(CBS) Much has been made of the motivational tactics and team speeches the Cubs made while rallying from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series against the Indians.
Now more details are trickling out, and perhaps none is as unique as this: Anthony Rizzo was naked when he was quoting “Rocky” as part of his motivational speeches ahead of the Cubs’ wins in Game 5, Game 6 and Game 7, according to Tom Verducci’s new book The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse.
Here’s the tidbit from The Cubs Way, via SI.com:
An hour before Game 5, Rizzo had broken out his pregame inspirational and comedic presentation, quoting motivational lines from movies with no clothes on. The Cubs won, so Rizzo did it before Game 6, too. They won again, so he did it before Game 7 as well.
An hour before the seventh game of the World Series, Rizzo stripped off all his clothes, cranked the theme from Rocky on the clubhouse stereo one more time, jumped on top of a coffee table, and began quoting lines from the movie and throwing his best shadow-boxing punches. Pitcher Hector Rondon, joining in on the hijinks, picked up an aerosol can of shoe cleaner and sprayed it in the direction of Rizzo’s groin.
Startled and angered, Rizzo stopped and yelled, “What the heck, man!” He cut the music and stormed off toward the showers to clean off the spray. “I’m thinking, Dang, what’s he doing?” Ross said. “We can’t have this negative vibe right before the game. I go by there. I can tell he’s a little irritated.”
Ten minutes went by. Rizzo finally emerged from the shower. He walked back silently to his locker with a towel around this waist. The room was quiet and uneasy.
Ross walked up to Rizzo and broke the silence.
“Hey! It’s not how many times you get knocked down … it’s how many times you get up!”
Rizzo chuckled. “You know what?” he said. “You’re right!” Said Ross, “He rips the towel off, runs up, turns the music on again, and he jumps back on the coffee table and starts doing the Rocky motions again.”
Verducci’s book comes out March 28 and can be purchased here.
Rondo addressed the matter Tuesday at Cubs spring training, getting a chuckle out of it.
“When we were down to the Indians, Rizzo started joking around,” Rondon said. “He started to run around naked in the clubhouse. He was trying to keep us loose. That was our moment. He kept us loose and laughing too.”