Somehow, the Cubs returned home from a usual embarrassing road trip and have looked like a team in the midst of a pennant race. Granted, it's only been two games, but the Cubs have managed to cool off a Brewers team fresh off a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals and just a week removed from a four-game sweep of the Florida Marlins.
They've also, by the way, managed to "earn" two wins against the NL Central leading Brewers squad, winning a rare 1-0 pitchers duel and an extra-innings affair last night.
Has the recent Cubs surge been a result of the closer clubhouse Cubs players have preached about over the past week? Was the latest Carlos Zambrano incident truly something that brought this bunch together?
Is it those t-shirts Cubs players wore during their workout Tuesday?
In case you missed it, several Cubs sported a new pre-game look yesterday during their afternoon workout -- a t-shirt that reads "F**k The Goat" on the back, with a goat sporting the universal "no" symbol (a la Ghostbusters
) on the front.
This isn't the first time a Major League ball club has done something out of the ordinary as a display of unity. Throughout the years, baseball clubs, quite possibly more than those of any other organized professional sport, have gone to great lengths to devise something unusual to rally around.
The Homer Hanky made famous by the Minnesota Twins, and the '79 Pirates adoption of the Sister Sledge song "We Are Family" are just a couple of the more notable instances of a team using something out of the ordinary to rally around.
The eerie thing about clubs that have done something a little kooky as a symbol of unity is that they have historically managed to have some very positive results.
Take last year's Cinderella story, the
Texas Rangers. Much like the Twins and Pirates of the past, they managed to coast to the World Series though utilizing a bit of ridiculous hand signals to communicate their satisfaction with one another. Last year, most fans outside of San Francisco were "doing the claw" or flashing deer antlers at one another. It was fun for fans, but it gave the Rangers themselves something to rally around, and once it stuck, it gave them more of a reason to try to do something great.
It would be pretty fantastic if the Cubs were to somehow turn things around and compete -- especially given the lack of talent they seem to have. But baseball is a funny game. You never really know what's going to happen. Unlike nearly every other organized sport, baseball is one game where there is always potential for a team to come out of nowhere and win the whole thing.
For now, though, f**k the goat!
Nothing else has seemed to work.