The 1908 Cubs were “a team of beneficent extraterrestrials”

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Slagging on the Cubs for not winning a World Series in a long time is pretty stale by now. We get it. It’s been forever. Blah blah blah.

But once in a while you get a fresh take on it. Like this one from Steve Rushin in Sports Illustrated, who manages to reference Harriet Tubman, Napoleon, sliced bread, the Tunguska Event, the Comet Morehead, Merkle’s Boner and a bunch of other stuff to give us a take on the 1908 Cubs that is very different from one we’ve heard before.

I’m still partial to Cait Murphy’s “Crazy ’08” as far as this story goes, but this one is worth exploring. If for no other reason than the thought process that gets Rushin through his theory is kind of like those little episodes of connected thoughts we all get when we space out and wonder how we ended up thinking about Z when we began thinking about A, and then try to retrace the thread.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.