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Cub Tracks spaces it out

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bring the lumber, it’s in the stars, and other bullets

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs
into orbit
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Welcome to another edition of Cub Tracks — I could have chosen either of Javy’s two homers but I’m still on the Ian Happ encouragement train, so I went with that. Cubs win — not many bad choices there.

In our previous installment, Cub Tracks unpacked no business like snow business, happy birthday, Rifleman, rush to judgement, and other bullets. Today we bring you news from the home front, where the Cubs brought the lumber, building a large lead en route to a 13-5 shellacking of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who likely won’t be on top of the division for much longer.

We fans await the meatloaf, which will hopefully be served following today’s contest. Let’s take a sample of the zeitgeist, and perhaps even look at the news, shall we? As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today’s musical selection, dedicated to the juiced ball:

Cubs news and notes:

“He hasn’t achieved on the offensive level what he would like to, cause normally that award goes to an offensive player,” Maddon said of the Gold Glove. “It’s almost an offensive award, so the fact that he’s really been able to hold serve in the eyes of the industry while he’s still working to get to the level he’s capable of offensively, I think it’s pretty impressive. It really is.” — Tony Andracki.

Javier Baez hit 2 home runs on Wednesday but it was an out he made that ended up meaning the most for him: “You know what I learned? How ugly I looked on that fly ball. I tossed the bat really high, didn’t run to first base and one of my teammates came up to me and said it, in a good way. You learn from it…I was mad about it. Not the fly ball just the way I looked, for the kids and everyone that follows me. That’s not a good look. I learned that from today.” -- Jesse Rogers

Both the good and the bad of the Javier Baez show was on full blast as the Cubs grab the lead against Pittsburgh. Baez reached base by swinging at strike three on a Tyler Glasnow pitch that bounced in front of home plate. He went to second on a grounder, stole third and scored by beating a throw from Pirates 1B Josh Bell on a roller with the infield in. That guy is fun to watch. — Bradford Doolittle

  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Hey, down in front: What do the Cubs think of their new Wrigley Field dugout? “...the dugout’s super-pro,” Kyle Schwarber said. “We can all just feel like we’re not crowded and have a good time in there.”
  • Jon Greenberg (The Athletic {$}): Reality bites: Cubs will always be judged by 2016’s hot start. “The early part of the season “is made for overreactions,” Theo Epstein said.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Jose Quintana’s new (?) curve ball looks sick. “What a disgustingly beautiful pitch.”
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Tyler Chatwood’s good but also bad but also kinda medium start. “...it certainly looked like he was not giving up especially hard contact on all of those hits that were falling in.”99999999999999999999999999+
  • Andrew Mearns (Cut Four): Cubs ‘pen back to dancing after Baez HR. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): How the Cubs are stealing bases without stealing bases. “...courtesy of new third base coach and baserunning specialist Brian Butterfield.”
  • RJ Anderson (CBS Sports*): Anthony Rizzo blames Cincinnati bed for back injury, will take fewer swings in order to heal. “Rizzo believes his back tightness stems from a bad hotel room bed.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Javier Baez blasts off twice again as Cubs rout Bucs. “Baez...is the first Cubs player with consecutive multi-homer games since Alfonso Soriano did so, May 16-17, 2008.”
  • Bob Nightengale (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs standout Javy Baez overjoyed after secret engagement. ‘‘This is pretty special, man,’’ said Baez.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): The value of a unicorn like Tommy La Stella. “Best Pinch-Hitter Ever”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Jason Heyward receives 5th Gold Glove Award. “He does make a huge difference for us,” Maddon said.
  • Darrell Horwitz (The Sports Post): Will the Cubs become a casualty of WAR? “Why is WAR suddenly the only number that matters?”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): No one said it’d be easy: Brendon Little makes 2018 debut. “I have seen this movie before.”
  • Satchel Price (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs’ estimated value rises to $2.9 billion, White Sox to $1.5 billion. “It remains a good time to own an MLB franchise.”
  • Lauren Comitor (The Athletic {$}): Welcome to the Gilded Age of the Chicago Cubs. “The Cubs are late to the party when it comes to offering these premium experiences, but they’re catching up quick.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Wrigley Field buzz: All-Star Game bid; plans for college football bowl game; dugout changes coming. “We’re in line and we’re as deserving as anyone,” said Crane Kenney of an All-Star Game bid.
  • Fran Spielman (Chicago Sun-Times*): Emanuel sides with Cubs over Tunney about tent in Wrigley players lot. “It was approved on condition that we find a long-term solution to parking and we had to move the garbage compactor to another location, which we did…it’s out of the lot,” Julian Green said.
  • Randy Blaser (Barrington Courier-Review): Snow on opening day? It’s time to make a change. Randy haz ideas. “It’s time to do away with the designated hitter in the American League.” Good ideas. Absolutely unfeasible but that’s the beauty of it.
  • NBC Sports Chicago *: The Cubs ringbearers reunite and relive their experience [VIDEO].
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Principal catches student skipping school at Wrigley and has the best response. “I THOUGHT THE SIGN WAS HILARIOUS.”

More disappearing axe:

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading!