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Cub Tracks keeps the pot boiling

Chili goes bad, the drama is only beginning, and other bullets

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First door on the right?
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Well, the sort-of-expected front-office exodus is apparently underway, and that’ll leave room for the Matt Murtons and perhaps the David Rosses of the world. And the player-o-rama is due to start after the World Series. Speculation is rife already, and the grapevine is ripe with low-hanging fruit, and it isn’t even the silly season yet.

I miss the Cubs already. Those other teams have funny-looking laundry. I don’t like them. But hey, I respect 95, even if it isn’t what we’ve come to expect.

As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  1. With reference to ongoing commentary: Cub Tracks’ full 40-man as of 10/13.

Cubs News and Notes:

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It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year.... I will wait for you....

A post shared by Ben Zobrist (@benzobrist18) on

  • Doug Glanville (NBC Sports Chicago*): Changing expectations have made it so 95 wins is not enough for Cubs. “95 wins was not good enough, a Wild Card was not champagne worthy.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): The drama is only just beginning for Joe Maddon’s agent, Theo Epstein and the rest of the Cubs. “The Cubs really couldn’t have scripted this any better...”
  • Bryan Murphy (McCovey Chronicles): Here’s what the Giantsinterest in the Cubs’ Jason McLeod could mean. “The front office is due for a makeover, but questions remain as to whether or not it will be a nip and tuck or a face lift.”
  • Jeff Burdick (Cubs Insider): Jason McLeod getting Giants GM Job could be good for Cubs. “...beyond Albert Almora Jr., Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, and Ian Happ, the team’s draft results have been way below average even by mercurial draft standards.”
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Joe Maddon’s agent rips media speculation on Cubs manager’s future: ‘You guys fired everything up’. “The Joe Maddon Farewell Tour is off to a rocky start and already in danger of being canceled.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Brandon Hyde believed to be among finalists for Blue Jays job. “Shi Davidi of Sportsnet listed Joe Espada (Astros bench coach), David Bell (Giants VP of player development), Rocco Baldelli (Rays major-league field coordinator), and Hyde.”
  • Chris Cwik (Yahoo Sports*): Chili Davis blames ‘millennial players’ after losing job as Cubs hitting coach. “Here’s hoping he has enough time to study up on the dankest memes so he can communicate more effectively with the millennials at his next job.”
  • RJ Anderson (CBS Sports*): Chili Davis says ‘certain’ Cubs players will need to ‘make some adjustments’ with new hitting coach. “The term “launch angle” has morphed into a buzzword that separates the nerds from the jocks.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Jon Lester shows no signs of stopping after an impressive 2018 turnaround. “Unless they tell me to go home, I’m here. You guys are stuck with me.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): How Pedro Strop is becoming a Cub for life. “He’s such a big part of the heartbeat of this team,” Epstein said.
  • Chris Kamka (NBC Sports Chicago*): What caused Willson Contrerasdownturn in production in 2018? “One non-offensive thing that sticks out is his workload.”
  • Steve Rosenbloom (Chicago Tribune* {$}): The Manny Machado issue: Do the Cubs want to spend $300M on a guy who won’t always hustle and plays dirty? “Machado doesn’t “Respect 90.””
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): The most underrated storyline of the Cubs offseason. “How will the team solve the shortstop conundrum?”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Ben Zobrist isn’t a finalist for NL Comeback Player of the Year and that’s pretty dumb. “... a 37-year-old second baseman went from a bottom 20-ish player to a top 40-ish player, hitting .300 for the first time.”
  • Bill Thompson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): An early look at 2019 free-agent options. “If the Cubs front office doesn’t see fit to fix the holes on the roster beyond Machado or Harper, then 2019 could end up being another season of coming up just a little bit short.”

Food for Thought:

Thanks for reading.