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La Stella adds some bounce to Cubs' camp

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- When Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer arrived at the team complex on Friday, both of their parking spaces were taken by a large red, yellow and blue bounce house for kids. Earlier this spring, infielder Tommy La Stella took the liberty of parking in the executives' reserved spots. Could La Stella be behind the latest prank?

"I figured I'd make it a semi truce," La Stella confessed. "I got their parking spots taken, but also some kids can come and bounce around a little bit, front office, players' kids."

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MESA, Ariz. -- When Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer arrived at the team complex on Friday, both of their parking spaces were taken by a large red, yellow and blue bounce house for kids. Earlier this spring, infielder Tommy La Stella took the liberty of parking in the executives' reserved spots. Could La Stella be behind the latest prank?

"I figured I'd make it a semi truce," La Stella confessed. "I got their parking spots taken, but also some kids can come and bounce around a little bit, front office, players' kids."

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Hoyer retaliated on Monday by taking La Stella's uniform and leaving a striped polo shirt and khaki pants for the infielder to wear, which he did during the morning stretch and drills. La Stella did return the pants to Hoyer, although the inseam was ripped open because they were were a little snug.

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Epstein tried to be coy.

"I don't know why [La Stella] put it there," Epstein said of the bounce house. "He's not tall enough to be able to bounce in that. He's borderline. He'll have to wait a couple years. Neither is Jed, though."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was a little jealous.

"I loved that," Maddon said. "I drove in today and wished I had thought about it myself.

"That's the kind of unique stuff that adds to the day," Maddon said. "I drove up and started smiling immediately. You probably thought it was Tommy, it probably is Tommy. I'm into all this stuff."

Hoyer's children were jumping around in the bounce house pregame Friday. La Stella said the fun and games this spring were just a "spur-of-the-moment thing." Isn't he nervous as to what will happen the next time he comes into the clubhouse?

"If it happens, it happens," La Stella said.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Tommy La Stella