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Cub Tracks’ Chicago Hopes

A Banner Day, The Knights of the Round Locker Room, the man, the myth, the Schwarbird, and other bullets

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King me.
Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images

Rizzoh yeah! CUBS WIN!

Man. I bet the people in the park really wanted extra innings...

"Its all about the heartbeat tonight. We left math out of the equation." -- Joe Maddon

Previously, Cub Tracks piled on, citing strength in numbers. Today, we’ll look for something else to fill the triweekly 1500. Perhaps some things about the game last night, I dunno. But first — Gatorade brings you Kyle Schwarber:

And Dancing with the Stars brings you Anthony Rizzo and David Ross:

Always a blast when @arizz_44 comes to visit me at work!

A post shared by David Ross (@grandparossy_3) on

Well, that was fun. This — ugh. Rain delay, and we had to see the friggin Cardinals and Nationals. I snuck over and watched some DWTS. But I heard an Orval Overall mention...and someone needs some scissors and a razor, bad. Is that Dallas Braden? Ew. That might be the shrubbery that the Knights Who Say “Ni!” were looking for.

“We are no longer the knights who say Ni! We are now the knights who say ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!” — Graham Chapman, after the World Series

In baseball, you can seek the Grail more than once. The Cubs are seven games into their pursuit, and we’re growing to learn the airspeed of an unladen Schwarbird moonshot, if you can swallow such a concept.

Me, I’m going to swallow my pregame meal and see what the writers have to say. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history**:

  • 1912 - Redland Field, the steel and concrete ballpark named to match the team's moniker and hue, makes its debut, with the hometown Reds beating Chicago, 10-6. In 1934, the Cincinnati ballpark will become known as Crosley Field in honor of team owner Powel Crosley.
  • 1917 - Babe Ruth beats the Yankees, pitching a three-hit, 10-3 win for the Red Sox in the opener. He is on the way to a 24-13 record and a league-leading 35 complete games in his best year as a pitcher.
  • 1959 - Don Drysdale hits his second Opening Day home run to become the first pitcher with two career home runs on Opening Day. Unfortunately, his home run is the only Dodgers score as he loses to the Cubs 6-1.
  • 1961 - On Opening Day, the flag is hung at half-staff at Crosley Field to honor the memory of late owner Powel Crosley, Jr., who passed away two weeks earlier. The Reds, the eventual National League Champions, get off to a good start by beating Chicago 7-1.
  • 1993 - When Brewer catcher Dave Nilsson catches for Graeme Lloyd, they become the first all-Australian battery in major league history. Nilsson hails from Brisbane, Queensland, with Lloyd calling Geelong, Victoria, home.

Cubs News:

The Cubs are currently on top of the power rankings. This is as it should be. Unless things change drastically, we’ll not run those links.

  • Carrie Muskat ( Worth the wait: Cubs celebrate, raise banners. “...Monday night was a chance to celebrate once again.”
  • Tim Baffoe (CBS Sports*): A long time coming, Cubs’ banner raising will be special, cathartic. “Every time a kid shows up at the ballpark, he sees that banner. Hopefully we’re going to be able to add more,” exulted Joe Maddon.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Welcome to the new (and improved?) Wrigley: Banner raising starts next Cubs era. “It’s the dawn of a new era for the Chicago Cubs,” he said. “To be kind of in the middle of it and experience it is really special. That’s why I signed over here,” remarked Ben Zobrist.
  • Phil Rogers (*): Tom Ricketts has old-school devotion to Cubs. “The red 'C' now stands for being a good teammate, it stands for playing hard and it stands for 'champion,'" he said.
  • CBS Sports*: Theo Epstein: Ricketts family ‘Incredibly Generous’ in giving Cubs Championship Rings to so many contributors. “...the Ricketts basically made everyone’s dream list come true,” he said.
  • John Grochowski (Chicago Sun-Times*): Yes, even the Cubs are facing some questions. Defense, pitching.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): What the Wrigley banner-raising ceremony means to Cubs ace Jon Lester. “For me, it’s always when you get that tangible thing and you have something in your hand or you see that banner go up, “ he said.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Jake Arrieta fires back at questions about his velocity. “Everybody wants to talk about this,” Arrieta said. “There’s FanGraphs articles. I don’t care about that.”
  • Kenny Kelly (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The case for shifting behind Brett Anderson. With the shift on, the ground ball rate increases from 61.7 percent to 67.7 percent.
  • Hallie Grossman (ESPN): The heroic feats of Kyle Schwarber. "If it wasn't for him," swears Kris Bryant, "we wouldn't have won the World Series."
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Kyle Schwarber explains what the 'W' stands for in new Gatorade ad. “Schwarber is a bonafide national superstar...”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Early hitting results encouraging for Jason Heyward. "I'm relaxed up there, not thinking a whole lot," Heyward said of his approach now. Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation) adds analysis. So does Evan Altman (Cubs Insider).
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Cubs relish homecoming, Wrigley environs. "We missed it -- we missed being here," Schwarber said.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Heyward, Rizzo helped design WS rings. Joe Maddon wasn't involved with the ring design.
  • Adrian Garro (Cut 4): Cubs cheered Ross on "DWTS" from dugout. “...various players spent some time during Monday's rain delay watching -- and rooting on -- Ross' performance on the big screen in center field.”
  • Erik Brady (USA Today): A son, a father and a Cubs connection that will never pass. “You can’t believe how green the grass looks.”
  • Burt Constable (Daily Herald {$}): Murray brother knows Cubs, golf fashion. Joel Murray reminisces.

Food for thought:

  • Laura Geggle (Live Science): First animal? Jellyfish may take the prize. Sponges and coral also compete.
  • Nicola Davis (The Guardian): Scientists identify parts of brain involved in dreaming. “What’s more, changes in brain activity have been found to offer clues as to what the dream is about.”
  • Mitch Leslie (Science): Giant viruses found in Austrian sewage fuel debate over potential fourth domain of life. "Based on the data available now, I would not put my money on the fourth domain hypothesis."

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

Yeah, I cried too when Rizzo hoisted the trophy and led the Cubs out. That flag will fly forever. See you Thursday after the ring ceremony. Hopefully we can have meat loaf for lunch together. Thanks for reading.