Sometimes keeping your sanity in baseball isn't an option. You just have to roll with the punches and think outside the box to find answers. Once you realize and embrace that part of the game, chances are you'll find greater success, and perhaps there's no team that has become more adept at thinking outside the box than the Cleveland Indians.
Coming into play on Friday with a six-game losing streak, the Indians reached into their bag of tricks and called on an old reliable source for inspiration. That's right, the Rally Chickens returned to Progressive Field, and, for one night anyway, it worked, as Cleveland outslugged the Chicago White Sox en route to a 12-5 victory.
If you recall, pitcher Justin Masterson brought his new chicken, which was reportedly a gift from teammate Cody Allen, to the ballpark to shag fly balls with the guys before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates last Sept. 4. The team immediately saw a boost in play following "Chicken Al's" appearance, winning 13 of 18 games and eventually clinching a position in the postseason.
Could lightning strike twice? The Indians hope so. But just to ensure there's a different vibe to it this time around, a couple of players, believed to be Allen and Cory Kluber, donned the yellow suits themselves and joined the Rally Chicken family.
Fowl play in pre-game led to the bats heating up and some crooked numbers on the board. pic.twitter.com/CJTBXWeM4D— Mark Shapiro (@MarkShapiro) May 3, 2014
Like we said, sometimes sacrificing sanity is the only option. The Indians were a little down on their luck and needed to find something quickly to get them back on track, so they pulled out the suits and went to work.
Allen, when asked about the chicken, replied, “I don’t know what you're talking about,” keeping his cool and not wanting to take credit for the yellow outfit. As for manager Terry Francona, he said he doesn’t mind at all some poultry power in the pregame. “I don’t care what takes credit,” Francona said. “It was nice to shake hands (after the win), we needed that. If we’re gonna win again they can all show up in chicken outfits.”
Permission granted from the manager, so don't be surprised if the chickens become regulars.
If that's the case, here's hoping the suits travel around the clubhouse and eventually find their way into Jason Giambi's locker. The golden thong served its purpose well, but that's outdated now. We're in the era of chickens and ice cream motivating baseball teams, and that's something we should all embrace.
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