By Kara Brown
MESA — For years the Cubs were known as the “lovable losers.” Last season, manager Joe Maddon’s tongue-in-cheek mantra was “try not to suck.”
But in the wake of their first World Series championship in 108 years, the Cubs are rolling out an old slogan that works as well after their breakthrough as it might have during their past breakdowns.
The Cubs broke it out everywhere during spring training, putting it on billboards, using it in photo shoots and pushing it on the team’s social media accounts.
Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks sees the slogan as a way to continue changing the image of the team.
“It means a lot now,” he said. “I think it has changed.
“The atmosphere has changed around here. It started with (Maddon) and all of these players. And the expectation has changed. So, coming in every year now, the expectation is just to win.”
Maddon introduced the team’s new slogan in mid February, as motivation to carry last year’s success into the 2017 season.
Maddon admits it wasn’t his phrase. “That’s Cub” debuted the year before he was named manager.
“I don’t even know what the genesis was but it was here before I got here and I kind of like it,” Maddon said.
(Video by Haley Stesiak/Cronkite News)
Maddon said it has come to mean playing the game the right way.
“Playing hard, supporting your teammates, being there in that moment to make the play or get the big hit or make the pitch,” he said.
Although the slogan represents the organization as whole, outfielder Jason Heyward said it has different meanings for different players.
“It could mean fly the ‘W,’ and the way our fan base, players and organization don’t take winning for granted,” Heyward said. “It could mean day games at Wrigley Field or how our fans are literally at every game, home or road.
“It could be the mix of youth in our clubhouse with the veteran leadership and all those things. It could be all of the above, and that’s kind of what I feel like it means to me.”