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Cub Tracks gets unconventional

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Rizzocise, Cardinals play catchup, “It’s a great time to be us”, Harbryzzo™ and other bullets

League Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs - Game Four
Full of Win
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Last time around, Cub Tracks broke the news that round is still a shape, and fitness can be practiced in more than one fashion. We have an item about Anthony Rizzo doing exactly that, trying to get into the best shape of his life™, and more links than we have become accustomed to, as the Cubs Convention comes to a dramatic conclusion.

Addison Russell and Kris Bryant also figure in posted items. Read all about it — as always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1940 - Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis gives free agency to 91 Detroit players and farm hands. Citing cover-ups of the movement of players within its organization, Landis hands freedom to Roy Cullenbine, Benny McCoy, Lloyd Dietz, and Steve Rachunok from the parent roster and orders $47,250 paid as compensation to 14 players. Johnny Sain is one of 23 players who will later make it to the major leagues.
  • 1954 - Former Yankees outfielder Joe DiMaggio and actress Marilyn Monroe elope and get married at City Hall in San Francisco.
  • 1976 - WTCG-TV owner Ted Turner obtains 100% of the Atlanta Braves for $12 million.
  • 1987 - The BBWAA elects hurler Catfish Hunter and outfielder Billy Williams to the Hall of Fame.

Cubs news and notes:

Theo Epstein, on the slow moving free agent market which he ties to the slow moving trade market as well: “Teams are trying to position themselves the best way they can, probably with one eye on next year’s free agent market and trying to get their payroll where they want it to be. It’s probably a combination of factors but I don’t know we’ve seen anything quite like this.” — Jesse Rogers

Cubs Insider’s Evan Altman interviews Dillon Maples.

Make sure you examine this one closely:

And then:

Phil ‘r’ up.

  • Matt Snyder (CBS Sports): Cubs owner says team will welcome Sammy Sosa when he comes clean. “Tom Ricketts said Sosa has to ‘put everything on the table’.” Jesse Rogers (ESPN) piles on.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Crane Kenney on Cubs’ TV rights and new demand: ‘It’s a great time to be us’. “Kenney said the streaming distribution platforms through such companies as Amazon and Facebook also are part of a market for Cubs rights that has grown dramatically just in the past year.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Jed Hoyer addresses offseason issues facing the Cubs. “...a lot of what was discussed wasn’t necessarily breaking news.”
  • Buster Olney (ESPN Insider* {$}): Top 10 units: Super teams dominate both sides of the ball. Olney doesn’t think the Cubs have a Top 10 rotation at present. But he thinks that the Cubs are the sixth-best team overall. Jesse Rogers agrees with the first surmise.
  • Barry Rozner (Daily Herald {$}): Cubs just fine with sluggish FA market. “It’s a soft cap and it’s working like a hard cap this winter...”
  • AP (via Sun-Times): Cardinals not ruling out more free-agent signings in pursuit of Cubs. “The approach has always been for us is, if there is something we can do to continue to improve, we’re going to look at that or explore that,” John Mozeliak said.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Sports Chicago*): Cubs’ door for reunion with Jake Arrieta remains open. “We have never ruled anything out with him,” Theo Epstein said.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Willson Contrerasprofanity-laden advice to Jon Lester was easily the best moment at Cubs Convention. “Willy being Willy.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Chili Davis bringing new plate ‘mentality’ to Cubs. “I try to bring a mentality, not as much a philosophy, in hitting,” Davis said. “Everybody has a philosophy and a lot of them, to me, match. That doesn’t make me any different than any other guy. I try to bring a mentality in how we approach the game.”
  • Eric Chesterton (Cut Four): Rizzo worked on agility in a fitness class. “...it is good to see that Rizzo has found some non-Cubs workout buddies to push him to his limits.”
  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times*): Addison Russell looks forward to fresh start after off-the-field drama clouded 2017. “I’m really excited going into the season with a clean slate,” Russell said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Slow market won’t scare arb-record winner Kris Bryant away from free agency. “I want to be the best on the field. I want to be the best player in the league,” he said. “And there’s nothing in my mind that’s going to stop me.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs could end collusion chatter by taking Bryce Harper-Bryant bromance to next level. Fan: “Theo, when do you think I can get my Bryce Harper jersey?”

Food for thought:

I prefer a hippie speedball and a bloody mary. Your mileage may vary. Thanks for reading.