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Cub Tracks Captures A Piece Of The Sun

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Spring Training bombs, Jake’s looming bonanza, Respect Bald, and other bullets

The first of many
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Last time around, Cub Tracks got real, examining the distribution of time on the diamond, cheering on the industry leaders, and planning ahead for future columns. Here in the present of the Cub Tracks continuum, we’re celebrating the recent victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, mourning the death of our favorite chair, and at long last removing the Cubbie paraphernalia from my living room walls, namely the eleven ‘W’ flags that took up an entire wall, while preparing the content for the near future.

That content discusses millions of dollars for Jake Arrieta, The Cardinals’ faithful, and reverence for the folically-challenged, among other things. I’m gonna keep the commentary brief today and let the game speak for itself.

As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1936 - The St. Louis Cardinals — without the Dean brothers, who are once again holdouts — visit Cuba and are beaten by the Cuban all-stars. Luis Tiant, Sr., whose son will win 229 ML games, is the starting pitcher for the Cubans.
  • 1964 - Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr., says he has a verbal commitment from a major league baseball club to move there if a stadium is ready by 1965. Funding for a $15M stadium is approved the next day by the city Board of Aldermen.
  • 1966 - Player representatives elect Marvin Miller, assistant to the president of the United Steelworkers, as Executive Director of the Major League Players Association.
  • 1973 - Yankees teammates Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich arrive at spring training and announce they have swapped their wives and families. Even the family dogs were traded.
  • 1982 - Needing just three wins to reach 300 for his career, Gaylord Perry signs a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners.
  • 1996 - Fiery manager Earl Weaver, who had a .583 winning percentage in 17 seasons as manager of the Orioles, and Jim Bunning, who won 100 games and pitched no-hitters in both leagues, are elected into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Also chosen are turn-of-the-century manager Ned Hanlon and Negro Leagues pitcher Bill Foster.
  • 2003 - Although not agreeing to ban ephedra, a memo is sent to all major leaguers by the players' union strongly recommending players "be extremely reluctant to use any products" containing the substance. The diet supplement, which is available without a prescription, has been linked to the spring training death of Orioles' pitcher Steve Bechler.

News you can use:

  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs camp abuzz about Respect Bald event. “Maddon, players sacrifice hair to raise funds for pediatric cancer research” in annual event. Taylor Davis did NOT look happy.
  • Numberfire Power Rankings. One is the Cubbiest number that you ever knew...
  • Dayn Perry (CBS Sports): Jake Arrieta reportedly wants $200 million-plus and that might not be so crazy. Perry explains his reasoning, referencing Jon Heyman. Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation) also had words on the subject.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): No longer underrated, Kyle Hendricks insists nothing changes as he ramps things up in Cubs camp. He looked good Saturday.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Mike Montgomery keeping things simple for Cubs: 'I felt like a pitcher again'. "I feel good with how everything is," Montgomery said. "I'm gonna get ready to make good pitches, whether they want me to start or not.”
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Carl Edwards, Jr. & the role of future Cubs closer. He has ‘closer’s stuff’.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Hector Rondon decision on WBC participation looms for Cubs. “Right now I feel good, but I have to get a couple innings in before I’ll know,” said Rondon.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Kris Bryant's first spring homer is a grand slam. It was a thing of beauty [VIDEO].
  • 18-year-old Kris Bryant talks about his future.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Tight back keeps Anthony Rizzo out of third straight game. He’s expected back Tuesday for the game against Team Italy.
  • Dan Hodgman (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Addison Russell’s 2016 postseason adjustment is carrying over to spring training and that is a very good thing. Stay ‘up the middle’, Addison.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago): Addison Russell could be Cubs’ cleanup hitter of the future. “Batting in that four-hole, I am more than happy to sink into that spot,” Russell said.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Let’s talk about leadoff hitters and why acquiring Billy Hamilton is a Very Bad Idea. Yes, let’s. “...we need to rid our minds of the idea that a leadoff hitter needs to have blazing speed or that he needs to steal bases in front of the mashers behind him. The most important thing a leadoff hitter can do is get on base.”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs eye team home-run record: ‘I think for sure we can do it’. “I think it’s very much possible,” Kris Bryant said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Friendship with ex-big-leaguer helped Cubs prospect Ian Happ's mental game. Sean Casey has helped Happ understand how to approach his game.
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Eloy Jimenez doing things no Cubs prospect has. He doesn’t swing and miss very much.
  • Tim Huwe (The Zygote 50): How the Cubs win spring training. Younger players get to play with the big boys.
  • Jacob R. Misener (Cubbies Crib*): Goose Island to unveil Wrigley Field-themed beer. “The brew, a ‘Belgian wheat ale with hints of orange peel and coriander,’ will be unveiled on April 10 at Wrigley Field.”

Food for thought:

  • Futurism: Traumatic memory? Let science erase it forever. “Scientists have been able to selectively erase memories from the minds of rats, mice, and fish.”
  • Lindzi Wessel (Science): Watch this origami fold itself. “...the new technology might someday be useful in smart packaging, deploying satellites, and implanting medical devices less invasively.”
  • Ross Pomeroy (Live Science): How scientists collected a piece of the sun. With wafers and targets composed of materials like silicon, diamond, gold, aluminum, and sapphire. Why? Read on...

That was the news that was. Thanks for reading. See you Tuesday.

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