Chicago Cubs reserve infielder Tommy La Stella has been involved in an ongoing battle with the front office during spring training, and on Friday he escalated that war by erecting an actual castle to keep president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer at bay. Seriously.
La Stella arranged for a bouncy castle to go up in the parking spots reserved for Epstein and Hoyer.
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 9, 2018
This is all in good fun, of course — not the world’s worst contract negotiating ploy. La Stella parked in Epstein’s spot earlier in camp, and then Hoyer’s, before the two exacted revenge by replacing the pinch-hitter’s uniform with a pair of khakis and a polo shirt in his locker before Monday’s practice:
“They were a little too tight,” La Stella said of the khakis on Monday, according to The Athletic. “I took scissors to the back. I think my glutes are a little too big for the pants. It was definitely a little snug in the back. I’d like to blame it on my package, but that’s not true. It’s got to be my glutes.”
Well, then. We’re learning a lot more than we needed to about the infielder who refused to report to Chicago’s Triple-A club and threatened retirement during the team’s World Series season in 2016. It also tells us all we need to know about the culture Epstein, Hoyer and manager Joe Maddon created.
“It’s our fourth year together,” Maddon added. “There’s a familiarity right now that’s been built and a camaraderie that’s been built. I mean this in the best possible way — that’s very comfortable.”
We’ll see how comfortable things get when Epstein and Hoyer storm the castle.