With the game tied at two in the top of the 4th, one out and runners on the corners for the Reds, Cubs’ pitching coach Jim Hickey made his way out to the mound to talk with his starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks. “The first step he took out of the dugout, I turned to Votto (on first base at the time) and said, man, he means business,” said Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Joe Maddon had a similar sentiment, “He walked out there with what I call the six Ps; purpose, poise, a positive attitude, purpose, a point and purpose. I say purpose three times because I want everyone to remember how important it is to do everything with a purpose, I’d add it a 4th time if I didn’t think it would sound silly,” Maddon said with a smile.
Hendricks was in more shock than everyone. “He approached me the same way superheroes approach when they are saving the civilians from the burning car in movies. “Yeah I said it, Hick (Jim Hickey) looked like a f****ing superhero.” When Hickey did finally make it to the mound, Hendricks, Contreras the rest of the infielders and even the Wrigley Field crowd of 41,123 were on their feet waiting to catch a glimpse of the magic that was undoubtedly about to exit Hickey’s mouth.
“He stood there for a few seconds and just stared at Kyle,” WIlson Contreras said with a bemused look. “It was weird,” Hendricks added. After a few seconds of silence, the infielders looked at each other confused. “I thought the lesson was in the silence,” said Cubs second Baseman Javy Baez. “I was like woah, now this is some deep sh**.” After the home plate umpire began his walk to break up the visit, Hickey finally said to Kyle, “Go get em.”
And just like that, the buildup was gone and it was back to baseball. Hickey’s explanation after the game? “I felt like a fu**ing stud when I went out there, I have no idea why. But no, at no point from the dugout to the mound did I ever have anything of substance to say. And I usually never do,” he said with a chuckle.
After the visit, Hendricks proceeded to give up seven straight baserunners before he was lifted for a reliever and the Cubs lost 9-6.
Joe Maddon said after the game, “you can’t always go on results, a guy who exudes the six Ps like Hickey does will help us in the long run.”
Perhaps Maddon is right, because regardless of the final score, the 2018 Chicago Cubs will never forget the epic walk out to the mound by pitching coach Jim Hickey.
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