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Cub Tracks Kills Time

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former Cubs, more Ian Happ news, the world’s lightest satellite, and other bullets

Joey Votto, this is your life.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs Win! Meat Loaf on the menu!

hyperbole machine

Tuesday’s gone, like the wind, and most of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s original members. And so is the last Cub Tracks, which was just there. No more words about Molina vs. Molina, or naked singularities. Definitely not. For today is Thursday, and that means a fresh edition of all the news that printed to fit, the baseball blog-feature with its own spacetime donut shop, the One, the Only...Cub Tracks!

/hyperbole machine

Today, Cub Tracks discusses former Cubs, more Ian Happ news, and the world’s lightest satellite. Also, the Budweiser sign needs help:

Schwarbird. Theo Epstein thinks he’s really close to breaking out [VIDEO]. I think he’s right.

That was a fun game. The Cubs could have scored more runs. Let’s play Cincinnati all the time, or dress the opposing team in Cincy Red. Or simply let Cincinnati’s bullpen work for everyone.

In other news, the Chicago Tribune crashed my PS3 again. What is UP with that? I wrote to the Streaming Video Alliance to find a solution. My guess is that the Trib has so much adware in their signal that it blocks the signal. It isn’t the bandwidth as I have a 50 MBPS connection. I eagerly await the response.

While we’re waiting for that news and today’s rubber game, let’s see what the scribes have to say — as always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in Cubs/Baseball history:

  • 1912 - Detroit players went on strike to protest Ty Cobb’s suspension. To avoid a forfeit and fine, manager Hughie Jennings recruited college players and others, who played and lost to the Philadelphia A's 24-2. Joe Travers, a St. Joseph's College pitcher, gave up all 24 runs.
  • 1931 - Dodgers' outfielder Babe Herman hits for the cycle for the first of two times this season. In 1933, as a member of the Cubs, he will again hit for the cycle, making him and Bob Meusel the only major leaguers to have accomplished the feat three times since 1900.
  • 1957 - Dick Williams of the Orioles hit a ninth-inning, game-tying solo home run against Chicago's Paul LaPalme, seconds before 10:20 p.m. — a time set as a curfew so that the White Sox could catch a train out of Baltimore. If Williams had done anything else, Chicago would have won. The game was replayed from the beginning and Baltimore won.
  • 1990 - Cubs' second baseman Ryne Sandberg's errorless game streak comes to an end after 123 games and 584 chances. Joe Morgan had held the previous record of 91 games.
  • 2012 - Kerry Wood ends his major league career on his own terms when he strikes out the one batter he faces before walking off the mound into an embrace from his six year-old son in front of the Wrigley Field dugout. The 35-year-old much-injured Cubs' right-hander, an All-Star as both a starter and closer, believes that final strikeout to be the most significant and the most memorable moment of his 14-year career.

Cubs News:

About Ian Happ:

“We weren’t anticipating an extremely long-term stay, but we’re going to read and react based on how he plays,” Theo Epstein said, “and what’s going on with the other guys with their health.” — Gordon Wittenmyer

And you thought potato chips were out there. Just goes to show. I wonder how he cooks them? Speaking of cereal killers:

  • Mitchell Armentrout (Chicago Sun-Times*): Wheaton man dies after falling over Wrigley Field railing. Richard E. Garrity fell over a railing onto his head, about 45 minutes after the game, Monday. Sad. Best to his family.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Kyle Schwarber launches “Neighborhood Heroes”. The campaign is designed to recognize first responders and honor their heroism, courage and devotion to duty.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs toast Joe Maddon after signature victory. Maddon is the 8th active manager to 1000 wins.
  • Gemma Kaneko (Cut Four): Country star Brett Eldredge wrote a jingle for the Bryzzo Souvenir Company. Eldredge is a lifelong Cubs fan. He even skipped the Country Music Association Awards last year so that he could be at Game 7 of the World Series.
  • Neil Payne (Five Thirty-Eight): The best teams of Baseball’s 2015 season are bums in 2017 . “Although the Cubs are in this unenviable group for now, it’s probably just an early bump on the road to another fine season.”
  • Russell Dorsey (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Cubs getting a valuable lesson about adversity to start 2017. “All things considered, the Cubs played the perfect season in 2016, which has magnified the team’s struggles that much more this season.”
  • Scooby Axson (Sports Illustrated*): Theo Epstein: Cubs not panicking despite slow start. "There's no panic, but there's also a lot of guys in there who care about playing up to our capabilities, which is one of the reasons I have so much trust in this group and a lot of confidence that we'll get it straightened out," Epstein said. Jed Hoyer says similar things to CSN Chicago.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Patience over performance as Cubs brass awaits ‘catalytic’ conversion. The Cubs have no intention of becoming one of those “surprise sellers” early trade-market speculators are talking about, Epstein said.
  • Clayton Richer (Baseball’s Hot Corner): Chicago Cubs still favorite to win World Series. “The Cubs are 6/1 favorites in a futures wager currently as prognosticators are banking on the Cubs regaining their form as the season progresses.”
  • Tommy Meyers (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Checking in on preseason PECOTA projections. As you would expect, “...many Cubs are performing well below their PECOTA projection.”
  • Henry Druschel (Beyond the Box Score): Jake Arrieta has been fine. “The results for the putative Cubs ace have been atrocious in 2017, but those have been more the product of bad luck and bad defense than any failure on his part.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs call up Pierce Johnson, first pitcher drafted by Theo Epstein for Cubs. Jeimer Candelario was optioned back to Iowa.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): What gets laid-back Wade Davis' adrenaline flowing? Rogers didn’t actually find out.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): A potential area of improvement for Willson Contreras: blocking pitches. “Whether Contreras is currently not-so-good at the skill, or is actually already decent, it’s reasonable to say he can get better.”
  • Joe Knowles (Chicago Tribune {$}): Could the spectacular (and erratic) Javier Baez be the Cubs' odd man out? “Who could the Cubs most afford to lose, and just as significantly, who would bring the most in return?”
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): Addison Russell takes early batting practice to work on timing. “Really just kind of toning down my movements as far as hitting, making small movements," Russell said.
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): What’s up with Albert Almora’s terrible defensive rating? “According to “Def,” FanGraphs’ defensive runs above average score that includes UZR and position adjustments, Almora has been one of the worst centerfielders in MLB.”
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune {$}): Cubs' surprise call-up Ian Happ proving he belongs in big leagues. He’s doing all that asked of him and more.
  • Asher Feltman (Minor League Ball): Cubs perfected the trade on way to World Series. Epsgein and company “tore down a Cubs team that desperately needed it and frankly had no reason to be as bad as they were.”
  • Sean Sears (Sports Mockery): Keith Law says Cubs are showing interest in Zack Greinke. “...part of a plan to go out and scout pitchers with multiple years of control remaining and potential to be a one or two starter in their rotation.”
  • Tim Huwe (The Zygote 50): What’s a MORP? Middle-Of-the-Rotation-Pitcher. Nobody drafts an Ace. They are made.
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): 1984 Joe Maddon is exactly the same as Joe Maddon in 2017. “Hasn’t changed at all and he’s been successful during his entire career doing it his way.”
  • Rhiannon Walker (The Undefeated): The night the Cubs’ Andre Dawson got intentionally walked a record five times. Lou Piniella wouldn’t allow his staff to pitch to him. It ended up backfiring.

Food for thought:

  • Bruce Bower (Science News): Chaco Canyon’s ancient civilization continues to puzzle. “Recent research suggests that the ancient Chaco society of the U.S. Southwest was founded by locals and run by a female lineage for hundreds of years.”
  • Fiona McDonald (Science Alert): For the first time, Physicists have observed a giant magnetic 'bridge' between galaxies. Now you’re talkin’. “...the bridge is a huge stream of neutral gas that stretches some 75,000 light-years between our two neighbouring galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC).”
  • Science Alert: A teenager just built the world's lightest satellite - and NASA's launching it. "We designed it completely from scratch," 18-year-old Rifath Shaarook told Business Standard.

Thanks for reading. We’ll see you Sunday for brunch and more new Cubs news.