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Cub Tracks considers its conditions

Jake, we love Yu, Bruce, and other bullets

Santa Fe, New Mexico
other kinds of conditioning
Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images

I just popped in, Kenny Rogers, to read the first edition. Skinnerian? Pavlovian? Does any of this ring a bell? What condition are we in, anyway? We return to the McLuhanesque past...We march backwards into the future, in the Cub Tracks continuum.

Last time around the bend, Cub Tracks addressed the ball (that is, the Magic 8-Ball)...the ball did not respond, other than to wave a sign saying “There’s no scrying in baseball.” The meaning of this was not as crystal-clear as I would have wanted. I tried again...

“Reply hazy. Try again later.”

I was hoping for CUBS GREAT IN TWO THOUSAND ONE-EIGHT, or at least some wisdom on a stochastic level about Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb, Chris Archer, Gerrit Cole, or Addison Reed. Instead I got Bruce Levine tweets and Sean Sears tweets and I am no more informed than I was previously.

“Better not tell you now.”

The silly season is not good for those of us who have cause to inflict actual journalism upon our public. It’s so rare, to start with. It’s one thing to assemble a narrative when the speculations are rampant and there are hard truths to get at, and one can GET THE STORY from more than one source and manipulate it to the whim of the zeitgeist. It’s quite another when the story is a non-story. Cub Tracks ranges far and wide to bring you the very best in Cubbie infotainment, but we do not indulge in making up the news. Yet. Even if that is the message of the media.

“Muddy Waters run deep.” — Hubert Sumlin?

Anyhow, you didn’t come here to read about that. Links r us — as always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1932 - After leading the Toledo Mud Hens to their first-ever pennant, Casey Stengel returns to majors when the minor league team goes bankrupt, becoming a coach for the Dodgers. The 'Old Perfessor' will get his first big league managerial opportunity when Brooklyn names him to replace fires Max Carey, who is fired prior to the 1934 season.
  • 1942 - Rogers Hornsby, with 78 percent of the vote, becomes the 14th player elected to the Hall of Fame.
  • 1971 - The Phillies dedicate the newly constructed Veterans Stadium, a name the Philadelphia City Council selected to honor the vets of all wars. The new ballpark will be harshly criticized for the height of its upper deck, and for many of its seats being so distant from the field that it will be difficult to enjoy the game without binoculars.
  • 1977 - Mary Shane is hired by the Chicago White Sox as the first female TV play-by-play announcer.
  • 2002 - Tony Tavares, citing he is tired of losing, resigns as the president of Angels.
  • 2004 - Five-time batting champ Wade Boggs, who receives 92% of the record number of the 516 votes cast, becomes the 41st player elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The Baseball Writers also give the nod to former Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, the 1984 National League MVP.
  • 2008 - The city of Chicago gives approval for the Cubs to add 70 'bullpen box seats' and to incorporate additional signage at Wrigley Field. The 94-year-old ballpark, due to its landmark status, needed permission from the Department of Planning and Development to make the changes.
  • Happy birthday: Al Bridwell, Herman Franks, Ted (Theodore Roosevelt) Lilly.

Cubs news and notes:

Michael Cerami has more.

  • Bruce Levine (CBS Sports Chicago*): Cubs still have key additions to make for 2018 season. “...the market has moved slowly.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Levine: Cubs and Cards could compete for Arrieta and a closer, Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain real possibilities as well. “...he clarified and fleshed out several points.” On the Spiegel and Parkins Show [AUDIO].
  • David Haugh (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Landing Jake Arrieta with 4-year offer would be a win for Cubs. “Only six weeks remain till spring training and the Cubs still lack a closer and a front-line starter to fill out their pitching rotation.”
  • Andrew Simon (*): Jose Quintana epitomizes consistency on the hill. “...the left-hander is about as reliable as it gets with pitchers.”
  • Phil Rogers (*): No reason for Cubs to stop searching for arms. “ team has been more aggressively stockpiling pitching this offseason than the Cubs.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Cubs have soooooo much payroll flexibility through 2021. “...they could certainly add high-profile free agents this winter without severely restricting their ability to sign even more talent in subsequent offseasons.”
  • Andrew Mearns (Cut Four): The Hall of Fame Case: Kerry Wood. Tongue, meet cheek.
  • Mary Craig (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): A game with the 1890’s Cubs. “...Chicago ended the decade directionless and without identity.”

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading. See you Sunday, over breakfast.