Joe Maddon's T-shirt line is apparently causing quite the stir at Busch Stadium.
The Chicago Cubs manager told reporters he'd learned some Cubs' fans were denied entry to the stadium by St. Louis Cardinals' ushers because they were wearing Maddon's popular "Try not to suck" T-shirts. Stadium staff apparently deemed the shirts to be carrying a profane message.
"I'd love to know the definition of why they’re offensive in any shape or form," Maddon told reporters prior to Wednesday's series finale. "Whoever thinks they’re offensive has a dirty mind."
Maddon and the Cubs debuted the shirts and slogan - which was meant to be a light-hearted motivational statement - during spring training. Proceeds from the shirts have been donated to the manager's Respect 90 foundation, as well as other Cubs' charities.
Cardinals spokesman Ron Watermon said the word "sucks" appears on a list of curse words that are forbidden to appear on clothing in Busch Stadium, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In light of Wednesday's controversy, team officials will consider removing "sucks" from the list.
The T-shirt flap is just the latest off-field issue to arise from the longtime rivals' first meeting of 2016 - a series that was highly anticipated after the Cubs defeated St. Louis in the playoffs, and then lured two Cardinals free agents - Jason Heyward and John Lackey - to Wrigley Field over the winter.
Maddon said he won't hide the shirts in the wake of Busch Stadium's ban, and even revealed potential plans to expand the brand - which meant he was quite happy to take the whole thing in stride.
"It's much better if the fans make a big deal out of it," he said. "Let someone blow your horn, and the sound travels twice as far."