Late inning comeback victories are nice. In fact, they’re essential if the Cubs are going to get to the playoffs and compete for a championship.
The 2015 Cubs have already shown that a late inning deficit does not mean the game is over. In this sense–the most meaningful one of all, because it translates into what the standings are–Joe Maddon is light years ahead of Mike Quade, Dale Sveum, Rick Renteria, and even Lou Piniella and Dusty Baker, at the end of their respective terms as Cubs manager.
The disco ball story that has come out recently is another reason to love our new skipper. Nothing says “party” like a disco ball, even if it’s only for show. And if it’s actually put to use, all the better. I can’t imagine Bobby Murcer or Rick Reuschel in a disco ball setting, and they played back in the disco era. Knowing that Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler and the rest of the team is doing today is comforting, on some level. It feels like progress, in a strange way.
But the best reason to love Joe Maddon, at least from my faintly literary standpoint, has to do with a Shakespearean bent that he seems to possess. Not that he’s writing stories, but that he embraces the amazing malleability of the English language.
The list of phrases that Shakespeare gave to us centuries ago is impressive. But he went well beyond the ability to turn a phrase, though. He showed a willingness to experiment with word usage, turning the action of an “assassin” into an “assassination” in Act I of Macbeth. How would we describe the killing of Abraham Lincoln, or a hundred others, if Shakepeare had not done his thing?
So when Joe Maddon described the Cubs’ recent series win over Pittsburgh, where the Cubs won two of the three games played, as “Meatloafing” them, he showed that he has a bit of the Bard in him.
Maddon’s reference to Meat Loaf’s “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” also shows that the skipper knows his rock and roll, which I appreciate. But “Meatloafing” as a verb, signifying the win of two out of the three games in a series, is something that hasn’t been seen before. I have to admit that I like it.
Let’s hope that we can Meatloaf the Brewers in Chicago this weekend, and in Milwaukee next weekend, as well. Sweeping them would be better, especially given the Brewers’ troubles out of the gate this year, but taking two out of three ain’t bad. I’ll take all the Meatloafing that we can get for the rest of this summer.
R. Lincoln Harris is a guest contributor for Wrigleyville Nation. He also writes for BlueBattingHelmet.Wordpress.com, ChicagoSideSports.com, ThroughTheFenceBaseball.com, and FiveWideSports.com. Thanks R. Lincoln for the contribution!