For Maddon and Cubs, every win a cause for celebration

For Maddon and Cubs, every win a cause for celebration

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant didn't expect disco balls, smoke and bright lights after games in the big leagues, but that's what happens in the Cubs' clubhouse after a win.

"Every time we win, it's like we won a World Series," Bryant said on Wednesday. "There's disco balls and smoke everywhere -- it's a lot of fun. It's something I've wanted to be a part of."

He'd heard about Major League pitching, not Major League partying.

"I didn't expect it," he said. "We just put some new lights in here, and a new disco ball. I guess it's against tradition. Usually when you win, you just expect it. Here we're celebrating every win. There's nothing wrong with it.

"Guys here want to have fun, I want to have fun," he said. "It's much more fun when you win."

General manager Jed Hoyer gave manager Joe Maddon and the players his blessing.

"It is hard to win games, there's no doubt," Hoyer said. "I like the fact that they have a lot of fun. We have a young team, so it adds some new life to it. Joe and [bench coach] Davey [Martinez] really encourage it. [Anthony Rizzo] may be the ringleader. It's a lot of fun, and hopefully they'll have a lot of chances to continue it. If it starts to break the budget, I guess it's a good thing."

Maddon feels it's important to celebrate.

"I think the more you celebrate, obviously, there's that camaraderie component that goes with it, and then furthermore, you're looking forward to celebrating again tomorrow night," Maddon said. "It's a lot of fun. So I don't know why other teams don't do it. They think it's nonprofessional; I think it's very pro, actually."

The loud celebration does let players "cherish the moment," Maddon said, "because it's not easy to win a Major League baseball game, and to win them 90-plus times is very difficult in the same season."

Bryant compared it to Little League games, after which players are rewarded with snacks.

"If we go out there and pretend to be in Little League, we'll win a lot of ballgames," Bryant said.

• Seeing the White Sox and Orioles play without any fans in the stands made Maddon stop to say thanks to the fans outside Wrigley Field on Wednesday.

"When I walked in today, I made sure to stop and sign every autograph on my way in," Maddon said. "That game [in Baltimore] really emphasizes and reveals the role of the fans in our game. And sometimes it could be taken for granted.

"To play a baseball game with nobody in the stands would be very not fun. I wouldn't want to do it. What would be the appeal? ... I think that game, more than anything, today illustrated the importance that fans play in our game. That was my takeaway from watching that ... and I'd like to hope or believe that the players stop and reflect on that a little bit, because I think sometimes we do get a little bit negative in that regard."

Maddon has spent plenty of time in the Minor Leagues, playing in front of small crowds.

"I think I have a great appreciation of the fans, but I hope now I have a greater appreciation for our fans and all baseball fans based on that event today."

Justin Grimm, on the disabled list since April 2 with inflammation in his right forearm, threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and could pitch in either a simulated game or an extended spring training game this weekend. Neil Ramirez, on the DL with inflammation in his right shoulder, has been playing catch but has yet to throw off a mound.

Infielder Tommy La Stella, sidelined with a strained left side, has yet to resume hitting but has been able to throw and was doing a lot of his rehab in the pool at the Cubs' complex in Mesa, Ariz.

Tsuyoshi Wada, who has made two rehab starts for Triple-A Iowa, threw a bullpen session on Wednesday at Wrigley Field and will rejoin the Minor League team. He began the season on the DL with a strained left groin.

Albert Almora, the Cubs' No. 5 prospect as ranked by, was placed on the DL on Tuesday with a concussion after making a diving catch for Double-A Tennessee.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.