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Cub Tracks keeps the home fires burning

Maddon talks to the Angels, Kimbrel’s blind data, north or south Dakota? and other such fuel to stoke the hot stove

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Great Chicago Fire.
October 8, 1871
Photo by: Picturenow/ Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It’s an even 100° F as I write this, and that reminds me that the Chicago White Stockings began a three-year absence from the National Association on this date in 1871. Mrs O’Leary declined to be interviewed, but Michael Ahearn was not cowed and ran the story. In 1908, the Cubs won the pennant behind Three-Finger Brown, and in 2016, Travis Wood went deep.

These and other burning questions remain as the Cubs’ conflagration is kindling: Who will emerge to fill one of the seven current manager spots (the fate of Gabe Kapler isn’t decided yet)? Which players go where? Who’s zoomin’ who? And what about that baseball? What’s a net worth? Was Craig Kimbrel’s inability to get major-league hitters out due to injury? Or was it lack of spring training? Or both?

Cole Hamels, Gerrit Cole, or none of the above? Did the Braves do us all a favor and turn the Cardinals’ season to ash?

Here’s today’s Cubs News and Notes. As always, * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome). {$} means paywall. {$} means limited views. Italics are often used here as sarcasm font.

Food for thought:

Stay hydrated, my friends. Thanks for reading.