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Cub Tracks faces the music

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How sweep it is, we’re having a lot of fun, spooky action at a distance, and other bullets and nots and happenstance

MLB: Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs
the world, through Cubbie Blue glasses
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

How Sweep it is!

Pardon me a minute while I gather my thought.

ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?

Last time around the bend, Cub Tracks defied gravity, refusing to go deep into the well and completely avoiding the ledge event horizon in favor of the team just enjoying themselves. I of course take complete credit™ for the sweep and want only more fun. Triples are fun. I was watching Willson Contreras and remembering a game in which two not-so-swift Cubs and Leon Durham (paying right field!) had consecutive triples, back in the bad old days when Steve Henderson was one of our offensive forces and Jerry Morales did what the Jerry Moraleses of the world do. Check that box score — there’s some bad medicine there for sure.

Anyone remember Jesus Figueroa? How about Carlos Lezcano, Sixto Lezcano’s younger brother? They were prize rookies, once upon a time. Memories like that make me appreciate today’s squad.

Kris Bryant can play some right field, eh? He looks good out there. Was great to see David Bote get that knock. Mark Zagunis, too. The Marlins were good medicine for whatever was ailing the Cubs, that’s for sure. I’m all bubbly like a pot of cream gravy, but then I tend to take the high road. Let’s have one more number from the band, and then we’ll move on.

All that and the blossoming of Javier Baez into a bona fide star. This is going to be a fun summer after all...and, now for the news — as always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs news and notes:

“...we’re playing great and we’re having a lot of fun. We’re really jelling together now. Can’t complain.” — Albert Almora, Jr.

“You couldn’t script it any better -- first home run three years ago and 100 [on Wednesday]. I guess it made it even more special. It’s pretty cool. I know it took me a while to [get the] first one, but it’s a pretty cool story.” — Kris Bryant.

Added manager Joe Maddon: “The sky is the limit [for Bryant]. The guy is dedicated, motivated, athletic, he’s good, he takes care of himself, [plays] multiple positions, MVP winner. He does not care where you put him in the lineup, whether it’s offensively or defensively. He’s kind of the manager’s dream.”

  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Theo Epstein called his shot as Cubs stop ‘torturous’ run. “It’s frustrating,” he said. “Baseball is designed to torture you. And then it makes it that much better when things happen to go your way. But a series like that [in St. Louis] can be torturous...you just show up the next day, move on and we’re going to be sweeping somebody sometime soon.”
  • Thomas Lott (The Sporting News): Joe Maddon has no time for complaints about his lineups. “I try not to comment on it, because really it’s such a poor discussion,” Maddon told reporters Tuesday, via ESPN. “There’s no sophistication to it whatsoever. It makes zero sense. It doesn’t belong in today’s game.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Attack Mode: New coach and new leader have Cubs pen excelling with new approach. “...the early returns on the Cubs’ bullpen overhaul are very good.”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): The Brandon Morrow experience has been…pretty great! “Even “Cyborg” Wade Davis wasn’t automatic every time.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Cubs Quick Hits: Morrow’s average fastball up to 99 MPH. “The new Cubs closer has already locked down eight of nine save [chances] and has only give up [sic] two runs.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Victor Caratini has turned into a very valuable role player with Cubs. “He comes in every day, he works hard, he wants to learn, he asks a lot of questions and he’s ready to play. He’s gotten a lot more playing time and it’s nice,” said Rizzo.
  • Annie Costabile (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs star Anthony Rizzo: Cook-Off for Cancer in Chicago raises nearly $1 million. “For the players, raising money at this event turns into a competition.”
  • Craig Edwards (ESPN Insider* {$}): How can MLB’s unluckiest hitters turn their year around? “This season, only half of his line drives have dropped for hits, and none of those batted balls has gotten Rizzo past first base.”
  • Jeff Arnold (MLB.com*): Cubs sweep Fish behind Bryzzo, 8-run frame. “We had a great day. We had a lot of fun out there,” said Albert Almora Jr., one of four Cubs players who finished with three hits. “Hitting is contagious, and once guys start rolling, you see hits falling. It might not be pretty, but they fall.”
  • Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times*): With Manny Machado possibly in play, Addison Russell finds allegiance fleeting. “There are Cubs fans who still love Russell, though fewer of them.”
  • Jeff Arnold (MLB.com*): Russell shakes funk, hits 1st HR in 8-run 3rd. “I’ve been feeling good for the last couple of weeks,” Russell said. “I think [Maddon] has a lot of confidence in me to send me out every single day. I’m trying to contribute to the team, and that makes me really happy.”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Why Maddon is considering Kyle Schwarber for a return to Cubs’ leadoff spot. “If he’s the best-suited guy in the moment, you’ll see him back up there,” Maddon remarked.
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Here’s the most obvious example of an umpire calling balls as strikes to end a game early. “...the home plate umpire blatantly robbed” Justin Hancock.

Food for thought:

  • Ingfei Chen (Undark): How far should science go to create lifesaving replacement organs? “...potentially thorny ethical issues.”
  • Peter Dockrill (Science Alert): Jupiter and Venus are warping Earth’s orbit, and it’s linked to major climate events. “Scientists can now link changes in the climate, environment, dinosaurs, mammals, and fossils around the world to this 405,000-year cycle in a very precise way.”
  • Mindy Weisberger (Live Science): Biggest test yet shows Einstein was wrong about ‘spooky action at a distance’. “Either our observations of the world actually change it, or particles are communicating with each other in some manner that we can’t see or influence.” Or both.

Thanks for reading.