Previously, Cub Tracks looked for Yu. Tomorrow, we are our own secret Santa. I got me a new desktop pc, a guitar, and a package of girl scout cookies. The cats get the boxes. Hard to say who’ll be happier. Everyone else got books or booze or both, and Italian Swiss Colony snack foods (because I have garlic in my soul), instead of the bad banana with the greasy black peel or the three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce...
...today, we offer seasoned greetings, if not a heck of a lot of links. We wish you a cool yule and a fabulous first, nevertheless. Seasoned greetings.Here’s a good listen for your holiday enjoyment.
And a soundtrack for your readings. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).
Today in baseball history:
- 1969 - "I do not feel that I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes." - Curt Flood's response to being traded.
In a letter to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, Curt Flood states his refusal to report to the Phillies after being traded by the Cardinals, citing he is not a piece of property to be sold. The MLB Players' Association announces support for the outfielder's suit against baseball and agrees to pay the legal fees for the case that will eventually be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court.
- 1990 - The Expos trade Tim Raines and a pair of minor leaguers to the White Sox for outfielder Ivan Calderon and reliever Barry Jones.
Cubs news and notes:
Anthony Rizzo is not only an excellent player, worthy of mention with Kris Bryant (and a couple others) as the most important on the team, but he’s also now the longest-tenured Cub at the big league level. The new front office arrived, and they wanted him to be the foundation upon which the rebuild was constructed. He arrived, he succeeded, he struggled, he adjusted, he grew up, he became involved in the community, and he lead. Not only is Rizzo the face of the Cubs, the organization is quite fortunate that he is. — Brett Taylor
(Purloined from Bleacher Nation.) I remember that one. Can’t find video of the one that Leon Durham hit into the open window of an apartment across the street but I remember that clearly as well.
- David Schoenfield (ESPN*): What moves should MLB's 'Super Seven' teams make next? Manny Machado again? *eyeroll*
- Robert Murray (FanRag Sports*): Cubs appear to be favorites to land Bryce Harper. He gives odds, too.
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Yu Darvish’s 2018 ZiPS projections are out, and they’re really great. “Long story, short: You want this guy on your team.”
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): All I want this Christmas is Yu, though I’m still dreaming of a Bryce Christmas next year. Please don’t Boras any more.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Transplant survivor an inspiration to Joe Maddon. “... a teenager in St. Petersburg, Fla., may have been the biggest beneficiary of the Cubs manager's charity efforts.”
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Jim Hickey feeling at home with Cubs, Maddon. "There's a lot of factors that make it almost a perfect scenario if it's not a perfect scenario," Hickey said.
- Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Big, positive changes on tap for the Cubs’ pitching infrastructure with the additions of Hickey and Benedict. “...for the Cubs, it will probably be both a smooth change, and a productive one.”
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Cubs admire Anthony Rizzo's confidence, consistency. "He's been underrated," Maddon said. "For me, he always should be in the MVP consideration. Always."
- Dan Cahill (Chicago Sun-Times*): Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper apparently had a game night.
Can we all just take a second to appreciate Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper's game night? #FutureCub pic.twitter.com/5LWbhlJeB8— Jordan Owen (@byjordanowen) December 22, 2017
- Ryan Davis (The Sporting News): Remembering Cubs pitcher Ryan O'Malley and his short, quirky MLB career. “...on Aug. 16, 2006, O'Malley found himself on a big-league mound.”
- Mary Craig (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Crafting a mystery: The 1940 Cubs. “...sometimes the characters don’t cooperate...”
Food for thought:
A new kind of spiral wave says yes to the mess. https://t.co/GtWDaqW1iD— Science News (@ScienceNews) December 23, 2017
Weird.https://t.co/WfFA98S1fV— ScienceAlert (@ScienceAlert) December 21, 2017
Learn more about the first-ever observation of colliding neutron stars -- and 2017's other major scientific breakthroughs: https://t.co/sX0BxWkmGg #BOTY17 pic.twitter.com/d32gSVibdP— News from Science (@NewsfromScience) December 22, 2017
Thanks for reading, and happy holidaze to you. Also, should you need a stocking-stuffer, this just came out in paperback: