Cubs brought home jerseys on trip in bid to reverse road struggles
The Chicago Cubs have been awful on the road this season, so much so that the team is willing to employ some unconventional methods in an effort to harness some positive home vibes.
The Cubs opened a 10-game road trip on Thursday night in Cincinnati. Greeting players in the visitor’s clubhouse at the Great American Ball Park were the team’s pinstriped, home-white jerseys.
The Cubs, however, donned their traditional road blues for the series-opening game against the Reds. While the impact of seeing their home jerseys hanging in their lockers had any effect on the game obviously cannot be quantified, the team did throttle the Reds by a score of 12-5.
“We’ve got to do something,” manager Joe Maddon said, adding he would have let the players wear the home jerseys if allowed, per the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I like the fact that we’re taking it seriously in the sense that, we’re maybe poking fun at that a little bit, but it definitely brings to our attention, ‘Let’s go, boys.'”
The belief is that Cubs mental-skills coordinator Bob Tewksbury played an integral role in the home-jersey gambit, but no one stepped forward to take credit for it. That said, given Maddon’s penchant for out-of-the-box approaches to managing, odds are the eccentric manager played some role in the ruse.
Whatever the case, the Cubs had to do something to help turn around their terrible play on the road. Heading into Thursday’s game, the Cubs had a woeful 21-33 road record.
Incredibly, the woeful record as visitors alone does not do justice to just how bad the Cubs have played away from Wrigley Field of late. The team has lost its last 10 road series and sport a wretched 9-22 record in their last 31 road games.
“I’ve never been involved with a good team having such a hard time on the road,” Maddon said.
Leave it to the Maddon-led Cubs to do something wacky to inspire success away from home. After all, it’s not the first time Maddon has dug into his bag of tricks ahead of a road trip, and it certainly won’t be the last.