In 2016, the Chicago Cubs rallied around manager Joe Maddon’s battle cry of “Embrace the Target,” on their way to the best record in baseball, their first NL Pennant since 1945, and the first World Series victory since 2016. Remember that?
At ESPN.com, Jesse Rogers writes about Maddon’s theme for the 2017 season, and how difficult it was for him to land on anything meaningful after the storybook and historic nature of their 2016 season. “It’s hard to wrap your mind around all of it,” Maddon told Rogers. “When something is surreal, it’s when the dream comes true.”
♫ When you wish upon a star … ♫ pic.twitter.com/yov654DkfQ
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) January 10, 2017
But 2017 is a new year, with new players, and a new message. To Maddon, this upcoming season is all about one thing: Authenticity.
According to Maddon, he hasn’t quite nailed down the slogan to go along with it, but ‘Authenticity’ will be the key to the season. He wants the Cubs to be who they are and who they were, because that’s one of their greatest strengths. “It’s a great word to bring an entire message from,” Maddon said. “Get in front of the group that first day in spring training. Just think of that word: ‘authentic’ and ‘authenticity’ and the positives that can be derived from that.”
Whatever slogan or theme Maddon delivers, you can bet his team (and their fans!) will rally behind it. After two of the most memorable seasons in Cubs history in 2015 and 2016, there’s a lot to look forward to and it all starts with Maddon’s message on the first day of camp.