Maddon believes less BP better in long run

Maddon believes less BP better in long run

CHICAGO -- The Cubs refrained from taking batting practice before their game against the Pirates on Friday afternoon, hitting in the cages instead.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon made it clear he isn't a fan of excessive BP.

"I think it's the most overrated thing we do on a daily basis," Maddon said. "We swing the bat way too often."

Maddon said he has had his team go as long as a week without batting practice. He theorized that BP became a bigger issue in the 1980s, when hitting coaches were more prominent.

"Batting practice became a longer exercise, and extra batting practice and hitting off tees and hitting in cages and swinging and swinging and swinging, I think it can be counterproductive," he said.

"Guys can hit themselves right through feel. You can be feeling really well, and if you do it too much or too often, you get the point where you lose that feel, and all of a sudden, it becomes like swinging a fence post."

To help keep his players fresh, Maddon said he plans to skip batting practice when there is a night game with an afternoon game the following day. The Cubs were set to take BP before Saturday's game, but after Friday's 11-10 win over the Pirates in 12 innings, Maddon decided they will skip BP on Saturday as well.

"I like getting ground balls. I like getting loose," Maddon said. "I like running if you have to. I like getting loose in a cage if it's necessary. But too many times batting practice develops into a Home Run Derby, which really becomes useless or counterproductive."

Maddon said he also plans to allow his players later in the season to sometimes show up a couple hours before first pitch to avoid hours of pregame preparation.

"I believe in preparation, but you don't have to be there six, seven hours before the game begins, and if you do, you're just not utilizing your time properly," the skipper said.

Extra base

• Maddon celebrated his 800th managerial win by attending The Who concert on Thursday night in Rosemont, Ill. He met Pearl Jam singer and Cubs fan Eddie Vedder.

Sarah Trotto is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.