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Cub Tracks writes of spring

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EVERYBODY IN
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Welcome to another edition of Cub Tracks, part of the Cub Tracks continuum, aka Duane’s World, coming to you daily from KBCB radio (not KBCB-TV from Bellingham, WA). No baseball history today — the two series are undergoing a trial separation while we settle the suits resulting from running down our sources.

Victor Caratini has made the MLB roster, Ian Happ continues to mash, the parent-club starters look great. Let’s just keep everyone healthy, bring the bats north, and the Cubs are good to go. I’m ready for the regular season. How about you?

Here’s another assortment of links, hand-picked from the intervine. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs news and notes:

  • Rice Cube (World Series Dreaming): A rethinking of how baseball should work. “...we have come full circle with a triple-whammy of suck for the labor force that drives baseball.”
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): Loud & clear: New Chicago Cubs staff leads Maddon’s quest for new dynamic. “These guys are force multipliers,” he said (of his coaches). “They add to our experience on a daily basis, and as a group, it’s really, really a dynamic group.”
  • Ryan Davis (FanRag Sports): Do the Cubs have a weakness in 2018? “Justin Wilson is the big question mark.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Jon Lester all in when it comes to Joe Maddon’s vibe. “All we have to worry about,” Lester said, “is showing up and playing.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Lester grateful to finish spring injury-free. “When you have the crowd and big league hitters, it’s different,” Lester said.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): These go to 11: With more pitches than fingers, Yu Darvish could make worst his best. “More than any other pitcher they’ve had, maybe more than any on the planet, Darvish offers the perfect opportunity for the Cubs to maximize their holistic approach to the game.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): How Cubs plan to take 31-year-old, four-time All-Star Darvish to next level. “For Mike Borzello, man, he’s just salivating,” Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks said.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): ‘All hands on deck’ for when Brandon Morrow can’t go. “The Cubs have several pitchers with the experience and/or stuff to close games in Morrow’s stead.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Victor Caratini beats out Chris Gimenez for backup catcher. “We felt Victor was ready for this,” Maddon said Saturday.
  • (Chicago Tribune {$}): Maddon on Vince Caratini winning backup catcher job [VIDEO].
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Anthony Rizzo ‘a wreck’ watching reports of Parkland-inspired rallies. ‘‘I was a wreck watching these kids, man,’’ Rizzo said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Tommy La Stella accepts being target of prank. “That was beautifully done,” La Stella said. “It might truly be a touché moment for the time being. That was awesome, and I’m glad they chose me.” (italics mine) Sahadev Sharma ({$}) adds on.
  • Joe Frisaro and Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Marlins, Cubs set to honor #MSDStrong. “The Marlins and Cubs will wear patches on their uniforms.”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Spring training prospect profile: Bulked-up Jonathan Sierra could be primed for power surge. “It’s not hard to see Sierra coming into his own this season, though a true breakout might be a year away yet.”
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Cubs fans will love MLB The Show ’18’s attention to detail. “The game will feature the newest tradition at Wrigley Field (and one of my favorite traditions already), bullpen dance-offs.”

Food for thought:

  • Patricia M. Kelly (Science): The cancer immunotherapy revolution. “...only recently has this powerful strategy finally taken center stage in mainstream oncology.”
  • Aimee Cunningham (Science News): How obesity makes it harder to taste. “Inflammation linked to the disease caused the loss of taste buds in mice.”
  • Rachael Rettner (Science Alert): Could cutting calories slow down aging? Maybe. Small sample size.

Thanks for reading. Where to get my books.