‘It Was Surreal’: Here’s the Inside Story of the Cubs’ Dramatic Team Meeting During the World Series Rain Delay
“It was surreal,” Chicago Cubs general manager Theo Epstein said. And truly, it was. With the Cubs bidding to win their first World Series since 1908, the decisive seventh game was tied 6-6 going to the 10th inning, when play was called to a halt for a rain delay. The teams retreated to their clubhouses, and for 17 minutes, they were forced to wait out the storm while the biggest game of their lives was put on hold.
As part of filming for a feature HBO produced for this month’s episode of Real Sports — which is set to premiere tomorrow night — host Bryant Gumbel sat down with Epstein and Cubs manager Joe Maddon to get the inside story of how the team spent those 17 minutes in limbo. As with almost everything else that happened at Progressive Field in Cleveland that night, the scene could’ve come straight out of a movie.
According to the skipper and the general manager, all 25 players on the Cubs’ roster gathered for an impromptu team meeting in the weight room.
“I hustled down to our clubhouse,” Epstein said. “And I thought ‘What is going on over there? Why are 25 players in the weight room during a rain delay?’ So I went close and I could hear Jason Heyward, and Anthony Rizzo, and David Ross, and Dexter Fowler among others were speaking up very passionately about who we are, what we’ve been through to this point, what we stand for, and what we were gonna do in the top of the 10th inning to go win this game. And it was a really, really dramatic, emotional moment.”
Maddon said the meeting gave him confidence that his club was going to pull off the historic victory.
“The guys were, like, chirpy with a good look,” Maddon said. “‘Okay. We’re fine.’ ‘Cause we definitely came out with the right look.”
“I felt like we were gonna win,” he said.
Watch above, via HBO’s Real Sports.
[featured image via screengrab]
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