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Dancing With the Stars: Cubs bullpen edition

Did David Ross’ long and twirling run with the stars come to an end just in time to join the hottest dance troupe in baseball?

“No,” Carl Edwards Jr. said. “He can’t hang with us.”

Edwards and the rest of the Cubs’ bullpen have their own thing going, and it’s becoming one of the most popular shows at Wrigley Field these days — a Peanuts-like group dance to the stadium music that plays after each Cubs home run.

It started in earnest earlier this month when a big home run on the last homestand inspired the foot-tapping, head-bobbing relievers to leap from their chairs and dance around the new enclosed bullpen.

“I just know one day we hit a home run, and we all started dancing,” Edwards said. “I don’t know why. It was just something funny.”

What they didn’t consider at first was that they were on in-house video, so all the guys in the dugout could see them.

“So then we’re like, `All right, we’ll do it for them,’ ” reliever Brian Duensing said.

Then they realized that in-house feed could be shown on the ballpark video board — and on the broadcast.

“You could hear laughter,” Duensing said of the first time they knew they were on the video board. “We couldn’t stop.

“Hopefully, no one is taking offense to it by any means.”

Said manager Joe Maddon: “I absolutely love it. I think it’s great. And if you want to look at the more human side of everything we do, I would absolutely encourage [it]. You’re not showing anybody up.

“It really makes you look forward to the next home run to see what these guys are going to do.”

Wonder what La Stella means in German?

Break out the costumes. The Cubs’ first themed-dress road trip comes Thursday, when they head to the West Coast in “Anchorman”-inspired suits, finishing the trip in Ron Burgundy’s hometown of San Diego.

“We got the `Sex Panther’ in today,” Maddon said, chuckling. “ ‘Sixty percent of the time it works every time.’ It’s the `Ron Burgundy/Brick Tamland/Tommy La Stella-tribute-road-trip-where-60-percent-of-the-time-it-works-every-time-sponsored-by-Sex-Panther-cologne trip.”

Tommy La Stella?

“I just see him like Brick Tamland,” Maddon said. “It’s almost like two interchangeable guys. I see Brick, I see Tommy; I see Tommy, I see Brick. Put some glasses on Tommy like that, dress him up, some sideburns and have him scream a little bit, I got Brick.”

Javy at the top

Javy Baez got a rare start in the leadoff spot Wednesday, against left-hander Matt Moore, as Maddon tried to “stack the chairs properly” on a day he chose to give Ben Zobrist a rest.

Saying Ian Happ remained the best option to stay behind Anthony Rizzo as protection and choosing to use Albert Almora Jr. in the No. 2 slot, Maddon had few likable leadoff options left.

Baez, who entered the game with an .802 OPS against left-handers, led off the first with a single.

“And I thought that maybe by putting Javy in the 1-hole, that might create even a little more motivation,” Maddon said.

Anderson update

Left-hander Brett Anderson, who has been on the disabled list since May 7 because of a back strain, threw his first bullpen session this week since the injury and fared well.

When the team leaves town Thursday for its upcoming road trip, Anderson is to travel to Arizona to continue bullpen work under medical supervision, building toward an eventual minor-league rehab assignment.

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub



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