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Cub Tracks Stretches Time

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Pitch til you’re 40, Hats off to ‘Schreiber’, beating the drums, and other bullets

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
Put me in, Coach.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs Play!

Last time around, Cub Tracks crossed its eyes, dotted the tees, and threw spaghetti in the general direction of the other Great American Pastime. On this occasion, the way-ahead-of-time edition will appear at the usual time, due to the singular magic of the Cub Tracks continuum.

In my world, I’m going to the baseball game between the Cubs and the Japanese WBC team later today. In the Cub Tracks world, that game has already happened, and I’m fast asleep. This is the never-ending taffy pull of time travel that results in the cheesy comestible that we all know and love, and one of the many running narratives that we add to the stew, when we mix the metaphor so thoroughly as to render the dish completely unrecognizable.

Ack! You say. This is a baseball blog -- what’s up with the ersatz culinary metaphors? Let’s can all that folderol, sell it for scrap at market prices, and get to the part about the Grand Old Game. TL;DR.

Yes, let’s. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history**:

  • 1957 - In what is believed to be the largest offer for a player to date, the Indians reject Boston's bid of $1 million for Herb Score. Cleveland General Manager Hank Greenberg says that the team is interested in building for the future, not in selling its best ballplayers. Six weeks later Score is struck in the eye by Gil McDougald’s liner.
  • 1960 - Red Sox catcher Sammy White announces he will retire rather than report to Cleveland, where he had been traded.
  • 1970 - During a spring training game against Oakland, Indians first baseman Ken Harrelson fractures his leg and will not play until September, appearing in only 17 games. Next season, after losing his starting position to Chris Chambliss, the eventual AL Rookie of the Year, the 'Hawk' will retire in June to pursue a professional golf career.
  • 1984 - Denny McLain , the last major league pitcher to achieve a 30-win season, is indicted on various charges of racketeering, loan-sharking, extortion, and cocaine possession.
  • 1989 - With Dave Winfield sidelined, the Yankees trade catcher Joel Skinner and a minor leaguer to the Indians for outfielder Mel Hall. Winfield will miss all of the 1989 season after undergoing back surgery.

News you can use:

  • Chris Bahr (Fox Sports*): Derek Holland butchers Kyle Schwarber’s name after Cubs slugger homers. “Hats off to ‘Schreiber;’ I think that’s how you say his name, right?” Holland said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Jake Arrieta reflects on evolution, long-term plans. "Rich Hill signed a three-year deal and he'll pitch until he's 40," Arrieta said. "If I want to, I think I'll still be able to."
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Why Jake Arrieta thinks he can pitch until he’s 40 (with or without the Cubs). “...know-how, intellectual curiosity, nutrition program and Pilates regimen.”
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Cubdom holds its breath as Eloy Jimenez has a shoulder exam. “Jimenez underwent tests on Saturday that left Cubs officials quietly optimistic that treatment for their top prospect would be focused on rest and a strengthening program.” The minor injury might have happened on that weird throw he made last Tuesday.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Eddie Butler not content with second-best. “Cubs righty making case for Opening Day roster despite long odds.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Eddie Butler takes aim at place in Cubs’ rotation plans. “I’m trying to force their hand, pretty much, trying to prove I’m the pitcher that they wanted over here,” Butler said. “And I want to make an impact as quick as possible for this team.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Jon Lesterpitching naked’ as he tries to find fastball. “I’m just trying to get my fastball back to the right angle and the right location,” he said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune*): Cubs pitchers to start batting during games on Sunday. “We’re going to hit our pitchers, even in an American League game on the road. We're going to start hitting our pitchers in the game,” said Maddon.
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Ben Zobrist’s aging curve. “...it would be prudent for the Cubs to monitor Zobrist’s performance this year very closely.”
  • Steven Goldman (FanRag Sports): CTBNL: Center field could be rare Cubs weak spot. “Between management’s resourcefulness and the lack of strong competition in the division, there’s no need to panic. “
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Edgar Martinez? Miguel Cabrera? Eloy Jimenez made a huge impression on Joe Maddon in Cubs camp. “...really sophisticated for a 20-year-old,” opined Joe Maddon.
  • Jacob R Misener (Cubbies Crib): Shohei Otani a talent unlike anything MLB has seen in years. “What makes him one of the premier talents on the horizon is his ability to pitch and hit – incredibly well.”
  • NBC Chicago: City releases total cost of Cubs World Series run. $18.8 million.
  • Five Thirty-Eight: Can anyone in the NL Central stop the Cubs? Even the best team has a 15-20% chance to win the World Series.
  • NIck Cafardo (The Boston Globe): Theo Epstein and the questions surrounding the Cubs’ chances to repeat. Cafardo beats the drum for a Cubs/Red Sox World Series.
  • Shaun Gallagher (WNDU.com): Local 4th grade class earns once in a lifetime trip to Wrigley Field. April 13th, they'll go to Chicago to watch the reigning World Series champions take on the Dodgers at the end of their first home series of the season, including a personal tour of the historic park.

Food for thought:

  • Emily Conover (Science News): Superfluid helium behaves like black holes. “A frictionless form of helium appears to follow the same counterintuitive ‘area law’ as black holes...entropy grows at the same rate as the surface area of the superfluid helium, instead of its volume...”
  • Sarah Chodosh (Popular Science): This is the first fluorescent frog ever and he’s adorable. “He goes where no other frogs—and very few land animals—have gone before.” Only the Phlorescent Leech and Eddie preceded him, and they’re happy together.
  • Sara G Miller (Live Science): What your nose knows about human evolution. “...wider noses are more commonly found among people living in warm and humid climates, and narrower noses are more commonly found among people in cold and dry climates.”

** information derived from today in baseball history and the national pastime.

Smell you Tuesday. Thanks for reading.