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Cub Tracks’ I know I’m losing Yu

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Folsom Prison Blues, early All-Stars, and other bullets

World Series - Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Seven
I can feel it fading
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Cub Tracks goes around again. Last time we soul-trained with Yu. This time we’re losing Yu.

“Major League Baseball’s general managers have approached this current free agent class with all the enthusiasm of Lee Elia emceeing Fan Appreciation Day.” — Ken Schultz

So much nothing. I just want to celebrate, and there’s nothing. I’ve done everything I can to get ready, but I’m all dressed up, and there’s nowhere to go with this line of thinking but back to the drawing board. I know I’m losing Yu, but I can’t help myselfI love Yu and nobody else.

As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1901 - Phillies star infielder Napoleon Lajoie is rumored to have jumped to the new American League’s Philadelphia franchise. The National League’s leading hitter, clearly in violation of the reserve clause, does switch to the Junior Circuit, where he will win the Triple Crown, leading the league with a .426 batting average, 14 homers, and 125 RBIs.
  • 1942 - At the Folsom Correctional facility in California, the annual game between big leaguers and the prison inmates is delayed when the guards need to search for two convicts attempting an escape. With the visiting team ahead 24-5 at the end of seven innings, the contest does not resume after escapees are apprehended.
  • 1956 - In Philadelphia, former A’s manager and owner Connie Mack, 93, dies of “old age and complications from his hip surgery.” The ‘Tall Tactician’ set records for major league wins (3,731) and losses (3,948), compiling a .486 managerial mark during his 54 years as a skipper, including his three seasons with the Pirates before the turn of the century.
  • 1983 - One day after taking a job as director of sports promotions for the Claridge Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, Mickey Mantle is ordered to sever his ties with Major League Baseball by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Mantle joins fellow Hall of Famer Willie Mays as players banned from baseball by Kuhn for involvement with legalized gambling.
  • 2008 - The Brewers exercise Ned Yost’s 2009 option, after the 53 year-old skipper led Milwaukee to its first winning season since 1992, finishing second in the NL Central with an 83-79 won-loss record. The skipper will never manage a game in his extended contracted year after he is dismissed with 12 games remaining this season, taking the blame for the under-achieving team’s swoon in August and September.
  • Happy birthday: Steve Dillard, Felix Pie

Cubs news and notes:

  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Could free agency be the new market inefficiency for the Cubs? “This slothful offseason has been like watching Hector Villanueva leg out a triple.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): 10 Questions: Will the Cubs vibrate on Joe Maddon’s frequency? “When you get a group that is like this group, that’s been successful together, I’d like to believe there’s checks and balances in place,” Maddon said.
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN*): Way-too-early All-Star rosters. Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are backups. Yu Darvish is on the staff.
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Letters from Camp: Mike Montgomery sees a broken MLB system while waiting for Cubs to make next big move. “If those guys aren’t getting signed and we’re a week away from spring training, then there’s definitely something wrong with how the system is set up,” Montgomery said.
  • Kevin McCaffrey (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The Cubs have an ace, or three. “...can take a minute to appreciate the firepower the Cubs already have.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Cubs 2018 ZiPS Projections Pt 2: Lofty projections for starters, bullpen looks elite. “...the Cubs could have the best bullpen...” Pt 1 here.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Ben Zobrist looks to re-establish presence at camp. “Zobrist, 36, is coming off a season he’d like to forget and seems to be the forgotten man in the Cubs’ lineup.”
  • Tim Huwe (The Zygote 50): The patience of baseball. Looking at Thomas Hatch.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Cubs have several injured prospects looking to bounce back in 2018. Corey Black, Ryan Williams, and Carson Sands notable among them.
  • Jon Greenberg (The Athletic - unlocked article): Who gave Kerry Wood a Hall of Fame vote? This guy did, and he had a perfectly nice reason for doing it. “I didn’t want to see him go without a single vote,” Alan Hoskins said.

Food for thought:

Thanks for being.