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Cub Tracks stands clear

Really high release point, Javy being Javy, the reason for dimples, and other bullets

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Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers
I don’t throw that pitch. That’s Darvish.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images


I like it when they leave ‘em loaded. Beer after beer, one thing is clear — the Cubs are the best team in Milwaukee this weekend. Last round, we dissed Mr. Muller and his town. Cory Knebel getting hurt added injury to insult. Last night, there was trouble brewing from the onset, the outset, the preface as it were, and even in the first inning, as Kyle Schwarber drew a walk and the bats started talking with two outs. Unfortunately, the Brewers also have bats, and theirs talked when the Cubs’ lumber went silent. Javier Baez went all Javy. It didn’t end well: Al will have a complete breakdown of events in his recap.

Me, I’m having a Stella Artois for breakfast, through the magic of the Cub Tracks continuum, that 8-10 hour swing between the writing and the presentation. Won’t you join me and peruse some of the news you can use to commence a Saturday of baseball? As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs news and notes:

Manager Joe Maddon said Rizzo may also skip Saturday’s game against the Brewers.

”It’s just that tightness, back tightness,” Maddon said Friday. “He did a lot of extra hitting [Thursday], and that might have brought it on. It’s definitely a day-to-day kind of thing. Definitely today. It’s possible [he’ll sit] tomorrow, too.” — Carrie Muskat.

  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Wisconsin Residents Only? Cubs fans laugh at the idea. “We’ll be here all weekend, every single day,” said Melissa, a Cubs fan who lives in Wisconsin with her family. “A lot of Cubs fans live in Wisconsin.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Faux rainouts, feisty fans and two strong teams: Cubs-Brewers could be baseball’s new great rivalry. “People that attempt to contrive a rivalry I’ve always gotten a kick out of it. It’s an organic thing. You cannot force rivalry,” opined Maddon. Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune {$}) adds on.
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): The Milwaukee Brewers have the funniest player you’ve never heard of (and Ben Zobrist would agree). “That man’s name is Tim Dillard and he is a 16-year MLB veteran.”
  • Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times*): Happy, happy tag team: Cubs’ Joe Maddon sees no evil, White Sox’ Rick Renteria hears none. “Nobody cheers on his team the way these two guys do.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Whoa, Tyler Chatwood’s curveball release point is really high and that’s good. “...he can better translate spin to movement.” Charts!
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): How Jon Lester bounced back and why Javy Baez reminds Maddon of Willie Mays. “I told him only once, not twice,” Baez said about Ryan Braun. Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation) expounds.
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Lester can easily overcome velo dip with command he showed against Milwaukee. Dartmouth does it, why not Jon?
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Willson Contreras blistered the ball last night – it’s something he does. “ was his exit velocity that really had us turning heads...”
  • NBC Sports Chicago*: On the diamond: Willson Contreras [VIDEO]. He talks to Kelly Crull.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): The roller coaster that is Zobrist’s Cubs career is on an upswing right now. “I saw him have really good at-bats in Miami,” Maddon said. “I’ve seen him really swing the bat well from the right side in Tampa Bay. He’s very capable of it.”
  • Tracy Swartz (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Can Cubs shortstop Addison Russell live up to his performance on ‘Superior Donuts’? “The 24-year-old Cubs shortstop plays himself in a cameo on Monday’s episode.”
  • Josh Cole (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The cognitive dissonance of Ian Happ, leadoff man. “Clearly, managers are shifting away from the “traditional” high on-base, high-speed, low-power leadoff hitter.”
  • Tanveer Ali (Chicago Sun-Times*): Here’s what’s new in Wrigleyville ahead of Cubs Opening Day 2018. “...a look at some of the big projects around the Cubs’ ballpark...”
  • Eater Chicago: Hotel Zachary and misc. All of the new Wrigleyville venues.
  • Laura Gomez (AzCentral): Cubs games account for 5 largest crowds in Arizona spring-training history. “...the five largest crowds in league history were recorded in 2018, all at Mesa’s Sloan Park, the home of the Cubs.”
  • Ryan Pollock (Beyond the Box Score): Move over, Cubs: The Indians are the next dynasty in the making. “Relative to this time last year, the Cubs lost more surplus value than any other team...”

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading!