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Cub Tracks Runs Some Numbers

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Stowaways to Mars, The Deep Dishers, a Dynasty in the Making, and other bullets

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Odd man in.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

“01000011 01110101 01100010 01110011 00100000 01110111 01101001 01101110 00100001” — Ray Kurzweil

Let’s get some runs! Oh, wait. Cubs Insider has video.

Cub Tracks danced in place previously, and has now graduated to the cha-cha, along with MC Grandpa. Today we have things about former Cubs, Dodgers, and cartoon characters, pizza pie and other numbers, more baseballish stuff, and a random rant.

I love MLB.TV for the regular season. I also have MiLB.TV, and enjoy that as well. But the spring training offering leaves a lot to be desired. MLB.TV didn’t vidcast Wednesday’s game in my area. Again. More than half of the Cubs’ spring contests were unavailable to viewers in my area (likely because of Comcast). I dislike using my bigscreen TV as a radio, and am distracted by the sound coming out of my laptop (or from the desktop in the other room) as I clatter the keys, so I just don’t consume the games, as apparently I’ve gotten out of the habit of listening to radio broadcasts over the course of many years.

I have a box-score app running on another tab, but I want video. And I’d prefer it to be professionally-run. MLB.TV’s commercial feed is freaking awful. The local feed overlay runs parts of the same commercial for the same crappy Chinese buffet over and over, cutting it off at different points to run the home feed’s red-and-blue “commercial time” screen and/or dumb national ads, like the one for The Show ‘17, which came out Wednesday.

Speaking of which — I’m not getting it. I run PS3 and can’t afford to upgrade right now, and it’s only available for PS4 customers, so I’m just gonna update the roster. Ah, well. I always preferred it on PC anyway. Much more complete game. I still update via the MVP Mods community and play that way sometimes. Either way, the schedule doesn’t update. Kinda screws up my idea of simming the season (unless maybe someone who has The Show ‘17 can sim the games and send screencaps. Or I can just jack right in like a real console cowboy, baby.)

No doubt that I can replace it with similarly annoying content. Stuff from numberfire and isportsweb would do in a pinch. I could festoon these pages with “data” from oddsmakers and fantasy baseball sites....

In life as in baseball, modern conveniences come with modern annoyances. Let’s talk some Cubs instead of chewing that cud. Not much about individuals today, but a lot of Team stuff. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history**:

  • 1944 - Branch Rickey suggests the pooling of surplus players if major league 4F players are drafted for military service. Nothing comes of the suggestion.
  • 1966 - Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale end their 32-day holdout, signing for $130,000 and $105,000, respectively.
  • 1979 - Umpires meet in Chicago and vote 50-2 to reject new offers from the A.L. and N.L.
  • 1992 - The White Sox trade Sammy Sosa and pitcher Ken Patterson to the cross-town rival Cubs for George Bell. Sosa will pass Ernie Banks as the franchise's all-time home run leader.
  • 1993 - Charlie Brown hits a game-winning home run, his first round tripper in 43 years. Almost ten percent of the nearly 18,000 Peanuts strips created by Charles Schulz focused on baseball.
  • 2006 - As a result of the recently released book detailing Barry Bonds allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs, Bud Selig appoints George Mitchell to head an investigation into the use of steroids in baseball. The former Senate Majority Leader will have the authority to expand the probe, which will be made public, into events prior to Fall of 2002, when such substances were banned by major league baseball.
  • 2012 - Jamie Moyer becomes the oldest starting pitcher to make an Opening Day roster when the Rockies announce that the 49 year-old southpaw will face Houston in the second game of the season. Knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm was the same age as the Colorado left-hander when he opened the season with L.A. in 1972, but 'Old Sarge' appeared strictly in relief for the Dodgers.

Cubs News:

  • DNAinfo: NY vs. Chicago 'Za: Cubs Minor League Team to be renamed 'Deep Dishers'. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans will change their monickers August 4. “...a New York Mets minor league team will adopt the "Slices" as a nickname...The two won't play each other.” But they’ll compete for some kind of pizza title.
  • CSN Chicago*: Watch, Listen to “Reign Men.”
  • Bill Ruthhart, John Byrne (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Alderman urges Cubs not to create own cable network. “Southwest Side Ald. Edward Burke laid out three arguments on behalf of his resolution, which carries only symbolic value.” Fran Spielman (Chicago Sun-Times) adds on.
  • Fran Spielman (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs to open ‘Park at Wrigley’ plaza April 10 amid security fears. Tom Tunney still has doubts.
  • Mark Newman (MLB.com): Fans will get 15 Seconds of Fame at ballpark. “New technology enables downloads of video clips from live telecasts.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs ready to fill trophy case again in 2017. “The emphasis this spring has been on the team, but, looking ahead to this season, what individual honors could Cubs players capture?”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Curse-breaking Chicago Cubs not afraid to change. "All the additions are wonderful complements," Kyle Schwarber said. "Upgrades. It's going to be really cool to see how it all plays out this season."
  • Tim Kawakami (The Mercury News): How Giants’ future suddenly is colored by this ‘Cubs Era’. “The Cubs are young, strong, minting money and run by very smart people — and seem like a franchise poised to go on a big run.”
  • Ryan Pollock (Fangraphs): The Chicago Cubs: A dynasty in the making. “Using a combination of projection systems and other data sources, I peered into a crystal ball to see how well the Cubs are set up for a five-year run.”
  • Sports Illustrated: 2017 MLB season preview: SI’s experts make their World Series picks.
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): 2017 staff predictions. Hold them to it.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): On paper, have Cubs put together a better roster than last year's World Series team? "This is a crazy talented group," All-Star closer Wade Davis said. "There's 10 or 12 players on this team that are some of the best players in baseball."
  • Eric Chesterton (Cut4): Munenori Kawasaki's Cubs greatest hits. We can hope he finds his way back. Until then...
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Kris Bryant’s former coach shares a story further proving he’s a living legend. Bryant has overtaken Jenna Jameson as the most famous alumnus of Bonanza high school.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Matt Szczur happy to make cut for Cubs’ Opening Day Roster that has 13 position players, 12 pitchers. “I am excited to still be with the ball club,” Szczur said.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Cubs eagerly await big production from lineup with Kyle Schwarber leading off. “I am really ready to get it rolling,” Kyle Schwarber said.
  • Leigh Coridan (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Face of the philosophy: Schwarber’s (not so) hidden strength. “Keeping the dream alive costs little, and goes a long way toward building confidence and establishing trust.”
  • Toan Ngo (Cubs HQ): Meet the top pitching prospect for the Cubs. A few words about Dylan Cease.
  • JJ Cooper (Baseball America): Dylan Cease headlines Cubs’ pitching push. “What once was a system stacked with hitters now stands out most for its young pitchers.”
  • JJ Cooper (Baseball America): Cubs’ young shortstop Aramis Ademan shows he’s ahead of schedule. “He’s one of those young kids who for us as instructors, he’s fun to watch because you tell him something one time and he picks it up like that,” Cubs infield coordinator Jose Flores said.
  • (Chicago Business Journal): Cubs team up with a truly iconic apparel brand. “San Francisco-based Levi's said this morning it will roll out on Friday a new line of Cubs'-branded apparel online and in select Levi's stores.” I need a new credit card.

Food for thought:

  • Danielle Muoio (Science Alert): Elon Musk just launched Neuralink - a venture to merge the human brain with AI. "neural lace" technology would allow people to communicate directly with machines.
  • Hannah Devlin (The Guardian): World's largest dinosaur footprints discovered in Western Australia. “Newly-discovered prints left by gigantic herbivores are part of a rich collection of tracks belonging to an estimated 21 different types of dinosaur.”
  • Joshua Sokol (Science): UV light could easily kill microbial stowaways to Mars. “...sunlight sterilizes about as well as baking.” “Baking” used to be a prerequisite for putting on the blacklight...in this case the UV rays are the only effective ones for killing microbial forms.

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

Thanks for reading. Take the CUBBIE BLUE pill. See you Opening Day for more merriment.