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Cub Tracks news at eleven

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Fitness, the new normal, moar rumerz, and other bullets

Kingsway New World gas cooker, c 1935. Photo by SSPL/Getty Images

Last time through the turn-style (the one I used to go to, too), Cub Tracks fished for answers. This time around, Kyle Schwarber is in the best shape of his life™. Literally. I am shamed. I’m into fitness whole slice into my mouth. But then I’m just this side of sixty and round is a shape, too.

  • James Neveau (NBC Chicago*): Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber looks way different after offseason workouts.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber attracts rave reviews with new physique.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Fitness, cooking crux of Schwarber’s offseason. “Cubs slugger making a ‘lifestyle change’ ahead of 2018 season.”

See for yourself:

Adbert Alzolay gets some love too:

  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Cubs pitching prospect Alzolay working on change, ‘ready to get the call-up’.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): On fast track, Alzolay attends rookie program. “If he reaches his potential, he will someday be one of the five [starters], and closer to [No. 1] than five,” Theo Epstein said.

Welcome to ‘the new normal’, David Kaplan. And then there’s the rest of the news. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1915 - Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Colonel Tillinghast L. Huston buy the Yankees from Frank Farrell and Bill Devery for $460,000. Ruppert, who owns a brewery, is thinking of renaming the team the Knickerbockers to promote his product, but is dissuaded by the press.
  • 1960 - The Phillies send fan-favorite Richie Ashburn, the National League’s top hitter in 1958, to the Cubs in exchange for infielders Alvin Dark and Jim Woods along with right-hander John Buzhardt.
  • 1971 - Tigers pitcher John Hiller suffers a heart attack at age 27, driving himself to the hospital. He will miss the 1971 season before making a remarkable comeback.
  • 1973 - At the owners’ meeting in Chicago, Bowie Kuhn, in addition to introducing the designated hitter and pinch runner concepts, shares with the press his idea of interleague play as a means for the American League to bridge the gap with its more popular NL rivals. The commissioner’s limited plan, if accepted, would only affect cities with multiple teams within one geographic area.
  • 1977 - In a trade which benefits both teams, the Dodgers deal first baseman/outfielder Bill Buckner and shortstop Ivan DeJesus to the Cubs for Rick Monday. After many productive seasons in Chicago, DeJesus and Buckner will be dealt in subsequent trades to the Phillies and Red Sox, respectively, for Ryne Sandberg (1982) and Dennis Eckersley (1984), both future Hall-of-Famers.
  • 2010 - Former pitching great Greg Maddux, who started his major league career with the Cubs in 1986, returns to the team as an assistant to general manager Jim Hendry.
  • 2010 - Ryne Sandberg, with aspirations of being the Cubs manager someday, agrees to be the skipper of the team’s Triple-A Iowa farm club.
  • 2013 - Wearing a Cubs jersey and a backward blue baseball cap, Clark, the Cubs’ new mascot makes his debut at Chicago’s Advocate Illinois Masonic’s Pediatric Developmental Center.
  • Happy birthday: Paddy Driscoll, Lloyd McClendon, Donn Pall

Cubs news and notes:

“GIVE US MOAR RUMERZ!” — Evan Altman

  • Whitney McIntosh (SB Nation): Ha ha ha, no ... the Cubs are not about to sign Lorenzo Cain. “Even the provenance of this rumor is a bit sketchy.” +1 for ‘provenance’.
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): There’s still time for the Cubs to make a big splash, but with whom will they take the plunge? “...the Cubs don’t feel the urgency of a century-and-counting championship drought.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Cubs could still get splashy with pitcher, just don’t expect it soon. “...it’s not just the Cubs...”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Brandon Morrow new closer in revamped Cubs bullpen. “Other additions to the bullpen include Steve Cishek, Dario Alvarez, Cory Mazzoni and Randy Rosario.”
  • CBS Chicago*): Cishek aims to be Cubs’ Fireman out of bullpen, in any situation. “...I don’t care. I’ll do whatever it takes,” he said.
  • Adrian Garro (Cut Four): Anthony Rizzo spending offseason swimming with sharks. Real sharks. With lasers on their heads, borne by the winds...not.
  • Phil Thompson (Chicago Tribune {$}]: Kerry Wood interviewed on his career, his Hall of Fame chances (“If I get one vote, we’re having a blowout party. I’m going to call the guy who voted for me, whoever voted for me, and apologize.”), his charitable efforts, and what comes next.
  • Daniela Prizont-Cado (NBC Chicago*): Chicago Cubs star Javier Baez hosts Youth Baseball Camp. “The cost is $149 and the event will take place on July 2 from 9 a.m. to noon at 500 West Elk Grove Blvd., in Elk Grove.”
  • Lewis Lazare (Chicago Business Journal {$}): Cubs find their new marketing guru at Gatorade. The team’s new vice president of marketing, Lauren Fritts, comes from the drink manufacturer.

Food for thought:

  • Jon Cohen (Science): The horror story that haunts science. “Electro-chemical Mechanisms of Animation”.
  • Robbie Gonzalez (Wired): Scientists figure out how to make muscles from scratch. “Having a mature muscle culture system like this could make it a lot easier to study muscles and study therapies,” says University of Washington geneticist Jeffrey Chamberlain.
  • Dakota McCoy (Popular Science): These bird feathers are so black your eyes can’t focus on them. Almost vantablack.

Thanks for reading.