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Cub Tracks steps in

On the Morrow, First place, the maypole, and other bullets

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MLB: Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs
I look pretty good but my heels are high
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

When last we encountered these climes, Cub Tracks spun it. Last night, the Cubs put a new wrinkle in Charlie Blackmon’s jersey as they entered the Twilight Zone with the Rockies.

“Stuff happens.” — Joe Maddon

Nice. Like the out that took place before the telecast began. That was a happening, an event, an occurrence, if you will. I submit for your approval that Vic Carapazza** controls the vertical and the horizontal. Wait a minute. How did we get here? I thought this was the Twilight Zone. Now you’ve gone One Step Beyond to the Outer Limits!

“Yeah, we have jokes.” — the universe

Suddenly I’m starting to believe that a wicker man might be an appropriate complement, if only for an equalizer, Lord Summerisle, and now, if you will, the news, for tonight we pursue the meatloaf.

** Last night’s home plate umpire.

Don’t look at me in that tone of voice. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs news and notes:


Rosemont, IL –- Chicago outfielder Kyle Schwarber has announced the date and location of his second annual youth baseball camp.

The Kyle Schwarber Baseball ProCamp will be held on July 24th at The Ballpark at Rosemont. Participants will learn fundamental baseball skills and have the opportunity to meet and interact with the star outfielder. Each camper will receive a souvenir autograph from Kyle and a team photo with Kyle.

Schwarber will be on-site to direct the event and will be joined by a selection of prep and college coaches from the area. The camp is open to boys and girls of all skill levels in grades 1-8.

The camp’s event partners include Energice, Citi, US Weight, and Welch’s Fruit Snacks.

Registration and more information is available at

  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): How a rainout changed the course of the Cubs’ season. “There’s something about rain and these Cubs.”
  • Sports Illustrated: Nine Innings: The Cubs’ issue with launch angle, reimagining bullpen roles and Jonny Venters’s painful journey. “...last year Schwarber was the worst fastball hitter in baseball.”
  • Grace Perry (Chicago Magazine): The Cubs are no longer losers—but they’re not as lovable, either. “The Ricketts family changed the Cubs’ fortunes—but they also changed Wrigleyville into “Rickettsville” and brought too much baggage for one lifelong fan.”
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): Theo Epstein proud of Chicago Cubs players after month of growth. “The biggest thing I like is how many guys seem to be really growing and getting better and as a team, too,” Epstein said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Can you believe this? Cubs outpitch mistakes to beat Rox, move into first place. “I feel like we’re going in the right direction,” Jon Lester said.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Say goodbye to the pause in Yu Darvish’s delivery. “I don’t know what purpose that it served,” pitching coach Jim Hickey told”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Relievers don’t love making headlines, but Brandon Morrow and Carl Edwards Jr. are pitching too well not to. “They’re obviously really good. Two really good arms, plus stuff,” lefty reliever Brian Duensing said.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Brandon Morrow’s attacking approach cuts down opponents, lifts teammates. “...he’s brought more to the table than just a cheese plate.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Almora-Baez combo producing atop Cubs’ order. “Joe Maddon said on Monday he’ll stick with Albert Almora Jr. and Javier Baez at the top of the Cubs’ lineup as long as the combo works.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs ‘riding the wave’ to 9-2 mark with makeshift 1-2 punch atop batting order. “The only thing more likely to change on a given day at Wrigley Field than the leadoff man is the weather.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Young Cubs hitters seeing results from using the entire field. “Our belief all along is that there is no one way for everyone, that everybody has a unique swing and you should coach that swing and try to make guys as well-rounded as possible,” said Theo Epstein.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Why are Cubs being hit so much this year? “So what the hell is going on?”
  • Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Is it too early to start throwing around the ‘Elite’ term for Javier Baez? “’s going to be more and more difficult to prevent...”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Kris Bryant’s triple sparks rally in Luke Farrell’s 1st win. “Bryant tripled to lead off the sixth inning and scored the tie-breaking run...”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): The next steps for Kyle Schwarber and how he attacks the dreaded shift. “We gotta get Schwarbs more solid against left-handed pitching in general,” Maddon said. “Because you don’t like taking him out of the lineup. That’s gonna come; he’s gonna get better.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Maddon likes Schwarber’s return to ‘the huddle’. “That was great advice...” Maddon said.
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Yosh Kawano’s old Chicago friends buy him a Cubs World Series ring. “He continues to mean a lot to us,” Tony Ruzicka said.
  • Jeff Arnold (*): Billy Bean, Cubs team up for ‘Shred Hate’ initiative. “I quit on myself without giving someone a chance to say, ‘Hey, it’s OK,’” Bean told students.

Food for thought:

Okay, it’s last. Thanks for reading.