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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Kris Bryant gets pranked by Cubs great Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux disguised himself as a bearded, scraggly TV sound man for a Red Bull commercial and zipped a few pitches by the unsuspecting National League MVP while hurling some zingers at him, too.

“This sound guy has got a good curveball. What is this?” Bryant said after taking one of Maddux’s pitches. “He’s pretty good.”...

Maddux came on the mound when the practice pitcher suddenly got a call to “run study hall” on campus. “I seriously doubted you,” Bryant said. “I need to get one over the fence.”

Maddux let Bryant in on the gag when he asked the Cubs third baseman to autograph his bat for “Greg Maddux.” Bryant smiled and threw up his hand. “See? See? I told you,” he laughed to the crew.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 11:36 AM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, greg maddux, kris bryant, prank

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   1. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5402913)
Awesome.
   2. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5402924)

Is that a real gut on Maddux?
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 16, 2017 at 12:19 PM (#5402926)
I know Bryant is tall, but I have to think Maddux's playing height of 6'0" was fudged a bit.
   4. Brian C Posted: February 16, 2017 at 12:25 PM (#5402934)
That's pretty funny.

Bryant seems like an easy target, though - likable enough guy, but dumb as rocks. Maybe he's not like that and just comes across that way in interviews though.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: February 16, 2017 at 12:28 PM (#5402939)
Is that a real gut on Maddux?


Based on a previous photo I saw of Mad Dog, the gut needed no help in wardrobe.
   6. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 01:02 PM (#5402963)
I like the parts where Maddux is calling the pitches- 'strike'.
   7. dlf Posted: February 16, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5402967)
Does he pee on Bryant's leg?
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 16, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5402984)
I like the parts where Maddux is calling the pitches- 'strike'.

And it looked like he was giving himself about 2 inches off the outside corner, too.
   9. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: February 16, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5402985)
This was worth every second. So good. Bryant doesn't seem dim at all, but trusting. Maddux just became my favorite ex-player with that performance. Awesome.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: February 16, 2017 at 01:25 PM (#5402998)
I liked how Maddux was talking to Bryant like he was a real sound guy.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5403003)
I liked that Maddux was hamming it up in his sound guy role before he even took the mound.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2017 at 01:29 PM (#5403004)
Goddamit SOSH U, I observed that first. You're just a fast typer.
   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 01:31 PM (#5403007)

I liked how Maddux was talking to Bryant like he was a real sound guy.

I liked the not-so-subtle needling of Bryant at the plate:

"Try and hit it off the barrel, it'll sound really good."
"That's the goal."
"Nope, not there...try and get it a little lower."
   14. dlf Posted: February 16, 2017 at 01:37 PM (#5403020)
The ending: Kris "Do you still want my bat?" Greg: "Nah."
   15. Cargo Cultist Posted: February 16, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5403029)
Great prank!
   16. RMc's Yelling Mob of Hackmen Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:19 PM (#5403317)
"Captain, I detect large amounts of win in this sector."
   17. gehrig97 Posted: February 16, 2017 at 07:45 PM (#5403417)
"Kris, you need some pine tar? Hand sanitizer?"
   18. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: February 16, 2017 at 07:54 PM (#5403424)
Is there any way in which Greg Maddox is not awesome?
   19. Ken Griffey Junior Bacon Cheeseburger Posted: February 16, 2017 at 08:01 PM (#5403427)
Based on a previous photo I saw of Mad Dog, the gut needed no help in wardrobe.


There was a quote on here one time that described him thus (and I'm paraphrasing) "He looks like he added 50 pounds and then melted."
   20. JoeC Posted: February 16, 2017 at 09:17 PM (#5403455)
"Cubs great Greg Maddux"

Eh, it's the hometown paper, they're allowed. And hey, he has the 11th most bWAR of any Cubs pitcher (8th since 1901)!
   21. Booey Posted: February 16, 2017 at 09:57 PM (#5403466)
"He looks like he added 50 pounds and then melted."


Heh. That was mine. It was just striking how poorly he'd aged compared to all the other '90's era HOFers.

Hell, Frank Thomas still looks exactly the same. And Griffey and Piazza had to be the best looking HOF class of all time.

   22. zonk Posted: February 16, 2017 at 10:22 PM (#5403478)
That was truly awesome.

I'll agree that I don't think Bryant is dim or anything -- rather, I think he's actually just temperamentally well-suited to be a star in the Derek Jeter sort of way. Meaning -- whether it's a careful manicuring of how he reacts constantly, whether he's 'directly' on camera or just indirectly like (supposedly) shooting a commercial -- he's just good at being a decent guy that isn't an #######.

Some people are just good people... I mean, even in the case of Jeter - regardless of the overratedness of certain aspects of his game - his 'aura' wasn't plastic, he's just the sort who can be friendly, accommodating, and deftly handle any situation without being a jerk.

FWIW, seems to appropriate to refer to post Bryant's stint as an undercover Lyft driver last year....

Maddux truly is a star in this one, though. The 'sound guy' comments are great - as is Bryant's reaction (or kinda, sorta lack thereof... as in, laughing it off rather than WTF is with this sound guy on the commercial snapping off pretty good curves?!?!?!).

Man... I really cannot describe how much I love this team as a (now formerly) long-suffering Cubs fan. I mean, everybody loves winning and I've had Cub team iterations I fondly remember going back more than 30 years.

But these guys? It's like an orgy of awesome. Winning with any team would have been enough... but with these guys - even if they had gone the '69 or '84 route - I really cannot help but feel an appreciation and fuzziness that transcends the on-field accomplishments.

Rizzo is the goof who doubles as the team leader. Bryant is the baseball adonis who doesn't annoy you by being the jerk who has to constantly remind you he knows he's a baseball adonis. Russell is the baby-faced all-around pro. Schwarber is the roly-poly Krukster (at least, before he became insufferable retirement, he was actually a fun player). Baez is the slick, svelte inhuman who gives off a vibe of "yeah, I'm not sure I get why I can do the things I do myself, but isn't it fun?". Contreras is the bundle full of bottomless energy... and on and on...

Man... it's just such a fun team. Maybe I'm lying to myself - and if the 84, 89, 03, etc clubs had gotten it done, I'd feel the same way about the guys on those squads. But it really does feel like this a special bunch whose specialness transcends the on-field accomplishments in a way that goes beyond that.

They're just fun to root for, period....
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 16, 2017 at 10:32 PM (#5403481)
...give or take an Arrieta.
   24. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 16, 2017 at 10:38 PM (#5403484)
Ha ha, Maddux's grin at the end.
   25. zonk Posted: February 16, 2017 at 10:40 PM (#5403486)
...give or take an Arrieta.


Meh, pitchers suck.

I learned my lesson with Zambrano.

In entire lifetime of fandom, he's the only guy that I ever -- however briefly -- broke my unwritten rule about always picking a position player as a favorite (or even just one of my favorites)... and in truth, once upon a time, he was fun. Then he started bringing gas cans out the mound, occasionally dousing himself and lighting himself on fire, punching catchers (not that I disapproved of punching Barrett), and generally making you always be aware of the emergency exits were when he was in the vicinity.

Position players are just safer bets. Pitchers are just disposable heroes.

   26. Jose Canusee Posted: February 16, 2017 at 10:52 PM (#5403488)
Pretty good if he can throw a curve that breaks from 50 feet away.
   27. Tom T Posted: February 16, 2017 at 10:58 PM (#5403490)
Pitchers are just disposable heroes.


But that sound guy...he looks like a good one to have as a favorite. Plus, he's a SOUND GUY, so he's got all those cool gadgets!
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 16, 2017 at 11:09 PM (#5403493)
Position players are just safer bets. Pitchers are just disposable heroes.

Huh...I hadn't thought about it, but now that you mention it, I've always gravitated toward position players as favorites as well. When I was a kid, let's see, Jack Clark, Ozzie Smith, Ryne Sandberg, Eric Davis. I loved watching Mark Grace vs. Will Clark in the 1989 LCS. And of course you couldn't help but like Rickey Henderson, and then along came Griffey. Position players all. And they all turned out to be decent-or-better guys as far as I know,* with the exception of Clark I suppose. And Grace if you're a slumpbuster the morning after.

My favorite player of my adulthood is probably Derrek Lee - I was going through a rough time personally in 2005, but man, it was such a joy to watch the year he was having. Definitely a welcome distraction. He is by all accounts a good guy. Shawn Green is the cousin of a good friend of mine and a very nice guy.

Trying to think of pitchers I've particularly liked...Johan Santana and Mark Buehrle were always a lot of fun to watch. I saw Kerry Wood in the Arby's that used to be at Ashland and Belmont years ago, and he always seemed like a pretty good guy, but then again he's a Texan, so he might well be in the Arrieta camp and just had the sense to keep his Twitter mouth shut.

And it just hit me that the pitcher I've liked best in the last few years was Jose Fernandez. Sigh.

* Of course, to the extent that we have any idea about people we only know from media reputation.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2017 at 11:15 PM (#5403496)
Pitchers are good favorite players because you know when they're playing and they are the focus of attention. I can't think of any player that I ever got more joy out of watching than RA Dickey in his CYA year.
   30. zonk Posted: February 16, 2017 at 11:36 PM (#5403502)
Prior to Zambrano, the only 'among my favorite players' was probably, ironically - Maddux. He was never my 'favorite' Cub -- back in the day when he was a Cub, it was actually Shawon Dunston... and maybe later, Grace.

Maddux's exile from likedness was of course a matter of him leaving town, but in an alternate universe when he was a Cub for life -- I suppose he might have broken the mold.

I suppose I might also make an exception for the occasional closer. I have much fondness for Rod Beck, to name one.

But yeah... starting pitchers? Weirdos, disappointments, and rabbit holes of sigh.
   31. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 16, 2017 at 11:39 PM (#5403503)
Prior to Zambrano, the only 'among my favorite players' was probably, ironically - Maddux. He was never my 'favorite' Cub -- back in the day when he was a Cub, it was actually Shawon Dunston... and maybe later, Grace.

Maddux's exile from likedness was of course a matter of him leaving town, but in an alternate universe when he was a Cub for life -- I suppose he might have broken the mold.

I suppose I might also make an exception for the occasional closer. I have much fondness for Rod Beck, to name one.

But yeah... starting pitchers? Weirdos, disappointments, and rabbit holes of sigh.


I think I'm older than you, so I have Fergie and Reuschel. Neither disappointed.
   32. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 17, 2017 at 02:11 AM (#5403516)
Nothing really to add but, yeah, this was great. I like both of these guys even more now.
   33. Leroy Kincaid Posted: February 17, 2017 at 06:51 AM (#5403528)
Bryant came up on Jeopardy last night. I couldn't remember his name. None of the contestants knew who he was. One guy rang in and said "Zobrist?".
   34. GordonShumway Posted: February 17, 2017 at 07:51 AM (#5403537)
Carlos Zambrano had one of the all time funniest injuries:

http://www.espn.com/mlb/news/story?id=2066296
   35. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 17, 2017 at 08:25 AM (#5403545)
Ha- yeah, that's right. I had forgotten about Porn Elbow.
   36. Bourbon Samurai is disturbed by bagel developments Posted: February 17, 2017 at 09:35 AM (#5403598)
Man that was well worth 4 minutes
   37. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 10:31 AM (#5403651)
The best part was when Bryant started to get competitive and didn't want the sound guy to stop throwing until he had gotten some good swings in.
   38. Zach Posted: February 17, 2017 at 12:44 PM (#5403820)
Position players are just safer bets. Pitchers are just disposable heroes.

Agreed, with an exception for Pedro Martinez.

Pedro made being a fussy Prima Donna part of the act, like a bullfighter in the ring.
   39. Zach Posted: February 17, 2017 at 12:51 PM (#5403828)
Bryant is very likeable in this video. He reminds me a little of Jeff Francouer in the combination of prankability and likeability.
   40. Brian C Posted: February 17, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5403872)
Likeable people are always the most fun to prank.

This is a good prank anyway, because it's clever without being mean-spirited at all - it's not made to embarrass anyone or make them the butt of a joke. It's just a funny thing to do.
   41. Greg Pope Posted: February 17, 2017 at 05:19 PM (#5404040)
Bryant is the baseball adonis who doesn't annoy you by being the jerk who has to constantly remind you he knows he's a baseball adonis.

Right. This is a video that Bryant has to figure is never seen by anyone*, so he has no reason to control his behavior. And yet when the sound guy tells him to get the barrel on the ball, he just nicely says, "That's the idea." How many superstars say "STFU, I know what I'm doing"? And at the end, he doesn't try to act all cool about it to save face. He sheepishly says, "Uh, do you still want the bat?".

Agree with the rest of your post. Outside of Chapman last year there doesn't seem to be an unlikeable guy on the team. And while you never really know, they come across as genuine. One of my favorite shots is Rizzo on third base in the 10th inning with his hands on his head. I mean, he just seems so happy. And of course, the huge grin on Bryant's face as he fields the final out.

*Obviously barring some sort of Christian Bale-type incident.
   42. Justin Turner Overdrive Posted: February 18, 2017 at 12:10 AM (#5404202)
Is that a real gut on Maddux?


Maddux was always notoriously anti-exercise/stretching/conditioning.
He said, "you can't pull fat."
   43. Justin Turner Overdrive Posted: February 18, 2017 at 12:15 AM (#5404203)
"You still want my bat?"

"No."
   44. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: February 18, 2017 at 05:39 AM (#5404217)
I'm going to be a prank truther. Why wasn't Bryant more surprised the sound guy was throwing curves? Why wasn't he more pissed the guy was throwing curves in BP? Why did he allow the sound guy to pitch after being worried about being hit?

My prediction: Bryant struggles early and it is traced back to taking BP from Maddux.
   45. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: February 18, 2017 at 05:40 AM (#5404218)
I'm going to be a prank truther. Why wasn't Bryant more surprised the sound guy was throwing curves? Why wasn't he more pissed the guy was throwing curves in BP? Why did he allow the sound guy to pitch after being worried about being hit?

My prediction: Bryant struggles early and it is traced back to taking BP from Maddux.

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