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Dansby Swanson recognizes series against Braves as Cubs’ time to really prove themselves 

11 months agoElena Shklyar

Dansby Swanson didn’t allow himself much time to reminisce on Friday morning.

First pitch was only hours away against his former team and — the best team in baseball right now — the Atlanta Braves.

“It’s obviously good to be able to see friends,” said Swanson. “We still keep in touch quite a bit but if they know me, the competition side of me will come out pretty quick.”

“There’s obviously a lot of good memories and times over there but now I’m onto new things and like I said, my competitive juices will for sure be flowing today.”

The first game of the 3-game series against the Braves didn’t go as planned for Swanson and the Cubs, as they fell 8-0. The win is the 70th of the year for Atlanta, who become the first team in the majors to reach that mark. 

The Braves took an early lead and never looked back thanks to a 7-run 4th inning that included 8 hits, back-to-back home runs and 6 extra-base hits.  

Despite the loss, Swanson sees the rest of this series as an opportunity to improve against one of the best teams.

“It’s a good opportunity to showcase who it is that we feel we are as a team,” said Swanson. “The trajectory of our year — we started out a little bit slow — and [we] are really starting to ramp up and build on some things over the last month or two. I think it’s just a really great opportunity for us to go out there and show what we’re made of.”

That mentality centered upon winning and growth is nothing new for Swanson.

In fact, he has brought that mentality since he first stepped foot in Chicago as a Cub in December.

From the moment Swanson signed with Chicago, he had the goal of helping continue to strengthen a culture of success in this team on the rise. 

“It’s one of the big reasons why I wanted to be here,” said Swanson. “Just to be able to take a culture and kind of run with it. There’s so many good people over here and there’s a lot of guys that have had an impact around here for numerous years.”

“Being able to just build off that with one another has been so fun. It’s just a unique challenge of being able to be a part of something bigger than yourself and in a way, it’s kind of like starting fresh which has been really awesome.”

Manager David Ross believes that’s just who Swanson is to the core — someone who wants to win and will do whatever it takes to build a winning culture.

“He is wired to think about winning all the time,” said Ross. “Everything he does is to prepare to win that day and help us get better.”

“He’s been so valuable and his mindset — you wouldn’t even know that he got a big contract when he walks in the door, he is just himself. I don’t know if you can say that about everybody that gets that much money. He doesn’t come in and try to prove stuff, he’s just wired the right way. He thinks about winning and it’s all about that.”

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