Justin Dukes covers the Chicago Cubs and their developments for WARR.com
A select group of Chicago Cubs coaches, players and executives Wednesday took what could be called as a casual trip to 1600 Pennslyvania Ave (certainly more casual than their last trip to that address) for what was publicized as a friendly White House visit and championship celebration.
Yet while every individual in the room was all smiles in the room next to President Trump, even he was aware there was more to the visit than just the Cubs wanting to shoot the breeze with the Commander-in-chief.
“Your team’s doing OK,” Trump said with a hedge in his voice. “But you’re going to do great starting now, right?” said Trump, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Currently sitting at the .500 mark for the season at 40-40 after splitting their first two games in Cincinnati this weekend, two questions seem to pop up for every potential answer the Cubs have discovered this year.
With designated catcher Miguel Montero all but blaming Tuesday night’s loss on Jake Arrieta — and finding his way out the door in the process — the Cubs followed up the game with an 8-4 loss to the Washington Nationals just after the White House visit.
Having already commemorated their championship run earlier this year in the capital with former President Barack Obama, this second, slightly more intimate go around in the White House was definitely an attempt at restoring a mindset that the Cubs seemed to have gotten away from. Limiting distractions has always been a company line for all pro sports teams, but unfortunately the Cubs seemed to have been in their own way all season.
On The Rebound
Still searching for answers to his own struggles this season, outfielder Kyle Schwarber is trying to make use of his time with Triple-A Iowa. With a casual single and three strikeouts in his game Thursday with the minor league affiliate, Schwarber told 247sports afterward, “you’ve got to go back to what made you successful in the first place.”
Limping off the field in the Cubs recent loss to the Nationals, third baseman Kris Bryant knew what he was feeling then in his right ankle far from the feeling of success, but it wasn’t anything to lose his head about either.
Thankfully, X-rays backed up the MVP’s initial gut feeling, showing no fractures or structural damage. The possible absence of Bryant for at least the immediate future could have fractured the Cubs’ hopes at turning this season around, but reports now have Bryant back in the lineup for Saturday afternoon’s third contest with the Reds (3 pm, CSN-Chicago, 670 The Score).
The team found itself laughing off President Trump’s inquiry of the best hitter on the team with uneasy smiles just as the team prepared to exit the White House, that response seemed laughable then but it seems much more reasonable now.
Justin Dukes is a Chicago-based sports writer, follow him on Twitter @1kingzdream; Follow We Are Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under We Are Regal Radio