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Cub Tracks Stirs The Pot

The Hawk swipes #300, Theo speaks, Tammy’s got a Star, and other bullets

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs
“That isn’t working. Let’s try something else.”
Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs Lose.

In our previous episode, Cub Tracks’ coffee cup ran over. Apparently, the cup ran all the way over to Iowa, as Zack Rosscup is back in MLB, at least for a game or two, replacing Dylan Floro on the Cubs’ roster and the Cubs did the waive with Jake Buchanan. Roster Jenga fever™, catch it! Good luck to Jake -- hopes he finds a new team.

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey are no more, but at least we have the National League Central. The Brewers are still stewing about the rainout the other day, and they’re in first place. The Pirates and Reds are still who they are, and then there are the Cardinals, one game ahead of the Cubs, in second place. I’m liking the Brewers less and less as they occupy the top spot and act like they’ve been sampling the product. They have a long way to go before they attain the level of Cardinals-hate that I maintain, though, even if they do employ Ryan Braun. But they’re trying.

Let’s observe a moment of silence for the people who were killed in Manchester, shall we?

Back to baseball. Let’s see what the writers have to say. Read all about it — as always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in Baseball History:

  • 1890 - A National League record is established when the Giants and the Pittsburgh Alleghenys combine to steal seventeen bases in a single game. New York will win the Polo Grounds contest, 17-10.
  • 1926 - Hack Wilson smacks a fifth inning home run off the Wrigley Field scoreboard, situated at ground level, to start a 14-8 rout of the Braves. Wilson is the first player to hit a ball off the scoreboard, which, in 1937, will be moved atop the newly built bleachers. Later that night, Wilson and a few others are arrested at a friend's apartment for drinking beer in violation of the Prohibition Act.
  • 1935 - The first-ever scheduled major league night game is rained out in Cincinnati.
  • 1980 - In the early morning hours of the players' planned walkout, the MLBPA and the owners reach a preliminary four-year agreement, allowing the matter of free agency to be reopened the following season. The unresolved issue over free-agent compensation will lead to a 50-day strike the following year that results in the loss of 712 games.
  • 1991 - With his fourth inning swipe of second base at Shea Stadium, Andre Dawson becomes the third major leaguer to become a member of the 300/300 club, with his 300th stolen base. The 36 year-old Cubs outfielder, who has also hit 354 home runs, joins Bobby Bonds and Willie Mays in reaching the milestone.
  • 1995 - Kevin Foster and Marvin Freeman each hit home runs off each other in a 7-6 Chicago win at Coors Field. Foster and Freeman are just the tenth duo in the 20th century to hit and throw gopher balls against each other.
  • 2000 - Mariners' outfielder Rickey Henderson draws his 2,000th career walk, becoming only the third player in baseball history to reach the milestone. Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Ted Williams are the only other major leaguers to have accomplished the feat.

Cubs News:

  • Jared Diamond (Wall Street Journal): The Chicago Cubs circle of trust. “The team’s round clubhouse at Wrigley Field is designed to be a place where players are encouraged to talk to each other.”
  • CBS Chicago*: Ben Zobrist, third Chicago player to get his own cereal. Zorilla Crunch™ reached stores Monday. “The breakfast cereal is described as a toasted oat cereal with marshmallows.”
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Joe Maddon not bothered by critics. “That is inevitable,” Maddon said about the questioning of his management style. “I hate to say it, but that really doesn’t matter to me....”
  • CBS Chicago*: Chicago Cubs pitcher lends a hand at Lakeview Elementary School. “Arrieta joined 25 other volunteers from the Cubs’ front office and from City Year Chicago to paint the auditorium and make banners ahead of graduation.”
  • Scott Chasen ( Jake Arrieta shows improvement in escaping jams. “Working around runners in scoring position in five different innings, Arrieta flustered the Brewers' bats in key moments to escape his Sunday start with only one unearned run allowed.”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): For Jake Arrieta, Sunday’s grounders were “a step in the right direction”. “If he can continue to make batters hit the ball on the ground, the results, I suspect, will improve immediately.”
  • Phil Rogers ( Kyle Hendricks turns corner after shaky start. “...but he is 2-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his last five starts, cutting his season mark to a respectable 3.35.”
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Cubs in no rush to make Brett Anderson/Eddie Butler rotation decision. “There are so many different variables involved,” said Joe Maddon.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Have the Cubs found their new leadoff hitter in Ben Zobrist? "Leading off is not easy because of that first at-bat," he said.
  • John Grochowski (Chicago Sun-Times*): Batting orders no longer constructed the way they used to be. “Are more experiments likely to come? You can make book on it.”
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): How Ian Happ helped the 2017 Cubs find their identity. “Happ's presence has freed up the ever-patient Zobrist to become the team's new leadoff man.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Kyle Schwarber has been soooooo unlucky this season. “The BABIP gods were not kind today,” has been a phrase frequently uttered by not just the Twitterverse, but even Len Kasper himself.
  • Jared Wyllys (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Kyle Schwarber is actually a pretty good baserunner. “...Schwarber is just a touch above average, but he is certainly not a liability.”
  • Jerry Crasnick (ESPN*): Revisiting preseason questions: Cubs. “The NL Central is weak enough that the Cubs have been able to hang around, despite a 22-20 start.”
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): Rivals determined to turn once lovable Cubs into villains...and I am OK with that. Because the Cubs are good.
  • Barry Rozner (Daily Herald {$}): These days, Chicago Cubs look out for themselves. Said Brewers manager Craig Counsell to the Milwaukee media, "First time for us that we've had players treated for sunburn after a rainout."
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Giants coach Shawon Dunston still feels love for, pride in the Cubs. ‘‘I was rooting for them after they beat us,’’ he said.
  • Todd Johnson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): A year removed, grading the 2016 draft. “The key stars of this draft after a year are clearly the relievers.”
  • Adrian Garro (Cut 4): Recapping David Ross' journey to the DWTS finale. The finale will take two nights — the last show is tonight.
  • MIke Oz (Big League Stew*): David Ross feeling the love from Cubs before 'Dancing with the Stars' finale. And feeling the lemons.
  • Gemma Kenyko (Cut 4): Theo Epstein gave an inspiring speech at Yale. “if you look hot, wear it,” he reminded the crowd.
  • Billy Witz (The New York Times): We all remember the World Series celebration. How about the guy who made the last out? “ is worth remembering how baseball works in strange ways sometimes.” Right, Michael Martinez?

Food for thought:

  • Daniel Clery (Science): Star that spurred alien megastructure theories dims again. “Tabby’s star” has dimmed like this several times before...
  • Bruce Bower (Science News): European fossils may belong to earliest known hominid. Europe, not Africa, might have spawned the first members of the human evolutionary family around 7 million years ago, researchers say.
  • The Conversation*: Maybe we can, but should we? Deciding whether to bring back extinct species.

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will return Thursday with more of the madness.