Chicago Cubs' Maddon loving managing the millennials

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon says he hasn't noticed much of a change in his own coaching style in the early days of spring training but that he does love working with millennials.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon says he hasn't noticed much of a change in his own coaching style in the early days of spring training but that he does love working with millennials. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 2/21/2019 12:07 PM

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon was asked Wednesday how it was going with managing millennials.

"Very groovy," he said. "I figured out I got a millennial baseball mind. I was born right around 1981 (in his coaching career), so I think I understand where they're coming from. It's been great. It's really been wonderful."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Whether millennials know what "groovy" means is a story for another day, but much of the focus this off-season was on Maddon being more of a hands-on coach during spring training this year after last year's end-of-season flameout. He also talked of reading the book "Managing Millennials for Dummies."

He said it's too early in the spring to tell if his methods have changed.

"To this point, it's primarily about coaching the coaches for me," he said. "I've been involved with the players, the first meeting the other day in the theater for the pitchers and catchers and then the (position) players. It gives me my chance to throw out philosophical snippets, whatever you want to call them.

"Actually on the field to this point, Butter (coach Brian Butterfield) has handled the baserunning, the other guys are doing their thing. I haven't had a chance yet to get fully engaged in a situational stuff just because it's not time yet."

We have a starter:

The Cubs open Cactus League play Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers at Sloan Park.

Jen-Ho Tseng, who has three games of big-league experience with the Cubs, will be the starting pitcher.

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"He's leading off," Joe Maddon said. "I congratulated him on being opening-day pitcher the other day in our meeting. I didn't differentiate between spring training and the regular season, but we did name him opening-day pitcher in spring training. We have not gotten to Game 2 yet. We're organized but not that organized."

Zobrist still out:

Joe Maddon had no update on veteran Ben Zobrist, who has not reported to camp. Zobrist has an excused absence to deal with a personal matter.

"He's been in contact a bit, I think, with Theo," Maddon said, referring to team president Theo Epstein. "But it's been pretty much between him and Theo. So I have nothing else to really offer."

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