The Cubs' schedule was interrupted by Cardinals' coronavirus outbreak, so they went four days without a game. They instead chose to embrace the weirdness, as they have all season long. On Monday -- their fourth consecutive day without a game -- they held team batting practice inside Wrigley Field and set up cardboard cutouts for target practice.
Spread across Wrigley Field, there were cardboard cutouts of basketball great Michael Jordan, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, actor Bill Murray and even Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. Manager David Ross kept a running tally of the scoring system.
The Cubs then traveled to Cleveland on Tuesday and won two games against the Indians, showing no signs of rust after the break.
"It's a pleasure to come to work every day with this group," Ross said after the Cubs improved to an MLB-best 12-3 on Wednesday.
Ross was hired as Cubs manager last October and tasked with the difficult job of replacing Joe Maddon, whose contract in Chicago wasn't renewed after five winning seasons, four playoff appearances and a World Series championship. The Cubs believed Ross would be the right leader to reinvigorate their core of talented players moving forward.
The Cubs never imagined the odd circumstances that Ross' first season would bring. He has led the Cubs as they've made the most of an extraordinary season conducted amid the coronavirus pandemic.
From his perspective, Ross has had plenty of help from his players.
"They come in, they're focused at the task at hand," Ross said before the Cubs opened a four-game series against the Brewers on Thursday. "They're in the weight room, they're on the field, they're in the batting cage, they're in the video room, they're doing all their homework. They do it all with a good attitude. They do it with a smile after all the things that are asked of them. They bring the energy that makes it fun in the dugout. It makes it fun for me. And then you see them go out there and compete.
"It's a commitment. It's a total team effort, up and down the lineup. That's just powerful, man. It makes my job easy because we got really good players. All my coaches do so much good work. It's not a whole lot for me to do but sit back, watch and try to manage the game as best I can. It's really easy when you got great players and they got this kind of attitude on a daily basis.
"Whether it's (Anthony Rizzo's) chains or us clapping for (Jason) Kipnis or the birthday thing that we're doing or the days off when we're having the fun games, there's work involved, but there's also fun. That's a sign of a good team that's going to do some good things."