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Cub Tracks’ spit take

Bosley’s birthday, give and take, insects are healthy, and other bullets

St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
Jam shot
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images


Previously, Cub Tracks rolled a crooked number as the Cubs continued with their big-inning ways. Now that we have that straightened out, let’s keep the home fires lit and enjoy a Sunday afternoon bird on the rotisserie to complement that entree.

Thanks be to John Lackey and Willson Contreras if their actions were indeed the spark that lit the fire. Leave the fire-tending to Pitmaster Joe and we’ll keep on smokin’.

Crank it up! As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1900 - Tommy Corcoran of the Reds uncovers a wire in the coaching box that leads across the outfield to the Phils' locker room, where reserve catcher Morgan Murphy is reading the opposing catcher's signs and relaying them to the Phils' coach by a buzzer hidden in the dirt.
  • 1938 - In the top seventh inning of the Cubs' 4-0 victory over New York at the Polo Grounds, Ripper Collins hits his last career home run, finishing with 135 round-trippers during his nine-year tenure in the major leagues. The Chicago first baseman will remain the all-time switch- hitter home run leader for 18 years, until Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle surpasses his total in 1956.
  • 1953 - Ernie Banks becomes the first black player to appear in a Cubs game. The former Kansas City Monarch infielder, who makes an error and is hitless in three at-bats, will go on to hit 512 home runs as well as winning the MVP award twice during his 19-year Hall-of-Fame career.
  • 1964 - Thanks to the efforts of Charlie Finley, the Beatles, who had planned for a day of rest in New Orleans on the only free date scheduled during their American tour, play a concert in Kansas City's Municipal Stadium. The group's manager Brian Epstein, who had initially turned down the A's owner's offers of $50,000 and $100,000 to have the lads from Liverpool perform in the City of Fountains, agrees on $150,000, about six times the going rate, enabling the Fab Four to earn $4,838 per minute, the largest sum ever paid for a musical concert.
  • 1968 - Gaylord Perry of the San Francisco Giants pitched a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals for a 1-0 victory.

Happy birthday, Thad Bosley.

Cubs news and notes:

“My favorite pennant races are the ones where you’re sitting in the bleachers on Sept. 16. I kind of like those. But you have years where everything, or most things, go your way, and you have years where more things than usual seem like a challenge.” — Theo Epstein.

  • Carrie Muskat ( Jake Arrieta set for determining bullpen session. “Right-hander could be back next week if all goes well.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Theo Epstein says bullpen improvement key down the stretch. "We have to do a lot of things to get where we want to go," Epstein said.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): After 'Murphy's Law' strikes bullpen, Cubs searching for answers at pivotal point in season. “...the Cubs front office and coaching staff have their hands full...”
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Hector Rondon has bone chips in elbow. “I received a cortisone shot and was told not to throw for a week,” he said.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Timing will be everything for impact of Contreras suspension. He will likely “serve it while the Cubs play the Tampa Bay Rays.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Cubs Quick Hits: Ben Zobrist’s numbers look like vintage Zobrist. “...a .355 expected weighted on-base average in (xwOBA) in September.”
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Javier Baez joins shortstop class that has lived up to golden reputation. “The list just keeps growing.”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Addison Russell on the verge of making his long-awaited return. “I’m ready to get out there,” he said. No kidding.
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Russell returns from DL with curtain-call HR. "It was a pretty special moment in my life," Russell said.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Theo Epstein doesn't see a shortstop controversy for Cubs with Addison Russell nearing return. “...we're a good defensive unit when Addy's at short and Javy's at second.”
  • Dan McGrath (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Kyle Schwarber's Cubs future no longer a certainty after season of struggle. "Baseball's going to give some and it's going to take some," Schwarber said.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Albert Almora, Jr stays hot despite righty-righty matchup. "I try to keep the game simple," Almora said.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): The Cubs have no intentions of finding more playing time for Albert Almora Jr. "Joe has his reasons and I'm not complaining,” Almora said.
  • Ryan Davis (FanRag Sports): Lineup change and depth have keyed Cubs offensive resurgence. “...the Cubs’ lineup is starting to find its groove.”
  • Bradford Doolittle (ESPN*): Cubs' lineup puzzle keeps getting more complicated. "[It is a] nice problem trying to figure out the lineup every day," Maddon said.
  • Craig Edwards (Fangraphs): Are the Cubs underachieving? “While the rotation has underperformed, the Cubs are mostly as advertised.”
  • Ted Cox (DNAinfo): Cubs' World Series items go on display at History Museum. "The Chicago Cubs' donation is significant in many ways," Senior Curator Libby Mahoney said.

Food for thought:

  • Malcolm Ritter (US News and World Report): Ash Tree species pushed to brink of extinction. Baseball bats are made of this wood. So is my Strat.
  • Ian McMahan (Sports Illustrated): Does investing in sports science actually result in more wins? “Working with head coach Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan football performance and operations director Fergus Connolly is challenging the misconceptions about sports science.”
  • Melissa Banigan (NPR): At Bug-Eating Festival, kids crunch down on the food of the future. “Insects are healthy. Very healthy.” Let’s get Mikey.

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will be back Tuesday with more news and weird.