(CBS) Cubs manager Joe Maddon and his squad have found some comic relief in their uneven play early in the season and also another path to support charitable causes — in the form of new T-shirts, of course.

On Friday, T-shirts surfaced in the Cubs’ clubhouse with the slogan “embrace the suck.” It’s a combination of two of Maddon’s previous go-to slogans — “try not to suck” and “embrace the target” — but there’s also more meaning behind it.

“It’s a military phrase for probably the last 20 years. I’d never heard about it before,” Maddon said.

“It’s a morphing of those phrases. We’ve been working with the military in order to be able to utilize it, where we can sell it, use it for our team phrase, sell it through korkedbaseball.com and split some of the proceeds with ‘Respect 90’ (Maddon’s foundation) and also wherever the military money going to go, I’m not 100 percent sure yet.

“It’s a combination of utilizing us, the military and getting the message out there. And then the message could not be more appropriate than it is right now regarding the start of the season. We’re embracing the suck. We’re trying to continue to move forward. Militarily speaking, I would imagine if you’re fighting in a difficult situation, it’s never any good, but nevertheless you have to embrace the moment somehow.”

The defending champion Cubs haven’t played up to their capabilities early in the season, now sitting at 21-19 entering play Friday after previously sitting below .500 before a three-game sweep of the Reds.

“We’re above .500 now, so no more freaking out,” third baseman Kris Bryant said.

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