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Joe Maddon has penguins in clubhouse to get players to ‘chill out’ (pics/vid)

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And the bizarre hits keep on coming related to and from Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon. Wednesday was “Joe Maddon Garden Gnome” giveaway night at Tropicana Field and perhaps in honor of the event — although it’s hard to figure out exactly how what Maddon did paid homage to him being depicted as a garden gnome — the Rays skipper invited some adorable penguins into the clubhouse.

This was done apparently for the players benefit, as Maddon is quoted as follows in explaining his motivation: “I wanted players to chill out a little bit. Get it?”

Oh, it’s gotten, Mr. Maddon.

Via @RaysBaseball:

And some video of the little buggers parading around the clubhouse:

This stunt is the second time in just a few days that there has been installment of “Joe Maddon Presents Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” as the Rays skipper paraded around a cockatoo named Mindy on Tuesday:

Regarding his clubhouse shenanigans, specifically the ones during the team’s most recent homestand, Maddon told MLB.com that he does these kind of things to “lighten things up,” adding:

“I think a lot of times, it gets confused when things aren’t going well. It’s not because your guys aren’t working hard enough or they don’t care enough,” Maddon said. “Sometimes it’s just not working. Let’s go and take the other road less traveled with a bird in the clubhouse.”

 Road less traveled, indeed. But if you ask me, Maddon totally is missing an easy wildlife-themed distraction: Flood the clubhouse and fill it with real-live rays. What say you, Raymond, the Rays mascot?

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Never mind.

[H/T BLS, For the Win]

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