clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cub Tracks Blows It Off

Hooton and hollerin’, old and new ideas, food for microbes, and other bullets

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs
Dangerous toys
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

By now, we all know which way the wind blew Saturday afternoon. Stuff like that happens over the course of a long season. A famous French chef once said “Born to laugh at tournedos,” and I suppose that’s good advice to chew on since we’re not getting meat loaf this series.

An ill wind blows nobody any good, and the end of that game blew, but it’s over.

There’s another game today, and in my time zone the day games start at brunch time, which is ideal if you’re like me and you like baseball and food equally.

Happy Easter to those of that persuasion. I’m not but I’m cooking holiday brunch and dinner anyhow, because any excuse for a feed is a good excuse. That this is seemingly (in my humble opinion) ESPN’s operating principle is beside the point but that’s okay by me.

Enjoy your day, if that’s your plan, and have a read. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history (**):

  • 1929 - Cleveland outfielder Earl Averill becomes the first A.L. player to hit a home run in his first major league time at bat when he blasts an 0-and-2 pitch off Detroit's Earl Whitehill in the Indians' 5-4, 11-inning victory.
  • 1935 - Babe Ruth’s N.L. debut draws 25,000 to Braves Field. The Babe's two-hit debut includes a 430-foot home run off Carl Hubbell, as Boston beats New York 4-2. The Babe's contract includes a share in the team's profits.
  • 1942 - At Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, Hiram ‘Hi’ Bithorn becomes the first Puerto Rican to play major league baseball. The Cubs' right-hander from Santurce makes a relief appearance, allowing no runs or hits during his two innings of work in Chicago's 4-2 loss to the Redbirds.
  • 1947 - In his National League debut, Hank Greenberg has the lone RBI in the Pirates' 1-0 win over the Cubs. Pittsburgh bought the slugging first baseman from the Tigers in the off-season for $75,000.
  • 1948 - A Major League baseball game was televised for the first time, by WGN-TV. It was an exhibition game at Wrigley Field with Jack Brickhouse doing the play-by-play. The White Sox defeated the Cubs, 4-1.
  • 1972 - In Chicago, 22-year-old rookie Burt Hooton of the Cubs no-hits the Phillies 4-0.
  • 1983 - Padres first baseman Steve Garvey plays in his 1,118th consecutive game, breaking Billy Williams’ N.L. record. Garvey goes 2-for-4 in an 8-5 Padres loss at Los Angeles.

Cubs News:

  • Eno Sarris (Fangraphs): Which pitcher stats have relevance this early (with a note on Clayton Kershaw). Jake Arrieta figures in calculations.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Why Joe Maddon and the Cubs are not concerned with velocity dips from Jake Arrieta, starters. “...I would much prefer 91, 92 and an occasional 93 located than a 94, 95 out of the shotgun. It's a much better way to go,” remarked Maddon.
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs pitchers view new Wrigley bullpens as mostly positive. “ the end of the day it's going to be a good thing for Wrigley,” said Arrieta.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Anthony Rizzo's words helped keep 'Henry Strong'. "He's a pretty amazing guy," Henry Sembdner said of Rizzo.
  • Luis Medina (Bleacher Nation): Does the math support having Ben Zobrist hit cleanup? “What he lacks in power is made up with the likelihood of keeping the line moving...”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Addison Russell had made yet another mechanical change. “He’s wrapping the bat before he starts his hands through the zone...”
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Jason Heyward explains what Jackie Robinson Day means to him and why black kids aren't pursuing baseball. “...the scholarship numbers in baseball are really low," Heyward said. "There's not a lot of opportunity there.”
  • Matt Pettit (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): High leverage stolen bases and reliever usage. “...even in this analytically inclined era of baseball, competitive advantages can sometimes be found in an old idea instead of a new one.”
  • Tim Huwe (The Zygote 50): Vital signs and that play you likely hate. “...the times where “Small Ball” makes sense.”
  • Grey Papke (Larry Brown Sports): Joe Maddon voices support for automated home plate umpires. Refers to NY Post article by Johnny Oleksinski. “At one point, I thought I’d be totally against it, but I can’t tell you that I am now,” Maddon said.
  • Dayn Perry (CBS Sports* {$}): No fence can stop Cubs prospect Daniel Spingola from making a catch. “The outfielder made a miracle catch on Friday night for Class A Myrtle Beach.”
  • Erik Lambert (Sports Mockery): Try not to cry hearing how this guy got his Cubs World Series Ring. Lee Pikelny works for the Cubs and White Sox.
  • Joe Rodgers (the Sporting News): Cooperstown lacking artifacts from Cubs' World Series run. Tom Ricketts says the league is holding up the process.
  • Mary Craig (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The early development of Cubs marketing. William Wrigley and Bill Veeck ushered in the modern age of advertising.
  • Rick Hummel and Ben Frederickson (St Louis Post-Dispatch): Lou Brock being treated for cancer; 'prognosis is very good'. Hall of Famer Brock has begun undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma.
  • John Byrne (Chicago Tribune {$}): Commissioners who took Cubs' ticket offer violated rules, county watchdog says. “...special access to tickets amounted to ‘the appearance of impropriety in the eyes of the public.’“

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

Food for thought:

  • Paul Voosen (Science): Food for microbes abundant on Enceladus. “We didn’t see microbes,” says Hunter Waite, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, and the lead author of a study published this week in Science. “But we saw their food.”
  • Bruce Bower (Science News): Shock-absorbing spear points kept early North Americans on the hunt. “Chipping away parts of the weapon’s base prevented its tip from snapping off.”
  • Live Science: The science of the ten plagues. Could the plagues have occurred through natural phenomena?

Thanks for reading. See you Tuesday.