Maddon talks clubhouse with 'lead bulls'

Manager discusses team policies such as dress code, or lack thereof, with key players

March 20th, 2016

MESA, Ariz. -- Manager Joe Maddon met Sunday with about a dozen hand-picked Cubs players who he has dubbed the "lead bulls" to discuss travel, clubhouse decorum and dress code. What does Maddon want players to wear?

"If you think you look hot, you wear it," Maddon said. "That's the dress code."

That sums up the attitude for Maddon's policies -- he doesn't like the word "rules." He presented last year's list to the players, and they talked about what they wanted to change and what they would keep.

"It's pretty much status quo," Maddon said. "Some new suggestions, too. The new clubhouse presents differently than the old one because it's a huge circular clubhouse compared to a rectangle in the past. I thought it was good and I appreciate the feedback. It was outstanding."

The Cubs will have a new 30,000-square foot clubhouse at Wrigley Field this year, part of the ballpark's four-year renovation plan.

Maddon had preferred to limit the "bulls" to eight, but said he felt good about everyone who was part of the meeting.

"I love the fact that they're willing to tell me what they think in front of me," Maddon said. "I take that as a compliment."

When he was a Minor League manager, Maddon said he was uncomfortable with all the rules regarding a player's hair or whether or not he could wear earrings.

"I'm here to manage a team, not make rules," Maddon said. "I learned my lesson from that."

It will be up to the "lead bulls" to make sure the policies are followed. Maddon says he's gotten better results that way than having an authoritative figure bossing the players.

The hot topic? Whether or not players could wear shorts on the road.

"The $5,000 suit on the airplane ride makes no sense to me whatsoever unless you're trying to impress -- and I don't know who you're trying to impress," Maddon said.