2/17 Orange crush
About halfway through Dale Sveum’s speech prior to the first full squad workout on Sunday, the players started to take off their jackets to reveal bright orange hunting gear tops. Then, they put on the orange caps.
“Of course, they gave me one with a target on it,” Sveum said, chuckling.
The quick clothing change was a humorous response to Sveum being accidentally shot by Hall of Famer Robin Yount while the two were quail hunting in Arizona before the Winter Meetings. Sveum was hit in the ear and back.
Cubs pitcher Matt Garza thought the orange crush helped ease things on the first day.
“Guys laughed it off and Skip laughed it off,” Garza said. “I think it was a good icebreaker for a bunch of guys. I think it loosened the tone in there, loosened the feeling going on. Everybody’s first meeting, they’re a little nervous. Good one, whoever did it.”
It helped that Sveum took it well.
“He was laughing,” Garza said. “That’s always good. When the person who gets it is laughing, it’s good. If you get a mean face, it’s probably not the move you want to make.”
“It was actually funny,” Sveum said of the players. “All of a sudden, people are taking their jackets off, and it was like, OK, cool.”
– Carrie Muskat