MESA, Ariz. — Cubs manager Joe Maddon promised a sideshow for the first full-squad workout of camp. But rain wiped out workouts the first two scheduled days, and the ground was still too soggy for the show on Monday.
“It’s [about] humility,” Maddon said. “I can’t go any further than that.”
“Humility” rolled into camp, engine revving, in the form of a white Ferrari, strength coach/sideshow producer Tim Buss behind the wheel wearing a dark, tailored suit and heavy gold chain around his neck.
Players gathered around coaches on the practice field cheered when they saw the car drive on the field, circling the group before Buss parked, jumped out and strutted to show off his new lifestyle as part of the rich and famous champs.
“I give the guy credit,” Maddon said. “On a daily basis he’s able to pull something off that makes the guys laugh. And it’s a great way to start the day.
“It’s all him. It’s beautiful.”
Maddon emphasized he has very little to do with the inspiration for some of the pre-work shows that became well known from Florida to Arizona last spring — mocked at times by some in other camps, embraced by many in this one.
“It’s his creative genius,” Maddon said of the man who found last year’s mime. “It’s a big part of what we do, it really is.”