No athletes are more openly superstitious than baseball players, something the Cubs made abundantly clear as they prepared to take on the Reds for the first of four games in Cincinnati. With a 21-33 road record — worse than any NL team other than the Marlins (20-36) — that includes a 2-4 mark at Great America Ball Park so far, the Cubs are looking for anything they can find to carry their outstanding home performance with them.
Which means packing their home jerseys and hanging them in their lockers in the visitors clubhouse. You can see Jason Heyward’s 22 just over the shoulder of Jonathan Lucroy, the team’s newest member, though we can’t tell whether the veteran catcher even has a home jersey yet.
The Cubs have their home white jerseys hanging in their lockers at Great American Ballpark. Not wearing them tonight, just there for good luck as they begin a 10 game road trip. Cubs 21-33 on the road this season
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 8, 2019
In news that may shake a few fans to the core, Lucroy will be the first active Cubs player to don the number 25 since Derrek Lee. First base coach Will Venable had been blessed with it, but he’s making the change to 99 as a favor to Lucroy. I guess you could say Venable has 99 problems, but a switch ain’t one.
The switch to a new team shouldn’t be very difficult for Lucroy, who’s familiar with the Cubs after spending most of his career in the Brewers organization. He also played with several Cubs pitchers during his time with the Rangers, which should ease his transition and could even promote a minor surge in his production.
Here’s Jonathan Lucroy, on joining a Cubs team he is very familiar with either from catching the pitchers or facing them… pic.twitter.com/502kHF6p62
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 8, 2019
Maybe instead of using their jerseys to make them feel at home, the Cubs can just bust out the bats and hang crooked numbers against Reds pitching all night. Then they should repeat that a few more times through the weekend.