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Cub Tracks hits the spot

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We’re wonderful, the impact of trade rumors, dolphin happiness, and other bullets

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
Mike Montgomery wards off naysayers

Cubs Win!

In our last column, Cub Tracks (and the writers) went minimal, with minimal subjects leading to minimal content and an article that was perhaps not quite as deep as Anthony Rizzo’s second-inning blast. We did manage a little gentle palaver about some big news in a small world but in the end it was a fart in the general direction of a windstorm and has already been ascribed to anonymity by the Committee for Ionic Detachment. Many mea culpas... I did have an unironic absinthe by way of penance, the iconic Malort not being available to me. My heart grew fonder. My liver, not so much.

Today we bring you news from the Memorial Day tilt between starters Monkey Ward and the Kuhl Kid, won by the Cubs , and whatever else has crossed the Cubs hivemind. Please to enjoy immoderately. Maybe the lack of sleep helped. Here’s a little more proggy fun:

<snip> Long section about ‘the slide’, awaiting the rush to judgement</snip>

Matt Snyder piece about the slide, included because it contains my take. “Rizzo definitely got all of home plate and didn’t elevate his legs at all. That’s probably why the ruling came down in the Cubs’ favor.”

Also, Clint Hurdle has the red ass. Someone should ploink him.

As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs news and notes:

“We’re not overly concerned,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said after Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Giants at Wrigley Field. “We’re just going precautionary method right now to make sure everything is good based on the fact the guy has had a history. When I talked to him in my office, it didn’t sound awful, but it sounded like something was there. As opposed to throwing him out there and be proven wrong, listen to your athlete. We thought it as the best way to do it.”

In 2015, Darvish underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire season. Maddon said Darvish has been bothered by soreness in his triceps all week and tried to work through it. He will be eligible to pitch next Saturday in New York.

”He’s been bothered a little bit recently,” Maddon said. “We thought we could work through it, but there’s some inflammation. We’re calling it tricep tendinitis, so we want to back off to make sure it’s all well.” — Carrie Muskat.

Cinderella story

When David Bote was promoted from Triple-A Iowa to the Cubs, manager Joe Maddon said how much he liked players from Colorado. Maddon’s theory was that they don’t have a chance to play as much as the California kids because of the weather and tend to mature later in life. Bote could be a prime example of that. An 18th-round pick in the 2012 Draft, the Denver-area native made his Major League debut, appropriately enough, in Denver when the Cubs played the Rockies. And he hit a double in his first at-bat.

Bote, 25, was called up in early May to replace Ben Zobrist, who was sidelined with back problems.

”[Anthony] Rizzo said, ‘You only get one chance to hit the first pitch of your career out of the yard,’” Bote said of his aggressive approach in his first at-bat.

He appeared in eight games with the Cubs and batted .263 (5-for-19) with five RBIs. A versatile player, who can sub at all infield spots and play the outfield if necessary, Bote most likely will be back if a need arises. — Carrie Muskat.

  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Theo Epstein eager to infuse more talent from draft. “We have a chance to have a really good draft, and I think our guys are really prepared,” Epstein said. “I look forward to infusing the system with more talent.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Projections still give Cubs best odds to win division. “They boast a 57.5 percent chance of raising another division banner.”
  • John Grochowski (Chicago Sun-Times*): Metrics say Cubs’ record should be better than what it is. “The Cubs have played better than their record, but the extra losses aren’t going away.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Where do the Cubs go from here with Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood? “If you look statistically, we’re wonderful,” Maddon said. “We’re actually like beautiful.”
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Chatwood and just trying to throw strikes. “...it’s easy for us to say “just throw strikes,” but it’s another thing to do it when everything has gone sideways.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Maddon looks to simplify Chatwood’s approach. “We have some ideas,” Maddon said Monday. “Do simple better. Try to simplify everything mechanically, physically and try to give him some mental skill stuff to deal with.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Pirates bullpen in tattered state for Cubs series. Relatively unarmed.
  • Doug Glanville (NBC Sports Chicago*): The impact of trade rumors, like those about Addison Russell. “...to a player, a rumor has always been powerful enough to generate doubt about his future and impact the relationship he believes he has with his organization.”
  • Dan Santaromita (NBC Sports Chicago*): Albert Almora Jr. gave another example of his all-around game. “...the argument is becoming easier and easier that he is one of the most important players on the Cubs.”
  • Moshe Wilensky (Cubs Insider): Financial state of the Central, Pt. 3: Pirates going cheap under veil of rebuild. “...the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) recently filed a grievance against Pittsburgh for their lack of spending.”
  • Michael Emdayar (Rayscoloredglasses): Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs make good trade partners. Victor Caratini and moving parts for Chris Archer?
  • Phil Rosenthal (Chicago Tribune* {$}): ESPN’s Jessica Mendoza and Alex Rodriguez channel their inner baseball nerd. “It’s a job for which having a Y chromosome is common, but not a prerequisite.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Pirates manager says it’s ‘open season’ on catchers after Anthony Rizzo slide.
  • MLB.com: Maddon on Rizzo’s slide [VIDEO].

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.