After a sluggish start to the summer, the Cubs are now riding a six-game winning streak that has them just one game back of first place in the NL Central. Cool! To celebrate, they’ve adopted a distinctly dorky performance to mark getting on base. Less cool!
Ready for this? Here it is, from Jesse Rogers of ESPN:
Yes, the Cubs (49-45) are literally waving at each other — first from the dugout to the hitter who reached base, then from the hitter back to the dugout in acknowledgement. The twist is that the baserunner can freestyle with any creative gesture he chooses.
Whoa. That twist really got me! Wasn’t expecting that one. Neither, apparently, were several members of the team, who are still trying to figure out how to freestyle here:
“After the break, we said we’re going to give the wave or whatever else you wanted afterwards,” infielder Tommy La Stella said. “So everyone is in the process of coming up with their own stuff.”
Here is what this celebration looks like if you’re playing it straight, rather than picking a “creative gesture”:
Pray tell, what does it look like if you neither play it straight nor pick a creative gesture? If you just get on base and ignore your teammates’ waves? It looks like some HARASSMENT.
The runner on first must acknowledge his teammates, or he will be harassed by them. Most are on board, but some — such as the National League MVP — are so locked into the game that they sometimes forget.
“They’ve been getting on me,” Kris Bryant said with a smile. “I don’t even know what we’re doing. No one is telling me. There’s no memo. All the other years, it was confirmed, like ‘This is what we’re doing,’ but this year, are we waving? Is everyone doing their own thing? It’s like, OK, whatever. You wave at me. I’ll wave back to you.”
Bryant has a point; it was honestly rude and, frankly, irresponsible for the Cubs to implement this celebration tactic without a memo or training session or other explicit distribution of information. In fact, the Harvard Business Review just published a handy-dandy article on how to communicate clearly during organizational change and the team seems to have violated just about every component of the first rule here—maybe the Cubs should do some reading!!!! Then they can communicate clearly the next time they implement some organizational change, like, say, if they mercifully ditch this flimsy-ass celebration for literally anything else.