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The Cubs’ Secret to Success? Group Hugs

CHICAGO — In the hours leading up to just about every game, baseball teams gather on the field to stretch. And then stretch some more. It is an utterly monotonous activity in what eventually becomes a marathon of a season.

The Chicago Cubs, however, are a team that prides itself on maintaining a relatively free-spirited work environment, and they have found a way to tinker with this routine. They have done so by turning pregame stretching into something that resembles group therapy.

Led by Tim Buss, the Cubs’ out-of-the-box strength and conditioning coach, the team’s position players converge on the field about 15 minutes before batting practice.