CHICAGO — While the Chicago Cubs’ players and coaches were waiting until after Friday’s game to celebrate the clinching of the NL Central, the front office decided to get started on the tomfoolery a little early.
About halfway through the afternoon contest against the Milwaukee Brewers, photos of team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer sitting in the bleachers began to circulate on social media.
Several photos of Epstein drew widespread attention, including one posted by the website BornOnThird.
— Born on Third (@BornOnThirdCubs) September 16, 2016
Epstein was wearing a fake bushy mustache, not unlike the fake mustache famously worn by former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine during the 1999 season when he returned to the dugout after an ejection.
Questions abounded before the game about how the Cubs would pass the last two weeks of the season after clinching a postseason spot earlier than any time in franchise history.
Cubs capture first NL Central title since 2008
The Chicago Cubs sealed the NL Central title Thursday night, becoming the first major league team this season to clinch a division title with St. Louis’ loss to San Francisco.
The Cubs secured their first NL Central title since 2008 when the St. Louis Cardinals lost to the San Francisco Giants late Thursday night.
Wrigley Field was quiet when Cardinals slugger Matt Adams made the final out on the West Coast. However, it touched off a celebration in Chicago that included honking horns and chanting in the streets.
“We’ve got a lot ahead of us. We really do,” Epstein said Thursday before the Cubs’ loss to the Brewers. “It kind of all boils down to how you perform in October.”