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Yu’ve made Cub Tracks so very happy

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6 more years of Yu puns, song title rabbit holes, and other bullets

MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Los Angeles Dodgers
I’m so glad Yu fell into my life....
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million deal with the Chicago Cubs. I guess this means that the Jake Arrieta train really has left the station. As it turns out, the Cubs weren’t losing Yu after all. It just took a little more Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Therefore I say by the rare earth that I walk upon that I just want to celebrate, celebrate, six more years of Yu puns the Cubs’ new starting pitcher. And by the power that the jukebox I grew up listening to has bestowed upon me, I say unto Yu, children, shake your booties:

Can Yu dig it? Now that we have that out of our system, let us not go gently into that breakfast buffet, but let us stop for the news and a fresh cuppa. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1965 - Braves officials, who already intend to move to Atlanta for 1966, propose to pay five cents from each ticket sold to a fund for the purpose of bringing a new major league team to Milwaukee. Teams, Inc., a civic group, accepts the offer, buys out the park for Opening Day, and stages Stand Up for Milwaukee Day.
  • 1974 - The first arbitration ruling in baseball history is decided in favor of Twins’ hurler Dick Woodson. The right-hander, the first player to invoke the new free agency clause, is awarded the $29,000 he asked for, rather than having to take Minnesota’s offer, which was six thousand dollars less.
  • 1977 - The Cubs trade two-time NL batting champ Bill Madlock along with Rod Sperring to the Giants for Bobby Murcer, Steve Ontiveros, and a minor leaguer.
  • 1997 - General Mills, the makers of Wheaties, unveils three new Jackie Robinson cereal boxes to be sold in stores nationwide. The Dodgers’ Hall of Fame infielder will be the first athlete to be honored on all three varieties of Wheaties: Original Wheaties, Honey Frosted Wheaties, and Crispy Wheaties ‘n’ Raisins.
  • 2006 - Avoiding an arbitration hearing, starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano (14-6, 3.26) and the Cubs agree to a one-year deal worth $6.5 million.
  • Happy birthday: Lew Brown, Walt Govin, Carl Reynolds, Vince Barton, Kent Mercker, Phil Norton, Austin Jackson, Brett Anderson
  • 2018 - Yu Darvish signs a six-year, $126 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

Cubs news and notes:

  • Jon Tayler (Sports Illustrated*): Troubling offseason trend continues as Cubs snag Yu Darvish at reduced rate. “There’s no questioning that Darvish was the pitching prize of the winter.”
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN*): What does the Darvish deal mean for other free agents and teams? “...the Cubs’ rotation now projects right up there alongside those of the Dodgers, Nationals and Diamondbacks for the best in the National League.”
  • Ken Rosenthal (The Athletic {$}): With Darvish now off the board, here’s how teams looking for pitching might act. “...I seriously considered sending out a tweet offering the next team to sign a free agent immunity from any criticism by me for its first screwup of 2018.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Saving their best pitching move for last, Cubs finally sign Darvish. “The Cubs proved, even in what was supposed to be a retooling offseason, that they could accomplish something big.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): How the Cubs landed Darvish and reloaded for another World Series run. “See Yu in October.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Does the addition of Yu Darvish give the Cubs the best rotation in baseball? “Each of the top four starters could be aces on plenty of teams (especially with so many rebuilding squads projected for 2018) while Chatwood could potentially be the best No. 5 starter in the league.”
  • Matt Snyder (CBS Sports*): Darvish completes strong Cubs rotation after Arrieta, Lackey losses in offseason. “There’s every reason to believe Darvish will be a frontline pitcher this coming season...”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): If his cutter and slider are working, Darvish could have a special season. “There are reasons to wonder just how good Darvish can be.”
  • Michael Clair (Cut Four): Darvish has a pitch for every year in his deal. “...last year, Darvish threw six different pitches...”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Darvish brings video game pitches to Cubs. “No other pitcher has a slider like Darvish, which is how he’s been able to maintain such a high whiff rate over the years.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Darvish deal with Cubs quiets winter noise of uprising by NL Central rivals. “So much for a new world order in the National League Central.”
  • Richard Justice (MLB.com): Yu gives Cubs edge in NL Central. “The Cubs were never going to let the Brewers and Cardinals have all the fun.”
  • Keith Law (ESPN Insider {$}): Cubs regain their edge in NL Central by signing Darvish. “...I think he has some untapped potential right now.”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): About that Darvish obsession: Breathe — and give Jake Arrieta a proper goodbye. Yu got to let it go.
  • Anthony Castrovince (MLB.com): Chris Gimenez thrilled to reunite with Darvish. “I told him if he comes here, we’re going to win a World Series, hopefully,” Gimenez said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Bullpen, lineup already had Cubs talking about another October run as camp opens. “It’s super exciting,” said Kris Bryant.
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Letters from Camp: Why Brandon Morrow is ready to close for Cubs and bounce back after World Series run with Dodgers. “...I’ve come to a place in my career where I think I can put that all aside and be successful and effective in those innings,” Morrow said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Morrow ready for spotlight of new role. “He’d like to get that playoff feeling again.”
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Heyward in the leadoff? It’s not as crazy as you think. “...a return to the Heyward previously sighted in Atlanta and St. Louis isn’t totally out of the question.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Jason Heyward works with new coach Chili Davis on swing. “I came here with no expectations,” Davis said.
  • Yu Darvish signs a six-year, $126 million deal with the Chicago Cubs. Also, Yu Darvish signs a six-year, $126 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.
  • Jeff Sullivan (Fangraphs): The Cubs might be a problem for Jake Arrieta. “What do the Cubs know about him that the rest of baseball doesn’t?”

Food for thought:

  • Yu Darvish signs a six-year, $126 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.
  • Yu Darvish signs a six-year, $126 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

Thanks for reading — see Yu later!