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Cubs’ road trip means more than just funky travel outfits

The Cubs dressed the part Sunday for their trip to San Francisco to begin a six-game swing against the Giants and Diamondbacks.

Everybody wore motorcycle vests with their nicknames emblazoned on the left side as part of an “Easy Rider” theme dreamt up by strength and conditioning coordinator Tim Buss.

“Anything you can do to unify the group is always a good thing,” manager Joe Maddon said.

“It’s fun. And for the group that doesn’t understand it, that’s too bad that you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a kid. It’s always too bad when you forget what it’s like to be a kid.”

The Cubs' Javy Baez departs for the team's road trip wearing a leather vest. | Nam Y. Huh/AP

That’s probably true, but this trip matters for other reasons.

Besides a four-game series the last week of September in St. Louis, this is the Cubs’ last jaunt west of the Mississippi River.

Their previous trip to the West Coast, which had an “Anchorman” theme as the Cubs left Wrigley Field, was an 0-6 dud at the end of May against the Dodgers and Padres that left them two games below .500 and brought legitimate questions about just how good they were.

But after their 9-4 loss Sunday to the Nationals, that road trip in May wasn’t exactly on Jon Lester’s mind. Far from it, actually.

“I’m not worried about May; I’m not worried about June [or] July,” Lester said. “I’m worried about tomorrow. Today sucked, we move on. We’ll worry about [Monday] against the Giants.”

Since the end of May, the Cubs are back in first place and have added Jose Quintana, Justin Wilson and Alex Avila, but the half-game lead over the Brewers is precarious.

Like Lester, though, Anthony Rizzo wasn’t focusing on anything other than Monday.

“I would like to see a win tomorrow and then celebrate that win,” Rizzo said. “And then go on from there.”

Follow me on Twitter @BrianSandalow.


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