In MLB, cardboard cutouts are all the rage. After having their weekend series against St. Louis postponed due to the Cardinals’ COVID outbreak, the Cubs found themselves with some unexpected time on their hands. They used it for target practice.
The Cubs, who are off to a terrific 10-3 start under rookie manager David Ross, decided to have some fun at the expense of cardboard Michael Jordan, devising a points system (five points for hitting on the fly, four on a bounce) for players aiming at their hoops idol and other cutouts assembled around Wrigley Field. Celebrity fans Bill Murray and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam fame were also in attendance, albeit in cutout form.
Believe it or not, this actually isn’t Jordan’s first time getting the cutout treatment, following his memorable cameo at Kevin McCallister’s “party” in Home Alone. That was 30 years and six titles ago for the GOAT.
“I’m going to go righty and just hit Bill Murray in the head seven times,” Ian Happ told Kyle Schwarber while the pair admired the cutouts from home plate. It’s unclear if Happ made good on that promise, though video posted to Chicago’s Twitter account shows veteran marksman Jason Kipnis had no trouble peppering MJ in right field. And before you jump down Kipnis’ throat for disrespecting a Chicago sports legend, know that former pitcher Rick Sutcliffe and the Cubs’ current President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein were also in the players’ line of fire.
Clearly the Cubs are keeping things loose, just as they did under the team’s previous manager Joe Maddon. After a five-day layoff, the NL Central-leading Cubs will return to the diamond Tuesday night in Cleveland.