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Cub Tracks and Yu and I

I want Yu, I need Yu, (to stop), and other bullets

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MLB: New York Yankees at Texas Rangers
A man conceived a moment’s answers to the dream...
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Just between Yu and me, since I don’t have Yu, I am forced to entertain other options. I regret that this is so, given my great love for Yu, but it is so, and I can’t deny it. Makes me wistful and all, given that there are few things finer than a Sunday with Yu... maybe, just maybe, there will be such Sundays in the future.

I’m missing Yu already, and he isn’t even here yet. I’m still saving corn jokes and beard jokes for those other intriguing possibilities, but I think Al and I are both running out of songs. And puns.

Ha! As if! I know you come here for the puns and the musical selections. Why else? News? Heh heh. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1861 - In front of a reported crowd of over 10,000 spectators, the champion Atlantics defeat the Charter Oak Club, 36-27 on a game played on frozen Litchfield Pond in South Brooklyn. The players, wearing ice skates, are permitted to glide past the bases painted on the frozen surface.
  • 1893 - The first recorded version (Columbia Graphophone Grand, #9649) of the poem Casey at the Bat, vocalized by recording pioneer Russell Hunting, is released. The more well-known rendition of Earnest Thayer’s work, the one popularized by DeWolfe Hopper, will not be heard by the public until 1906.
  • 1956 - The American League announces its plans to test automatic intentional walks during spring training.
  • 1969 - Bowie Kuhn, a compromise candidate elected to an interim one-year term after the owners cannot overcome the stalemate between the NL’s strong support of Giants vice president Chub Feeney and the AL’s staunch choice of Yankee president Michael Burke, becomes baseball’s fifth commissioner, a position he will hold until 1984.
  • 1976 - Federal judge John W. Oliver of the United States district court for Western Missouri upholds Peter Seitz’s arbitration ruling which made Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally free agents.
  • 2005 - The Cubs, needing to fill the void created by the departure of Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou, sign an arbitration-eligible Aramis Ramirez (.318, 36, 103) to an $8.95 million, one-year contract.
  • Happy birthday: Dan Plesac

Cubs news and notes:

  • NBC Sports Chicago*: From Left Field: Which baseball player did you idolize growing up? NBC writers and on-air personalities are cited. Was Bill Buckner for me.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Jed Hoyer makes Super Bowl pick, talks pivotal year for Cubs. “We still have this excellent, young core.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): 10 Questions: Who will be the Cubs’ ace? Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana or Mystery Pitcher? “The word “ace” in baseball can have various definitions depending on who you speak to. A staff ace is probably different than a true ace.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Jaime Garcia’s peripherals signal huge potential value. He would still need ‘fixing’ though, and he’s hard to keep on the field.
  • Joe Orsino (Baseball Essential): Chicago Cubs top prospects. Grid format is easy to read.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Will 2018 be the year Duane Underwood finally breaks out? “Underwood represents the only player left of the top three pitchers selected after Albert Almora in the front office’s first Cubs draft back in June 2012.”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Offseason prospect profile: Duncan Robinson should adjust well to 2018. “Robinson has flashed potential with a plus curve and excellent pitchability...”
  • Brian Creagh (Fake Teams): Player Profile: Willson Contreras. “The rare high-ceiling, high-floor catcher entering his prime.”
  • Brooke Martin ( WISH Patrol surprises young Cubs fan with Anthony Rizzo visit. “Life has thrown Ryan Keating, 13, some curveballs but through it all he is still determined to win.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): 10 Questions: Are the Cubs heading toward another Kyle Schwarber leadoff experiment? “...everyone underestimated how much development time Schwarber missed while recovering from major knee surgery...”
  • Mike Periello ( Kyle Schwarber’s future shows many possible paths. Alvin Davis and Adam Dunn are two of them.
  • Chris Kamka (NBC Sports Chicago*): Five of the best Cubs baseball cards ever. Good ones.
  • Josh Noel (Chicago Tribune {$}): First look: Hotel Zachary guest rooms give subtle hat tip to Wrigley. “...guest rooms will be anything but drowned in memorabilia evoking the hotel’s iconic neighbor.”

Food for thought:

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