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Shota Imanaga Began Cubs Tenure by Riffing Team Fight Song, And Fans Loved It

There are sports teams that are addicted to tradition, and then there are the Chicago Cubs.

This is a team, after all, that freely touts its ballpark’s status as a national historic landmark. It is the rare sports venue that makes spectators feel as if they are in each of the last 10 decades of American history at once.

Central to the Cubs’ ambiance at Wrigley Field is the song “Go, Cubs, Go,” written by folk singer Steve Goodman in 1984 and played after every Chicago home win. It is the fastest way to Cubs fans’ hearts, and new Chicago pitcher Shota Imanaga made use of it in his introductory press conference Friday afternoon.

“Hey Chicago, what do you say?” Imanaga opened his presser by reciting. “The Cubs are gonna win today.”

I love Shota Imanaga. 😃

"Hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today." pic.twitter.com/JKbLIeN6ls

— Cubs Zone (@CubsZone) January 12, 2024

Imanaga played in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league for eight years, during which he made two All-Star appearances with the Yokohama Bay Stars.

Judging from the reactions to his opening salvo, Imanaga should have no trouble finding fans in the Windy City.

Shō hasn't even thrown a pitch and he's already won me over https://t.co/EEAndhKsAn

— Dubs (@MikeDubsRadio) January 12, 2024

He just sold thousands of @Cubs jerseys with that opening line! #GoCubsGo https://t.co/PQ62ONtwoT

— Charlie Corr (@CorrSports) January 12, 2024

The presser served as a necessary balm after an offseason of change on the North Side, which included the shocking hiring of manager Craig Counsell away from the Milwaukee Brewers.

This is how you immediately win over the fanbase https://t.co/PqxTPId6l4

— Aimee Van Der Heyden (@AimeeLynneVDH) January 12, 2024

Sensing good vibes, Chicago fans appealed for the return of center fielder and first baseman Cody Bellinger on the heels of a plus 2023.

We've never been more back. Time to bring cody back. https://t.co/7D9OuvuI8p

— Todd (@bleacherbum099) January 12, 2024

Perhaps a new love story is brewing at the Friendly Confines eight years after the Cubs’ last World Series title.

pic.twitter.com/eaegEoeMIK

— kevin clarke (@kclarke2112) January 12, 2024


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