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Cub Tracks throws it out there

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the most exciting player in baseball, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

W!

How ya doin’? So last night the Cubs played the Rockies, and there were occurrences. Javy occurrences. Al’s recap will have the full story. Here is a musical selection to express my feels.

And here’s the rest of the stories — as always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs news and notes:

“Javy! Javy! Javy! Javy!” — Cubs fans in Denver”

...and who could blame them?

He’s ‘the most exciting player in baseball’, according to Len Kasper.

Hector Rondon, the former Cubs closer who lost that role to Aroldis Chapman in 2016 and was non-tendered last December, said the Astros are “way better” than the team he left behind.

“Not because now I’m here, but the way they play, the way they focus, the way they prepare, I think that’s the difference between those guys and here,” he said. “I think (we’re) better than the others guys.”

Rondon was just being himself, even though he knew his comments would likely get back to his old team.

“I say the truth,” he said. “I don’t have to be fake. I say what I see. I think those guys prepare pretty good too. But it is what it is.”

Rondon said he wasn’t upset the Cubs let him go, nor was he surprised pitching coach Chris Bosio was fired.

“Not really,” he said. “I know they had a couple back-and-forths (with manager Joe Maddon). I don’t care about them. I just worry about me.” — Paul Sullivan.

  • Jon Greenberg (The Athletic {$}): Héctor Rondón speaks ‘the truth’: the Astros are better than the Cubs (No kidding). “Yeah, we have everything,” Rondón said.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): MLB’s Rob Manfred says shorter schedule would mean lower pay. “I think that Anthony Rizzo’s comments were realistic in the sense that he linked the fact that if, in fact, you’re going to go to 154 games or some lower number of games, that players would have to be participants in that process,” Manfred said.
  • Steve Rosenbloom (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs are losing Jake Arrieta vs. Yu Darvish the way they lost Dexter Fowler vs. Leadoff Hitter Roulette. Rosenbloom-colored glasses, y’all.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs carry bullpen stress into Rockies series. “We tried to save the bullpen, but it didn’t work out that way,” said Maddon.
  • Lauren Comitor (The Athletic {$}): Visiting players feel a little more at home thanks to Wrigley Field upgrades. “...this spring, conditions have markedly improved for teams visiting Wrigley Field.”
  • Todd Johnson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Cubs have a Latin infusion heading north: The pitchers. “Their talent could help reshape the farm system this summer.”
  • Satchel Price (Chicago Sun-Times*): The Two Ricks: Javier Baez and baseball’s unwritten rules. “...in a sport where retaliation can be elusive — “I don’t have any other way of getting back at you” — the unwritten rules provide the playing ground upon which players figure out how to police each other.”
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Ben Zobrist’s back is getting better, but return uncertain. “He’s being cautious, given some back issues in his history...”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs slugger Kris Bryant surprised he has been hit by pitches six times. “It’s nothing that I think is intentional by any means,” he said. “But I love getting on base for people behind me. I’ll take it.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): ICYMI: Bryant is looking ahead to the next frontier. “...he recognizes that is the next thing he needs to do to become this really elite hitter. Because I’m sure beyond the power, he wants to hit for a better average, too,” said Maddon.
  • NBC Sports Chicago*: Ozzie Guillen says Bryant has chance to be best player ever [VIDEO].
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Meet the new Kyle Schwarber. “He’s out to prove he’s more than just a three true outcomes guy.”

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.