Chicago Cubs: Should Legion Week continue for rest of season?

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs are in the midst of Legion Week and the results have been impressive.

The Chicago Cubs are in the midst of American Legion Week, a tradition Joe Maddon started back during his time with the Tampa Bay Rays. The idea is for the players to return to the days of their youth when they would show up shortly before the game and simply play.

Most fans only see the three-plus hours the players put in on the field. Some may even see the batting practice the team takes on the field prior to the game. But other fans may not realize just how early an MLB player’s day starts to get ready for a night game.

They may get to the ballpark as early as six hours prior to first pitch. During that time a player might eat, stretch, workout, get medical treatment and/or get in some practice before the obligatory work the team does prior to the game.

Over the course of 162 games that can take its toll on players. So Maddon dedicates one week per season where he directs the players to show up about 90-minutes before the game. The results last season were very good. From August 14-20 of last season, the Cubs went 5-2. That’s not too shabby.

But Maddon has been doing this since he arrived in 2015. So what about the rest of the time? How have the Cubs performed during those Legion Weeks? I’m glad you asked. Since that time, the Cubs are an astounding 19-2 during Legion Week inclusive of Monday night’s win against the Mets.

One season could be luck, and two could still be an aberration, but those kinds of results over nearly four years is more than just a statistical anomaly. There’s something more to it than that. During the dog days of Summer, players enjoy the extra “rest,” and have seemingly responded well to it.

However, baseball is and always has been a mental game. Players can be quirky, and it doesn’t take much for one to fall into a slump. This can cause players to overthink things and press, only deepening their slump.

Next. Bryant returning at right time for Cubs. dark

Legion Week forces them to simply show up and play the game they love. That can be liberating for a player who doesn’t have the opportunity to stress over every facet of their game.

With all of that said, perhaps the Cubs should give consideration to extending Legion Week beyond a week. For one, they might as well ride the wave of success. Another reason is that the Cubs have some players that are dinged up and could use the extra respite.

Now perhaps extending this concept for the rest of the year is too much. But it would be worth it for the Cubs to consider whether another week or two would put the team in the best position for the grind that lays ahead. And it’s not like anyone can argue with the results.