapping her in his manly arms.

So will that be a macchiato giganto mochazilla, a naranja jalapeno jello jigger, or would you prefer something in a bottle? Appetizers? Here’s something to listen to while you read, a little sonic snack. This is also worth a try. Do you need time to look at the menu again?

“Here’s to plain speaking and clear understanding,” Mr. Gutman replied, raising his glass.

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

Today in Cubs history:

  • 1928 - The cash-strapped Braves send player/manager Rogers Hornsby to the Cubs in exchange for $200,000 and hurlers Percy Jones, Harry 'Socks' Seibold, Bruce Cunningham, outfielder Fred Maguire and catcher Lou Legett.

“The only thing you owe the public is a good performance.” — Humphrey Bogart

  • 1973 - The Cubs trade second baseman Glenn Beckert and minor league prospect Bobby Fenwick to the Padres for outfielder Jerry Morales.
  • 1979 - Cubs reliever Bruce Sutter, who had a 2.23 ERA and saved 37 of his team's 80 victories, wins the National League Cy Young Award by a 72-66 margin over Houston's Joe Niekro.

“A hot dog at the game beats roast beef at the Ritz.” — Humphrey Bogart

  • 2013 - Rick Renteria becomes the Cubs' 53rd manager in franchise history, the fourth in the last five years, when he signs a three-year contract with two club option years with the last-place team that finished the season with 96 losses.

Happy birthday: Monte McFarland, Joe Niekro, Reggie Patterson, Glendon Rusch

Cubs news and notes:

I got a sub to the Athletic for my birthday. Definitely got my money’s worth so far.

  • Whitney McIntosh (SBNation): All of the qualifying offers extended (or not) before Monday’s deadline. We’ll know who the full group of FAs is in ten days or less.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs will have free-agent holes to fill. “...a busy offseason for the Cubs, who not only have some holes in the roster to fill but also spots on manager Joe Maddon's coaching staff.”
  • Barry Rozner (Daily Herald {$}): With strong winter, Chicago Cubs might be team to beat. “The Cubs have some heavy lifting to do, but they start with a team that's been to the NLCS three straight seasons...”
  • Andy Dolan (The Athletic {$}): Cub o' coffee: A different kind of offseason. “For many years — most of them, actually — the offseason was more fun for Cubs fans than the actual seasons.”
  • Patrick Mooney (NBC Sports Chicago*): After making qualifying offers, now comes the hard part for Cubs, Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis. “...it won’t be a surprise if the Cubs try to trade for and coach up the next Arrieta, and get a little more creative with the ninth inning than simply making Davis an offer he can’t refuse...”
  • John Silver (Chicago Sun-Times*): Predicting where Cubs free agents Arrieta, Davis will land. They’ll be wearing cowboy hats, y’all. Yu Darvish and Lance Lynn are headed to the Windy City, say the same prognosticators. Lynn got a QO, but then so did Cobb. Might be worth it to take a flyer on Trevor Rosenthal for the pen. Maybe.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Could Wade Davis take Qualifying Offer from Cubs? “...the familiar surrounding could make a return to Chicago a popular choice for Davis.”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): A new set of free agent predictions have the Cubs landing Alex Cobb, retaining Davis. Jim Duquette, he’s referring to. Davis for 4/62.
  • Darius Austin (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): 2017 player profile: Wade Davis. “Theo Epstein has indicated that the Cubs are certainly interested in re-signing Davis.”
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): The problem with dealing each of the Cubs’ young position players. “...on a case-by-case basis, it isn’t obvious...”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Examining trade chips in Cubs’ quest to solidify rotation: Javier Báez. “...it’s time for the Cubs to dip into that depth.”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Check out these 12 potential breakout hitters in Cubs system. “...why you shouldn’t scout the stat line.”
  • Ryan Davis (FanRag Sports): 3 top offseason targets for Cubs. Rene Rivera, Addison Reed, Cobb.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): For the second straight year, Munenori Kawasaki is a world champion. “Former Cubs pitcher Spencer Patton was also on the title-winning SoftBank Hawks.”

Food for thought:

  • Lisa Grossman (Science News): A sandy core may have kept Enceladus’ ocean warm. “Friction in the icy moon’s heart could help explain its dramatic plumes.”
  • Gretchen Vogel (Science): When dinosaurs went extinct, many animals literally came out of the dark. Mammals that lived at the same time as dinosaurs were most likely nocturnal.
  • Stephanie Pappas (Live Science): What Darwin can tell us about aliens. “Aliens would look a lot like life on Earth, researchers say.”

Thanks for reading.