After Jake Arrieta no-hit the Dodgers in Los Angeles Sunday night, the Chicago Cubs dressed in vestiary grandeur for their overnight flight home: pajamas.
Manager Joe Maddon had planned for the PJ party after the game as one of his typical goofy avenues encouraging the team to bond. Maddon said before the game, “It works both ways. If you win it’s even better, and if you’ve lost it’s kind of like, ‘let’s put this behind us and move on.’ I see it as a win-win-win. It’s about keeping the group together. It’s about having fun as a group.”
Maddon used the same idea when he managed in Tampa Bay; over the years he had the Rays dress up in all-white clothes, grunge outfits, cowboy gear, camouflage outfits, and pajamas. Earlier this year zoo animals were transported into the Cubs’ clubhouse, while another time he brought in a magician, according to ESPN.
The magic on Sunday night belonged to Arrieta; the only Dodger baserunners reached on a third-inning error by Cubs second baseman Starlin Castro and a sixth-inning, two-out walk. Arrieta finished with a flourish, striking out the side in the ninth inning to complete his first no-hitter.
Arrieta’s gem was followed by a resplendent display of sleepytime sumptuousness; Maddon himself wore a onesie, remarking, “Mine’s got a front trap and not a back trap door. That’s the most necessary thing on the plane ride.”
Arrieta wore a onesie covered in mustaches; Castro wore a Super Mario Bros. T-shirt and pants; Hector Rondon donned a Superman onesie; Pedro Strop a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirt and pants; Justin Grimm a shark onesie with fins and shark teeth, and Kris Bryant a one-piece Ninja Turtle pajama. Bryant said. “It’s kind of cool to goof around a little bit and be a kid again.”
— Kris Bryant (@KrisBryant_23) August 31, 2015
— miguel montero (@miggymont26) August 31, 2015
Maddon voiced one regret; he didn’t realize the night would be so warm, prompting his concern over temperature of the bus to the airport as well as the plane ride home. He admitted, ”I really thought that by this time of the year here, it was going to be cooler at night and they would play perfectly. Bad call.”