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Cub Tracks’ diamonds in the rough

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Coming back to life, Yu goes eye-high, things humans can’t do, and other bullets

you wore out your welcome with random precision
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the machine...or another multimedia extravaganza compiled for your possible pleasure. Thanks for coming, and please enjoy immoderately. I saved you a space.

Sorry, James Tiptree, Jr., Houston didn’t read, and therefore the spaceship drifted off, alone. Gazoo and Marvin Martian are among the lost. Roger, over and out.

Also among the lost were most of the Manny Machado articles (I found seventeen without even looking very hard — The Athletic had three). I’m limiting them to one per issue, and we rarely see Bruce Miles any more, so he got the nod. Evan Altman’s article is more about Addison Russell. On the other hand, the Cubs found the kaboom, so that’s sorted.

Let’s hope they still remember where it is today in their tilt against the Tribe. As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs news and notes:

“He walked the pitcher,” Rizzo recalled after the Cubs’ 6-1 win. “He’s walked the pitcher a couple of times. He was pissed. I’ve gotten to know him. You just go over and calm him down a bit. I said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll score some runs for you.’”

“I was trying to calm myself, letting the frustration come out,” Darvish said through his interpreter about that moment. “I was thinking of saying something out loud, to get it out of my system, and Rizzo came over and said the same thing, ‘You look very frustrated. Let’s keep it together.’” — Jesse Rogers.

“When we’re playing in his backyard growing up, we’ve always dreamed about playing together someday in the big leagues, put on the same big league uniform, be on the same field, win a World Series together.” — Manny Machado, reported by Lauren Comitor {$}

  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Sustained success? Since championship, Cubs learn it’s harder than it looks. ‘‘It’s not an easy thing to do, in general, to win,” right fielder Jason Heyward said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Lots of buzz about Manny Machado, but Cubs have bigger issues. “We keep getting better over the course of the season,” Joe Maddon said. “It has happened the last three years.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Cubs vs. Indians: Which team is better positioned to get back to the World Series in 2018? “ of right now, this Cubs roster looks to be better equipped to win it all.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana get extra days off before facing Giants. “Because of two scheduled days off this week, Hendricks and Quintana will get extra rest before their next starts Friday and Saturday...”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Yu Darvish’s scary first preceded a change in his fastball…and a brilliant final five innings. “...10 of his 17 whiffs on the day came in the upper half of the strike zone...”
  • Jay Jaffee (Fangraphs): Yu Darvish and the good fastball. “...the perception of Darvish as mentally soft is in danger of taking root in Chicago.” Just in case everybody hasn’t read it already.
  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register {$}): A look at the inconsistencies of Cubs top prospect Adbert Alzolay this season. “I think the last couple of outings have been more of an anomaly than what you’re going to see from him,” Taylor Davis said.
  • Manny Randhawa (*): Bullpen of the Week: Cubs. “Relievers combine for 1.80 ERA over 25 innings.”
  • John Grochowski (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs’ defense still ranks among best in baseball. “The Cubs’ .718 DefEff is below their historically good .728 of 2016 but better than their .699 of last season.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs’ Kris Bryant rebounds from beaning in a big way. “It’s just a matter of getting back into the rhythm of things,” Bryant said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber delivers fireworks with HR, ejection and ‘a choice word’. ‘‘I was upset with myself and the call,’’ said Schwarber.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): If loving Albert Almora against righties is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. “...being an everyday player on a championship team requires much more than just intangibles.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Russell’s bat making louder noises, still not enough to drown out trade rumors. “After all, he’s still only 24 years old and hasn’t nearly reached maturity as a hitter.”
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): Orioles’ Machado draws crowd, but will Cubs join the hype? “There were so many Chicago media members waiting to talk with (the) Orioles star on Monday that a Baltimore beat writer stopped and took a photo of the receiving line.”
  • Fran Spielman (Chicago Sun-Times*): Ald. John Arena under fire for demanding parking perk before Cubs-Sox game. “It’s not the first time that a Chicago alderman has been accused of throwing his weight around and asking for a special favor from Chicago police officers.”

Food for thought:

  • Emily Conover (Science News): Maverick asteroid might be an immigrant from outside the solar system. “Found in Jupiter’s orbit, the rock travels around the sun in reverse from the planets.”
  • Meredith Fore (Live Science): Why is ice slippery? “...scientists didn’t really know the answer to that simple question until recently.”
  • Dyani Sabin (Popular Science): While you sleep, scientists will use a space telescope to spy on migrating birds. “Scientists are on the brink of learning the details of where they go and why.”

Thanks for reading. Seriously...and did you notice how awesome BCB looks these days? Everyone is writing great features. I am humbled to be among such company.