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The “Giant Trombone”
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Here at CUB TRACKS NEWS AND NOTES™, we have news for you, four days a week. Today’s edition is rather caffeinated. Bear with us... or bean with us... I like my coffee black, over ice.

Boog said “Pittsburgh native, Ian Happ.” This reminds us of a joke.

The season is winding down to its inevitable whimper and there are SO MANY QUESTIONS. What to do with young pitchers, surprise successes, injury-prone personnel. Are the ‘elder rookies’ bona fide or fido? Who starts, who’s on the bench? What does “intelligence” even mean in this context?

Cub Tracks is not mollified by any of this Orwellian doublethink. We are not impressed by the free agent class or the capabilities of the front office, except for maybe Dan Kantrovitz, and frankly at this point we are half-hoping that this train wreck will get a year off due to the CBA.

Okay, we’re half-joking about that. But we do note that the simCubs got to the division playoffs with the young catcher, the Pittsburgh-area native, and Ryan Yarbrough, who we got in trade for Q and Zack Short.

They flat-out might be the best bet for your entertainment dollar. This year’s model has won 94 games so far and will be sitting out the playoffs, as the Brewers and Cardinals both fielded better teams. The Giants deified Pythagoras and were hit by the thagomizer — they’ve won 71 games, close to their preseason projection.

Half-joking because we are honestly interested in seeing potential platoons in play: Frank Schwindel and Alfonso Rivas, Rafael Ortega and Nico Hoerner (may the gods of baseball heal his oblique), outfield configurations involving Ian Happ/Patrick Wisdom/possibly Michael Hermosillo. Hopefully not Jason Heyward. Infield combos featuring Hoerner/Bote/Alcantara (should he return)/Duffy (should he return).

My read between-the-lines is that David Ross and Kyle Hendricks both would really like to see a dependable quality shortstop out there. The good thing is that this is very possible. It’s just become unlikely that it’ll be Hoerner. The Cubs will have to buy one. The slow-tossers need up-the-middle defense. The batting order needs a lefty masher.

It’s going to be a long winter, isn’t it?

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Bleacher Nation companion article: A first look at this year’s robust Free Agent Class and whom the Cubs might target.

Food for Thought:

Thanks for reading.