MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs players were greeted by a clown, confetti and some Earth, Wind & Fire on Monday morning.
Manager Joe Maddon drove his souped-up van, which he calls "Cal State Fullerton," onto the agility field before the morning stretch, stopped in front of the players and then the music started. As "Shining Star" blared from the speakers, out popped strength coach Tim Buss in a clown outfit, plus traveling secretary Vijay Tekchandani in a purple velvet suit, and coach Dave Martinez and players Munenori Kawasaki and Taylor Davis in vintage costumes.
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They danced to the music, then confetti was shot into the crowd of players. Maddon was wearing a brightly colored tie-dyed T-shirt with his white uniform pants and a bandana around his head.
"I chose the 'peace' sign [T-shirt] -- I thought it was less controversial," Maddon said. "Whatever it takes to bring the group together, we'll do it, and you saw the work after [by the players] was spectacular."
Maddon said Kawasaki was the "guest star," and they included Davis because the two players have been hanging out.
"As we move further into games, we'll have less time to do this stuff," Maddon said. "It's fun to do it right now."
Once the confetti had settled, Maddon and Martinez got back into the van and drove away, showing peace signs.
As one player said, it's always good to start the day with a laugh.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.