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Cub Tracks loves Yu too

Darvish, Darvish, more Darvish, and other bullets

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World Series - Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Seven
Can Yu dig it?
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

All of you bruces no doubt remember our last episode, so we won’t go into all that, but will forge right on ahead with today’s edition. Still not so much happening on the Cubs-signing-players front, though Theo and Jed were said to have boarded a plane to go dicker with Yu Darvish. Alex Cobb wanted more buttering up than the Cubs wanted to do, or so the rumor mill says, and I‘d guess that there’s probably a kernel of truth in those whispers, or the Cubs brain-trust wouldn’t have winged their way to the land of chili and chicken-fried steak.

Our distinguished panel will no doubt have words about that and many other subjects. Let’s move on, shall we? As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1976 - A single-engine plane crashes into the upper deck of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, home of the Orioles, injuring the pilot and three others. Minutes prior to the mishap the plane had buzzed the stadium during the final moments of the Steelers playoff victory over the Colts.
  • 1991 - The Orioles sign former 1984 Cy Young Award winner Rick Sutcliffe (6-5, 4.10) as a free agent after the Cubs decline to offer him a contract due to recurring arm problems.
  • 2001 - Free agent Moises Alou (.331, 27, 108) signs a $27 million, three-year deal with the Cubs. The former Astro All-Star's presence in the Chicago lineup, along with Fred McGriff and Sammy Sosa, will give the team a fearsome 3-4-5 threesome.
  • 2003 - Gary Deporter, the managing partner of the late broadcaster Harry Caray's area restaurants, submits the winning bid of $106,600 to obtain the Bartman ball.
  • Happy birthday — Al Kaline, Geoff Zahn

Cubs news and notes:

What a weekend

A post shared by Anthony Rizzo (@arizz_44) on

Did he or didn’t he go to Jared?

“We’re trying to do what the Royals and Astros did so well—bring along a team of positional players who grew up together, learned to win together, learned to lose together. I think we’ve done that. We try to work hard at every way to find pitching. It can be dangerous to go all in on the biggest names in the pitching free agent market every year. I’d say once every three years is probably the limit.

“But I will be the first to admit that since we’ve been here, we haven’t done a good job signing and developing pitching, and that starts with me. It’s something we’re trying to address in a number of ways, and we spend a lot of time sharing ideas and thoughts and concepts about how we get better.” — Theo Epstein, to Peter Gammons.

  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Cubs meet with Yu Darvish. “The Cubs have more than just a passing interest...”
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs reportedly meeting with Darvish. “There has been little movement in the market for the top free agents...”
  • Carrie Muskat ( Cubs reportedly meet with free agent Darvish. Still in the market for a starting pitcher.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): If Cubs think Alex Cobb’s asking price Is prohibitive, how does Yu Darvish make sense? “...they’d have to see him as the best option to anchor the rotation for the long haul.”
  • Ryan Davis (FanRag Sports): Signing Yu Darvish would be great win-now move for Cubs. “There is something to be said about maintaining your future competitiveness while going for it right now, too.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Should the Cubs bring back Travis Wood? “'s never a good sign when two teams that are not contending get rid of a guy and actually pay him to go somewhere else.”
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): 2017 player profile: Willson Contreras. “...he may have established himself as one of the very elite catchers in all of baseball.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Should the Cubs trade Addison Russell for Manny Machado? “Getting rid of Russell right now would be selling low on a player who was considered one of the top young stars in the game just one year ago.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs Q&A: Should Albert Almora Jr play center field every day? Gonzales answers readers in his weekly mailbag.
  • Jared Wyllys (Cubs Den): Small ways the Cubs can improve in 2018: Plate Discipline. “...the numbers went the opposite direction of what they should.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Cubs season in review: It began with pennants and rings and ended in disappointment. “It’s important to distinguish between disappointment and failure.”

Food for thought:

  • Emily Conover (Science News): Our first interstellar visitor may be a camouflaged comet. Emily ruins everything. I was hoping for RAMA.
  • Patrick Barkham (The Guardian): Lost species of bee-mimicking moth rediscovered after 130 years. Four specimens were collected in Malaysia. Deforestation threatens the others.
  • Mark Mancini (HowStuffWorks): Scientists find Antarctic microbes that live on air alone. “Scientists consider the McMurdo Dry Valleys to be the closest of any terrestrial environment to Mars.”

Thanks for reading.