PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Joe Maddon huddled with some of the veteran players on Saturday morning, holding what he called a "Lead Bull" meeting.
"It's not like Red Bull -- it's 'Lead Bull,'" the Rays manager said.
Approximately 12 players attended; all were team-leader types. Maddon explained that the premise for the theme was based on something he read in James Michener's "Centennial."
"The Indians had to kill buffalo and they had to do it without modern-day instruments," Maddon explained. "So they used to get the lead bull running toward the cliff and as he would, the whole group would follow. And as he got close to the cliff, he would try and stop and it was too late, they got pushed over the side and the bulls would land down below, and [the Indians] would come up and kill them. They'd have their food their clothing, etc."
Maddon's point to the players was that getting the lead bulls running in the right direction is critical for a team's success. Saturday's meeting was the first of its kind since Maddon's first or second year as manager of the Rays.