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Cub Tracks guts one out

Superbas, Javy love, diabetic bones, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
Alexander the great?
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images


Last episode, Cub Tracks tossed one out, considering Babe Ruth in history, just a cramp, black hole hiding out, and other bullets. Leonys Martin impersonated Alec Mills (that’s who was originally named in the graphic) last night, scoring the winning run after stealing second. Great stuff! Al will tell you all about it in his recap.

The walking wounded are on their way back to the big club. Javier Baez gets some love, Tommy La Stella likewise. Joe Maddon talks some trash, we indulge in a little anthropology, and more. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1903 - A year before the first subway line is completed, the Brooklyn Superbas, later to be known as the Dodgers, play their cross-town rivals in a two-stadium, same-day doubleheader. The first game played in Washington Park begins at 10:30 am with 9,300 fans watching the visiting Giants win the opener, 6-4, and, later that afternoon in front of 23,623 patrons at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, Brooklyn wins the second game, 3-0.
  • 1935 - Red Sox infielder Joe Cronin hits into a 5-6-4-3 game-ending triple play when his line drive caroms off Indian third baseman Odell Hale's head to Bill Knickerbocker. The Tribe's shortstop starts the triple killing throwing the rebound to Roy Hughes covering second, who in turn relays the ball to first baseman Hal Trosky, giving Cleveland a 5-3 victory in the first game of a twin bill at Fenway Park.
  • 1970 - The White Sox use a major-league record 41 players in a doubleheader with Oakland, but lose both games, 7-4, and 7-5.
  • 1974 - Graig Nettles will be suspended for ten days after stuffing his bat with six super balls, that are collected by Tigers catcher Bill Freehan when the piece of lumber is shattered on a disallowed infield hit. The Yankee third baseman, who said the doctored bat was given to him by a fan in Chicago, hit a home run in his first at bat for the game's only run in the Yankees' 1-0 victory over Detroit at Shea Stadium.
  • 1996 - With 129 at-bats and a mediocre .254 batting average at the start of his major league career, Scott Rolen misses the remainder of the season when his arm is broken by a pitch thrown by Cubs right-hander Steve Trachsel. The hit-by-pitch will prove to be a blessing in disguise when the Phillies third baseman, technically still a rookie due to one less at-bat last season, will have an outstanding year the folllowing season, winning the National League Rookie of the Year award.
  • 2006 - The Cubs are honored by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks for their preservation efforts at Wrigley Field. The venerable old ballpark receives Chicago Landmark Awards for Excellence for the bleacher expansion project which improved circulation in the seating section, increased the number of bathrooms, and dramatically improved access for fans with disabilities.
  • 2009 - Thanks to their loss to the Cubs, the Pirates become the first franchise in baseball history to post a losing record for 17 consecutive seasons. The dubious streak, which dates back to 1993, surpasses the skid the Phillies endured from 1933 to 1948.
  • 2010 - A statue of Billy Williams, who played 16 seasons with the club from 1959-74, is dedicated by the Cubs on the corner of Sheffield Avenue and Addison Street, outside of Wrigley Field. In attendance for the unveiling of the sculpture that portrays the Hall of Fame outfielder finishing his sweet swing from the left side, are his wife, Shirley, former teammates Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo, and Glenn Beckert.

Cubs news and notes:

  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Even bad looks good to ‘perverse’ Cubs, who beat Bucs 1-0, snap skid. “We’re in position to do it, and we all want it,” Anthony Rizzo said.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): The plan for Jake Arrieta after MRI reveals Grade 1 hamstring strain. “Arrieta is looking at a seven-to-10-day window to recover...”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Is Jose Quintana’s only issue the pressure he puts on himself? “No way. At least, that’s what he said.”
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): The latest on Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. “I’m just waiting for the trainers to say yes,” Contreras said. Mia Khalifa was unavailable for comment.
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): How have the Cubs made up for Willson Contreras’s absence? “...the Cubs did respond in the best way possible: by becoming the team we thought they were going to be all along.”
  • Alex Kolodziej (FanRag Sports): New Cubs catcher Taylor Davis brings camera stares to the bigs. “...Davis is as advertised.”
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): By WAR, Tommy La Stella has been as valuable as Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist this year. “La Stella has done as much as he can with the chances he’s been given.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Javier Baez, the major league shortstop, has finally arrived. “I’m getting a chance to play every day,” Baez said. “That’s what I want to do.”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Javy Baez is an every-day player and a fantastic big-league shortstop. “...Baez has really looked locked in lately.”
  • Eddie Matz (ESPN*): Injured stars who could rock October. Addison Russell makes an appearance.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Kris Bryant relishes on-base streak. "Pitchers don’t like to pitch out of the stretch," Bryant said.
  • Ryan Davis (FanRag Sports): Big changes have made a big difference for Kyle Schwarber. “It hasn’t all gone according to plan...”
  • Madeleine Kenney, Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs, White Sox players worry about families trapped in Irma’s wrath. “ can worry about the family, but there’s nothing you can do,” Rene Rivera said.
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Joe Maddon trash talks from the dugout, “Tell your pitcher to stop being a p*ssy”. Includes audio of interview.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): How a wild-card game changed history for Cubs and Pirates. “The Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 in that game, and the franchises have gone different directions since.”
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Cubs add former MLB outfielder Will Venable to front office. “With the Cubs, Venable will have a role with the entire baseball operations department...”
  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): Pressy his own ‘Syncopated Clock’ through more than 2,500 games at Wrigley Field organ. “He lived Cubs history, did not forget it, and can revive it at any time on his Lowery Heritage organ.”
  • Paul Skrbina (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs reveal winning number for World Series ring raffle, and it’s almost eerie. “...the winning number – 001907...”

Food for thought:

  • Emma Yasinsky (Science): New therapy could protect diabetic bones. “A drug that can reverse diabetes and obesity in mice may have an unexpected benefit: strengthening bones.”
  • Bruce Bower (Science News): People may have lived in Brazil more than 20,000 years ago. “People hunted giant sloths in the center of South America around 23,120 years ago...”
  • Sam Cholke (DNAinfo): Museum of Science and Industry free for state residents weekdays all month. “Visitors who can show proof of residency can visit the museum any weekday from Tuesday through Sept. 29.”

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will return in time for Sunday brunch. We have reservations, but we’ll dine anyway.