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Cub Tracks freighty chat

bombs away, mortgaging the future, meet the Maddons, and other bullets

I dunno; what about you?
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

How about that All-Star Game? Ugh. Okay, enough of that.

Cub Tracks didn’t step in it, Cub Tracks waded in, right into the thick of it. Cuz why do things by half-measures? That’s not Cub. I may be going out on a limb, if not an actual ledge, but I’m going to say right here and now that I don’t think the Cubs are gonna make the post-season.

Actually, I said it last night, during a radio interview, but it’s true. I don’t think it’s gonna happen. I’d absolutely friggin’ ADORE to be wrong, but I’m afraid that I amn’t.

I don’t have data to support this conjecture, other than the Cubs’ awful record, by 2015-16 standards, and the general air of funk that surrounds their efforts. The wiring is wrong somewhere. I had that happen with a car. Never could find out where the short was and had to replace the thing. We’re probably not all in accord, but...

“Winning makes everything better.” -- John Lackey

It’s even all over the headlines: Cubs are no longer the favorite to win World Series.

Certainly you can see where I’m going with this...someone’s gonna go. Things are just too weird. I mean, I agree that the trade Jim Bowden (and Peter Gammons, to make it worse) proposed has legs (I know, right?). Some of those players could actually change teams. Maybe not the same teams, but they could. Maybe. Perhaps. We’ll see.

I don’t want to assume bias. Michael Fuller would cost a lot, just on an individual basis. Daniel Norris would, too. Alex Avila would be peanuts. Mike Imrem wants Jose Quintana to switch uniforms. Nothing short of something like that is gonna do the trick, in my opinion. I don’t think the Cubs Scott Feldman their way out of this and there’s still next year...

Feel free to disagree in a civil fashion. Here’s the news. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in Baseball History:

  • 1896 - Phillies outfielder Ed Delahanty hits four home runs in one game, in a 9-8 loss to the hometown Colts. All of the future Hall of Famer's quartet of round trippers at the West Side Grounds are of the inside-the-park variety.
  • 1922 - Cardinal right-hander Bill Doak loses his no-hitter when he forgets to cover first base, turning Curt Walker's seventh-inning grounder to first baseman Jack Fournier into an infield hit. The Redbirds' star spitballer settles for a one-hitter, his second of the season, and a 1-0 victory over the Phillies at Sportsman's Park.
  • 1943 - Thanks to a three-run home run by Red Sox second baseman Bobby Doerr, the American League defeats the National League in the first night All-Star Game, 5-3. In a game broadcast to GIs via shortwave radio, Pirates' outfielder Vince DiMaggio shines for the Senior Circuit, hitting a single, triple, and home run.
  • 1956 - At Wrigley Field‚ Ernie Banks plays in his 394th consecutive contest to tie Al Simmons' mark for straight games played after breaking in as a rookie. Mr. Cub's single drives in the decisive run in the Cubs' 7-6 victory over Pittsburgh.
  • 1966 - After being released by Houston earlier in the month, 39-year-old Robin Roberts signs as a free agent with the Cubs. The right-hander will finish the season 2-3 for his new team, ending his 19-year Hall-of-Fame career with 286 victories.
  • 1977 - With New York third baseman Lenny Randle at the plate in the sixth inning, Shea Stadium goes dark when the Big Apple suddenly experiences a blackout. Before the game against the Cubs is suspended due to the power shortage, the Mets' players drive their cars onto the field and amuse the crowd by performing a variety of antics in front of the headlights.

Cubs News and Notes:

Chicago entered the All-Star break at 43-45, 5 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. At this time last year, the Cubs were 53-35 and in first place by seven games. They're in even worse shape in the wild-card race, trailing the Rockies by six games in the loss column for the last playoff spot. There's still time for the world champions to regain their form of a year ago, but they'll need better pitching, better defense and more consistency from their lineup; Kris Bryant (.928 OPS) and Anthony Rizzo (.894) can't carry this team all by themselves. -- Tom Verducci.

  • RJ Anderson (CBS Sports*): MLB Trade Rumor Buy or Sell: Are the Cubs shopping Schwarber for young pitchers? Bullish.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Rationally discussing the Cubs as sellers. “...they have a relatively limited pool of short-term, impact assets that teams are going to pay a really attractive price to get.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): The Rundown: My scorching takes on who Cubs will and won’t trade, more news and notes. “...since I do believe there are a few prospects and current Cubs who the organization views as more expendable than others, I can bait the hook without being disingenuous.”
  • Kyle Koster (The Big Lead): The Chicago Cubs aren't trading Kyle Schwarber. “So outside of neither team having motivation and an inequity between assets, this thing seems like a done deal.”
  • Dan Szymborski (ESPN Insider {$}): The one move each team should make in the second half. Cubs need to “stop shuffling.” For this, we pay.
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): A Reflection on the First Half. “This All-Star break feels like a reprieve.”
  • Chicago Sun-Times: Cubs pitching coach says Kyle Hendricks is becoming game-ready. “We’re going to see how he feels the next couple days, and then we’ll decide as an organization what we’re going to do from there,” said Chris Bosio.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Four years ago today, the course of the Cubs franchise changed forever. “...some guy named Kris Bryant signed his first deal with the Cubs...”
  • Carrie Muskat ( Ian Happ, Wade Davis lift Cubs in up-and-down first half. "We've underachieved offensively, and our starting pitching hasn't been as good as we thought. We've been playing from behind a lot,” said Joe Maddon.
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Ian Happ not totally overmatched on defense. “Happ has represented a true bright spot for the Chicago Cubs.”
  • Jesse Sanchez ( Wade Davis sees potential in Cubs' second half. “You can see the finish line, and that will be something where we can push a little harder," Davis said.
  • Todd Johnson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Prospect Profile: Miguel Amaya has the defensive goods already. “...there is another young catcher on the perhaps distant horizon.”
  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times*): Meet the Maddons: Cubs manager and his wife star in cheesy RV sitcom. The video teaser is included in the article.
  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times*): Joe Maddon gets nod from National Bobblehead Hall of Fame. “With all of Joe Maddon’s recent accomplishments, we thought that it was time for a unique bobblehead,” Phil Sklar said. “We’re confident Cubs fans across the country will really like this new Maddon bobblehead.”
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Cubs icon Andre Dawson is still an absolute monster at age 63. He is. I saw him at the preseason game I went to. He looks built of granite.

Food for thought:

Edited to include interview link.

Thanks for reading. See you Sunday.