Are they mad? Cubs turn individual anger into team-bonding experience

MILWAUKEE – If it seemed for a moment in Thursday’s eighth inning that the Cubs’ dugout was suddenly empty, your eyes weren’t playing tricks on you.

After Anthony Rizzo struck out with two men on base and the Cubs trailing by one, he was so angry he needed to break something and vent.

And his boys followed him into the tunnel behind the dugout to join him in the “fun.”

Seriously.

Rizzo

In the Cubs’ latest twist on bonding, the players – specifically Rizzo – have come up with a way to turn individual anger into a team concept.

“There’s times where you get to that boiling point where you just want to kill anything in your way,” Rizzo said. “It happens probably upwards of 25 times a year. Now in September we’ve come up with a team thing, and we’re all in it together.”

The baseball family that screams together wins together?

Rizzo

“It’s worked. We’re 3-for-3 with it,” Rizzo said. “But it’s not me. It’s just whoever feels like it’s time, and then you’ll see the team rushing off the bench and going for a nice little retreat. … It’s got to be the right timing.”

Retreat.

Apparently, it beats the solo version that tends to prove costly to equipment.

“Throughout the year, you go down the tunnel [to vent],” he said. “I’ve been through 20 helmets this year. You go through bats. You’ve got to take it out in some way. You can only stay sane so long. … It’s a team thing now.”

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com