You would never know that Ryan Madson is the cutup who keeps teammates loose, just by watching him in the clubhouse.
The long, lanky setup man normally sits quietly at his locker solving crossword puzzles before games. But during a full-season-ticket holder breakfast in January, Madson held court with Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro and proceeded to crack up the adoring crowd.
“I just had a lot of fun with the fans that morning,” Madson said. “I love to joke around.”
Madson’s humor often lightens the load for the team, especially when the pressure mounts.
“Nobody is funnier around here than Madson,” Ryan Howard said. “I can’t tell you about particular things he has done as much as that he is just consistently funny. It’s great having a guy like him around here.”
Madson believes he’s the Phillie best suited for the team’s clown role.
“I don’t think anyone else would do this if I weren’t here,” Madson said. “You need someone to joke around because it’s “Groundhog Day” around here. It’s the same thing in a lot of ways here every day when we come in here. I’m a believer in having fun.”
So Madson keeps it light in the clubhouse — and in the bullpen.
“He’s just hilarious,” Brad Lidge said. “He’s quick-witted and such a good guy.”
But no practical jokes.
“I’d be afraid that someone would get back at me with one,” Madson said. “I just do stuff on the fly. I do things in the moment. I have fun with the guys.”
Winning helped with new attitude
Ryan Madson might be the clubhouse clown now, but he hasn’t always been that guy.
In fact, he didn’t take on this role until he established himself as a major-league ballplayer.
“I didn’t say anything here when I was just starting out,” Madson said. “But once you prove you belong, it’s different.
“After you play and win a World Series, you certainly belong, because there is no higher stakes game in baseball.”