All I’m Askin’ is for a Little Respect 90

Respect 90.

Cheesy? Yes. Trite? A little. But you’d better believe that I’m buying in to Joe Maddon’s new catchphrase just the same. And you know it’s more than just a passing fad because he had it painted on the first-base line of Field 1 at the Cubs training complex. It’s even the entirety of the man’s Twitter bio. If that’s not a sign of permanence, I don’t know what is.

If it were anyone else, and that goes double for the folks in the Cubs marketing department, I’d probably be laughing at this ode to hustle. But Joe Maddon has blown into town on a cloud of awesomeness with an infinite supply of great quotes raining forth.

And the best part? You want to buy everything he’s selling. Maddon could recite the lyrics to “Go, Cubs, Go” and even its most strident detractors would be like, “You know, it really is a great song and needs to stay.”

Could his message of busting it down the line to first also turn the tide in favor of Starlin Castro, the de facto poster boy for lackadaisical effort out of the box? I’m willing to bet that the Maddon Effect can do just that. A rising tide lifts all ships, and the Cubs skipper appears to be a veritable tsunami thus far.

But as Maddon admitted recently, he wasn’t always a whirling dervish of positivity. As Patrick Mooney reported the other day, it was a fateful flight that changed the then-downtrodden coach’s tune.

“I was on an airplane in 1990-whatever,” Maddon recalled. “I was really upset. I had been passed over to be a major-league coach. I was really, really upset. I didn’t like life. I didn’t like anything. I didn’t like the Angels at that time. All this crappy stuff.

“I got on an airplane going to Midland, Texas. I’m the roving hitting instructor. I get the middle seat, of course. America West Airlines going to Midland and middle seat – I’m not happy about anything.

“This woman sits down to the window seat. She started talking, which I didn’t want to do, either. Just one of those days. And eventually during the course of the conversation – I don’t know why – she told me: ‘Whatever you put out there will come back to you.’

“I always remembered that. I promise you I got off that airplane that day with an entirely different outlook.

“That’s the part about ‘Respect 90.’ Understand whatever you put out there will come back to you. If you give respect, you’re going to get respect in return. That’s the message – and the only message – I want to get out of that.

“If you really believe that and live by that, a lot of things will come your way. And on the baseball field, a lot of good things will come your way.”

Cubs fans know a little about crappy stuff. Now it’s time to figure out what Respect 90 means to their team.

Back to top button