New Cubs manager, Joe Maddon, makes headlines again as he invites a Division III college softball player to Spring Training. Aptly named, Crystal Balle, from tiny Skidless College in Cheyenne, Wyoming got a phone call from Joe shortly after the Cubs former manager, Rick Rentaria was asked to step down after only one year managing the up and coming (finally) Chicago Cubs.
Cubs President, Theo Epstein, could not resist, as Maddon hit the free agent market during the World Series. Maddon, after nine years managing the financially-challenged Tampa Bay Rays, finally cashed in on his expertise with his offer from the Cubs. From the quirky games and funky jokes he constantly sprung on his players, Maddon is one-of-a-kind. He’s displayed his unique approach by inviting Balle to Cub’s Spring Training in February 2015.
Balle had a good Division III season in 2014, hitting .317 with two home runs and 22 RBI. However, since Division III has no athletic scholarships, we can only hope Crystal is an academic overachiever, as her numbers seldom lit up the scoreboard. Is this another famous Maddon joke?