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A Clockwork Cub Tracks

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A pie for charity, The moustache promotion, spaceball, and other bullets

Roger Waters In Concert At T-Mobile Arena In Las Vegas
Come to the dark side...
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Cubs vanquished by the Bucs! HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY!

Cub Tracks apologizes for that last outburst, droogies, but that happens when the games are not so horrorshow. Appy polly logies are tendered and we’ll not moloko the moment. True story -- the drummer in the band I used to play in had a Ford Econoline. He called it the Ludwig Van, and he walked like Ron Cey, Anthony Burgess Meredith.

Thanks. We’ll be here all day. Got a million of ‘em. If a cop owned it, it would have been a Bobby Van. If that’s too obscure, you can viddy at the link. And that’s all right with me, Sammy Johns, Sammy Hagar, and Van Johnson.

Speaking of viddys, I’m not so sure I care for the powder blue cap and letters (they’re for a good cause though, and one I’ve been wanting MLB to address, so I’m not going to kvetch too loud.) Could be worse, though. Could be teal. Could be orange. Or camouflage. I have a tie-dye one that looks like this. Here’s the whole list of 2017 Holiday uniforms. Ka-ching! Still no orange baseballs, though, nor any of the old ultraviolence. They may dance in the bullpen but there’s no singing in the rain, for Casey Kasem has struck out for greener pastures. I’m told there’s no truth to the rumor that he and Anita Bryant used to get juiced together.

These are strange Cubs days indeed. You can feast your glazzies on all the news that’s printed to fit, as Rick Morrissey makes a rare CT appearance and Kyle Hendricks nurses the bird. Edwin Jackson is back in action. Chris DeLuca has the story of those throwback uniforms. David Ross takes a pie for charity. More below. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in Baseball History:

  • 1938 - Babe Ruth is signed as a Dodgers coach for the rest of the season. He is in uniform for batting demonstrations the following day.
  • 1953 - Red Sox rookie outfielder Gene Stephens becomes the only A.L. player to get three hits in the same inning, as Boston scores 17 in the seventh inning in a 23-3 romp over Detroit. The Red Sox send 23 to the plate in the seventh, getting 14 hits and six walks — 20 runners — in succession before third baseman George Kell flies out to end it.
  • 1972 - By a 5-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court confirms lower court rulings in the Curt Flood case, upholding baseball's exemption from antitrust laws and the legitimacy of its reserve clause. Its decision is narrowly construed, however, and leaves the way open for legislation or collective bargaining to undercut the reserve system.
  • 1973 - On Father's Day, the A’s stage a Mustache Day promotion, giving fans with hair above their upper lip free admission into the ballpark. Charlie Finley offers his players a $300 bonus for growing facial hair for the event, and all do except Vida Blue, who is still bitter about his recent contract negotiations with the team owner.
  • 1976 - Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voids the A's sales, totaling $3.5 million, of Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers to the Red Sox and Vida Blue to the Yankees, saying they are 'not in the best interest of baseball.' A's owner Charlie Finley files a $10 million damage suit against Kuhn, and will refuse to use any of the three players until June 27.
  • 1986 - California's Don Sutton becomes the 19th pitcher in ML history to win 300 games, beating the Rangers 3-1 on a three-hitter.
  • 1996 - Brant Brown hits the first three home runs of his career on the same day. The 25 year-old rookie goes deep as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning off Chan Ho Park in a 9-6 loss to the Dodgers in the opener of a Wrigley Field twin bill, but his two additional round-trippers contribute to Chicago's 7-4 victory in the nightcap.
  • 2002 - In the first major league game to feature four players with 400 career homers, the Cubs beat the Rangers, 4-3, when Alex Gonzalez hits a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. Sammy Sosa (475), Fred McGriff (459), and Juan Gonzalez (401) watched Rafael Palmeiro add his 460th home run to the total.

Cubs News and Notes:

“Wearing the blue wristbands, uniforms and using a blue bat also are special for Albert Almora. His father has been battling prostate cancer.

"He's in good health," Almora said. "It's all good.”” — Carrie Muskat

  • James Wagner (The New York Times): A shared history of cancer, a love of baseball and a Cubs-Mets game. “The hat is faded, no longer the bright Cubs blue. The brim is frayed. There are sweat stains, too. It is in bad shape, but it is everything to Abby Wood.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Jon Lester takes life lessons from dad, grandfather. Lester’s dad doesn’t watch him pitch because he has nerves. Hmmmmm.
  • Gordo Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs lose but Jake Arrieta’s thumb, and `a little optimism’ survive. “...we’re not where we’d like to be, but we’re not far off,” Arrieta said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Kyle Hendricks in 'waiting game' until pain subsides. He has pain in his middle finger. I usually get that from sticking it out the window while driving. Gordon Wittenmyer says Hendricks could be out for weeks.
  • Erik Mauro (Fansided): What a Wade Davis extension might look like. I dunno. Lot of years, lot of money -- 4/75.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Ump on disputed call that cost Anthony Rizzo a HR: ‘The system worked’. Joe Maddon reportedly was not arguing fair or foul, but procedure.
  • Russell Dorsey (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Revisiting the Cubs’ leadoff situation. “Besides Rizzo, the Cubs have used a total of seven different lead-off hitters this season.”
  • Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports) interviews Rizzo [VIDEO].
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): The Rundown: Tommy La Stella should lead off, weird baseball turning point, Top 50 trade candidates. TLS owns a “0.4 fWAR that is equal to Ian Happ and higher than Miguel Montero (0.3), Javier Baez (0.2), Albert Almora, Jr. (0.2), or Kyle Schwarber (0.0).”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Addison Russell: ‘Body feels good, mind feels good’ after tumultuous week. Russell has not been contacted by MLB regarding their investigations.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Steel City native Ian Happ thrilled to play at PNC. “Happ has gone from the upper-deck cheap seats to the starting lineup of a Major League team.”
  • Matt Pettit (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Advanced defensive metrics: Do you even watch the games?! “...the hosts discussed Addison Russell’s defense thus far and were shocked to learn that Russell ranked (at that time) second in all of baseball in Defensive Runs Saved (DRS).”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Addison Russell making no excuses for recent throwing woes. He says “...sometimes you just miss.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Joe Maddon tempers focus on Kris Bryant. "Chasing pitches out of the strike zone," Maddon said.
  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register): Former Iowa Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler returns to Des Moines. “I appreciate everything the Cubs did for me,” Soler said through a translator. “But at the same time, Kansas City opened the door for me, and I feel like I’ve got a bright future here.”
  • Andrew Colvert (Fansided): Moves to make if the season goes bad by the All-Star break. Edges way out on the ledge. Not much explanation. But what if?
  • Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times): Do the Cubs want streets closed for safety reasons or profit margins? Morrissey asserts that “The Cubs want Wrigley Field to be a massive shopping center closed to vehicle traffic.”
  • Ashok Selvam (Eater Chicago): New Wrigley Field Plaza Patio to serve exclusive beers from Chicago’s best brewers. “Lucky Dorr won’t suck for Cubs fans who like craft beer.” Also, Cubs to serve Matthias Merges’ Korean Hot Dogs and Fried Chicken at Wrigley Field.
  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): The Cubs life of Larry Biittner: ‘77 surge, ‘78 opener walkoff, ‘79 ball-in-the-hat. “Another Cubs re-building program seemed to be finally bearing fruit.” I remember it that way, too.
  • CSN Chicago: Pop quiz: Put your Cubs and White Sox knowledge to the test.

Food for thought:

  • Matthew Hutson (Science): Computers are starting to reason like humans. “Relational reasoning” is what they’re learning to do.
  • Eric Grundhauser (Atlas Obscura): The weird, forgotten, awesome sport of Spaceball. “Somewhere between volleyball, gymnastics, and basketball, there is what could have been the sport of the future. “
  • Corey S Powell (NBC News): Is the universe conscious? “Some of the world's most renowned scientists are questioning whether the cosmos has an inner life similar to our own.”

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will return Tuesday.