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Joe Maddon, Cubs roll out new ‘Embrace the Suck’ shirts (pic)

The Chicago Cubs have gotten off to a relatively disappointing start to the 2017 MLB season. In an instance of perfect timing, a new shirt has been introduced that blends two of Joe Maddon’s patented catchphrases from the team’s magical championship 2016 campaign: “Embrace the Target” and “Try not to Suck.”

“Embrace the Suck” is originally a military term credited to the U.S. military, something Maddon referenced when discussing the new catchphrase.

“[It means] exactly what it says,” Maddon said, via CSN Chicago. “… It’s been a military phrase for probably the last 20 years. I had never heard about it before. It also includes Embrace the Target, Try Not to Suck — it’s a morphing of those two phrases and we’ve been working with the military in order to be able to utilize it where we can sell it and use it for our team phrase.”

Suffice to say, “Embrace the Suck” could be used as a rallying cry for the Cubs.

“The message could not be more appropriate than it is right now regarding the start of the season,” Maddon said, via CSN Chicago. “We’re embracing the suck, we’re trying to continue to move forward.”

The Cubs have slightly stumbled out of the gate to a 21-19 record. While definitely not horrible — the Cubs are only two games back of the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers — the defending champs had to expect better.

Maddon was asked how exactly do the Cubs “Embrace the Suck” at this stage of the season.

“I want our guys to understand: Maybe we haven’t done our best work to this point, but that’s a good thing. To really stay focused and understand that the better days are coming.

“More recently, we’ve had three good days, but it’s gonna take a lot more than that to get back to where we want to be. So the concept of embracing the target, try not to suck and then embracing the suck, to me makes all the sense in the world.”

Proceeds from the sale of the shirt will be split between the military and Maddon’s Respect 90 foundation.