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Cub Tracks’ don’t let them see you cry

Javy-da-fé, low Hurdles, hot and cold running takes, and other bullets

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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In our previous episode, Cub Tracks spaces it out, we brought the lumber, built a flimsy metaphor out of the spaces between the stars, and wasted other bullets on abject nonsense. We propose to do that last part over again until we get it right, and now that I’ve blown the lede by breaking the fourth wall I’m gonna dispose of the editorial we and address things directly:

Instead of clearing the air, Clint Hurdle farted in the elevator. Bulletin-board material. Everybody wants a rivalry these days.

Ozzie Albee can play some second base. Javier Baez is Javy. Anibal Sanchez looked like the guy the Cubs used to want. Yu Darvish hit his spots. And both teams had what the little boy shot at until the fifth inning interfered with the narrative. I’m gonna balk at describing the rest. Al’s recap is here, if you want the details.

That was a great rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game that Chip Carey did. Hit me right in the feels, especially the dedication. My pop was a big Chip fan and would’ve loved it. And I am damn glad that we have frequent doses of Glanville these days. Aren’t you? We have beat writer reaction, hot and cold running takes, and more, below. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs news and notes:

“I thought Javy did a great job in his response and I was very proud of him,” Maddon said of how Baez responded on Thursday after hearing of Hurdle’s comments. “First of all, I didn’t see him throwing the bat and missed that completely. When his response to whomever spoke to him and the fact that he owned up to it, my God, what else could you want out of one of your guys?”

Will this add to the Cubs-Pirates rivalry?

”I just know it will motivate Javy,” Maddon said. “Javy is motivated anyways. It will be curious to watch him perform in Pittsburgh from now on.” — Carrie Muskat

“I love the way Javy plays baseball. I love the way Contreras plays baseball. I love the emotion and the passion. … I would much prefer that than the lethargic approach any day of the week.” -- Joe Maddon

“Obviously, everything went south after the balk, which was not a balk. It was not a balk, but it was called a balk. It seemed to create a little bit of awkwardness. [Darvish] was doing well up to that point ... then it came apart really quickly.” — Joe Maddon

  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Joe Maddon is happy with his team’s maturity, regardless of what others think. “Playing the game the right way can mean different things to different people.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Grandpa Lester? Nah. Jon Lester says he doesn’t need the kids to carry him just yet. “I can’t overanalyze things,” said Lester.
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Yu Darvish struggles in Wrigley debut for Cubs. “The problem wasn’t the home run as much as a balk called against Darvish in the fifth...”
  • Chicago Tribune* {$}: Yu Darvish discusses his start after Friday’s 4-0 loss [VIDEO].
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): You wouldn’t like Eddie Butler when he’s angry. “Butler admits he had -- or even has -- an “anger problem.” In fact, he’s still trying to overcome it -- or at least put it in its place.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Forget launch angle and exit velocity, Javier Báez is going to do it his way. “I’ve been working and focusing on just me and the pitcher out there,” Báez said.
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Baez fires back at Hurdle after ‘respect’ criticism. “To be honest, I have a lot of things I could say right now,” Baez said. “I don’t control what’s out there, what people say about me. I’m just going to keep playing my game.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Maddon encourages Baez’s emotion for game. “I was surprised by it,” Maddon said Friday about Hurdle’s comments. “I did not see it coming at all. Clint and I have had a great relationship. I don’t understand why he did what he did. I do believe in not interfering with other groups.”
  • Vinnie Duber (NBC Chicago Sports*): Cold-shower enthusiast Kris Bryant happy to spend a day at first base. “Bryant likes being uncomfortable. He “strives” to be uncomfortable.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Explaining the Ian Happ-Albert Almora Jr. lineup conundrum. “There are many reasons behind why Joe Maddon writes his lineups out this way, but the most prevalent is matchups.”
  • Jon Heyman (FanRag Sports): Inside the final Cubs-Arrieta call. “The Cubs are said to have known, or strongly suspected, Jake Arrieta would turn it down.”
  • Kevin Reichard (Ballpark Digest): 2018 ballpark preview: Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field. “...the Chicago Cubs began their 2018 campaign by unveiling plenty of changes to the Friendly Confines...”
  • Jeff Agrest (Chicago Sun-Times*): Sports media: What’s bugging me? WGN’s new score bug for Cubs, White Sox games. “The new WGN score bug for baseball games gives too much room to the pitch count and doesn’t make the score stand out enough.

Food for thought:

  • Paul Voosen (Science): Eroding mountains could release, not trap, greenhouse gases. “The hills are hiding a carbon cache.” And they’re alive.
  • Hannah Devlin (The Guardian): Scientists solve mystery of how Giant’s Causeway was formed. “Volcanologists use samples from Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland to recreate famous hexagonal columns in laboratory.”
  • Dara Bramson (The Atlantic): Why my grandmother carried a plastic brain in her purse. Who doesn’t need some brains from time to time? Biorepositories certainly do.

Thanks for reading.