SAN DIEGO — It’s impossible to miss the different vibes around this Cubs team, whether it’s smelling the beer on players’ clothes after another postgame dance party, hearing Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” blasting from Joe Maddon’s office, or seeing Dr. Ken Ravizza sit down at someone’s locker for a chat.
Hey, isn’t that Jeff Garlin? The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star sat next to Maddon on Thursday while the manager did his pregame media session in Petco Park’s visiting dugout.
Are you part of the organization’s new mental-skills program?
“No,” Garlin said before a 3-0 win over the San Diego Padres. “I’m just a special guest to get the guys feeling good. That’s what I do.”
Maddon said: “That’s part of mental skills.”
“It is, I guess, but I don’t take it that seriously,” Garlin said. “They got you to keep things loose.”
Sitting in front of a group of reporters, Garlin had his own question for Maddon: “What’s it like being better-looking than all of your players?”
“You know, it’s a curse,” Maddon said. “It’s difficult. But I try to downplay it.”
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Garlin — who grew up in Chicago and is a big Cubs fan — told Maddon: “You have to downplay it. You’re a humble man.”
If it sounded like these two were auditioning for their own TV pilot, well, Garlin made a guarantee to Maddon.
“In terms of my career, anything he wants, carte blanche,” Garlin said. “I’m going to make T-shirts that say: ‘I Want to be Joe Maddon’s Best Friend.’ The Cubs took a picture of you and I together, and I think they’re going to put it on the background: ‘I Want to be Joe Maddon’s Best Friend.’
“Let me also say, that if we do more ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ I promise you will be on it. You have my word.”