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Cub Tracks watches it fly

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More about Ohtani, MVPs, DNA origami, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Cubs are still in. Yay. Is it spring training yet?

Japan v Netherlands - International Friendly
Shohei the money!
Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images

Is anyone else sick of the Ohtani saga? I wish he’d sign already. This constant speculation is just ridiculous. Giancarlo Stanton too. Quit holding up the gravy train, you guys. The stove isn’t heated enough to keep it warm, it’s getting awfully lumpy, and we’ll need it for the last third of meat loaf during the season.

AFL Grand Final Entertainment Press Conference
What does he even mean by that?
Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

The Cubs and Cub Tracks remain in the hunt, though, so I have to pay some attention to the phenomena. But just some. Most of my (baseball) attention is still on the ‘real’ free agent and trade markets, as I try to figure out who’s going where, and why, while playing chicken with the gods of baseball to boot. Some of the usual suspects seem to think similarly. Read all about it — as always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1939 - Lou Gehrig, who played in his last major league game on June 30 this season, is elected to the Hall of Fame. The five-year waiting rule is waived because of the Yankees first baseman's diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
  • 1966 - Dick Ellsworth is traded by the Cubs to the Phillies for right-hander Ray Culp and cash. During his eight-year tenure in Chicago, the southpaw, who had both a 22-win (1963) and 22-loss (1966) season for the club, compiled 84 victories, the most by a North-side hurler during the decade.
  • 2004 - Nomar Garciaparra signs a one-year deal with the Cubs, the team he was traded to in July, for $8 million.
  • Happy birthday — Don Cardwell, Scot Thompson

Cubs news and notes:

Baltimore Orioles vs Kansas City Royals -  May 19, 2005
I’ll be back
Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images

“If I go to spring training with a legitimate chance to make the team, I won’t have to go to the minors.” — Rafael Palmeiro

“The information that you’ve gotten, that I’ve gotten, is from teams that are out of it or other agents. Anybody involved in the process has been real quiet and that’s why we don’t know exactly what’s going on, what exactly he wants. We still don’t know. But that the fact that the Cubs are in it and the Yankees are not, that says volumes. I just don’t know why.” — Jesse Rogers, on Ohtani negotiations

  • Travis Sawchik (Fangraphs): The Cubs are Ohtani’s other outlier finalist. ““[Theo] Epstein can sell a franchise,” one longtime executive said Monday.”
  • Rob Huff (The Athletic {$}): Free agency offers non-pitching supplements for the 2018 Cubs. “...the Cubs are unlikely to open up an everyday spot on the roster.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Ohtani, arms on Cubs to-do list at Winter Meetings. “Chicago has trade pieces to acquire quality starter, closer.”
  • Vinnie Duber (NBC Sports Chicago): In process of retooling bullpen, Cubs have reportedly shown interest in Brandon Kintzler. “According to a report from Jon Morosi...”
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): 2017 player profile: Kris Bryant. “The evidence just shot the narrative a look and said, “If he dies, he dies.””
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Kris Bryant and Ryne Sandberg’s 1985 season. “Now all that’s left to make the vindicated MVP comparison perfect is for Bryant to spend the next decade playing at Sandberg’s Hall of Fame level.” Yeah, just that.
  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times*): Kyle Schwarber looks toned, fit during offseason grind. “It looks like Schwarber’s hard work is paying off.”
  • Chris Landers (Cut Four): Schwarber already preparing for next season. “This development can only mean one thing: Schwarber's home runs will now clear the Wrigley Field scoreboard entirely.” Or the short porch in Yankee Stadium, says Simon Farber.
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): 2017 player profile: Albert Almora Jr. “...there were a lot of flashes that at least point to some semblance of upside for him moving forward.”
  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): Greg Maddux ‘money quotes’ that too few read in 1991. “If I don’t sign anything by next spring, there’s a very good chance it will be my last year in Chicago,” he said.

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.