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Sportress of Blogitude

Joe Maddon transforms Wrigley Field into petting zoo (photos)

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Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon was known to bring animals into the clubhouse during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays, one of many examples how how he implements unorthodox methods to motivate his players — but how he transformed Wrigley Field into an actual petting zoo is off the charts.

Maddon has a bevy of creatures great and small brought onto the field before Monday’s 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers so players and their families could enjoy one strange zoological experience (additional photos here and here).

The Shedd Aquarium and the Columbus Zoo were called on to bring in the animals, and among those delivered to Wrigley were a a sloth, a penguin, a civet and a snow leopard, with which Anthony Rizzo cuddled.

Maddon posed with a Chilean flamingo named Warren, who also made an appearance at the manager’s pregame press conference, eliciting an interesting response from the skipper.

“I’d love to take Warren home and have him coexist with Winston and Clemente (his English bulldogs) if that was possible,” Maddon said, via the Chicago Tribune. “My goal in life is to own a bar and name it the Pink Flamingo. Opening night have Warren there.”

Maddon obviously is one of the quirkiest managers in the game, but he knows how to keep a clubhouse loose. After previously complaining about how an AC/DC concert last week compromised Wrigley’s playing surface, it’s unclear if the animals left any, um, reminders of their presence on the field before game time.