MLB

Cubs bullpen plays strange, and risky, game of foul-ball chicken

May 20, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) gestures to the bullpen in the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

May 20, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) gestures to the bullpen in the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs bullpen has interesting way of staying involved in the games these days. They play a strange, and seemingly rather risky, game called foul-ball chicken.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the mastermind behind this brilliance is bullpen catcher Chad Noble. Here's how the Tribune's Mark Gonzalez explains how the game is played:

During the game, as the pitchers are sitting in the bullpen, either on the bench along the wall or on folding chairs in front of the bullpen mound, they face the batter. If a foul ball comes their way, the object is to remain as still as possible, regardless of how close the ball comes to them, or even if it hits them.

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"It keeps things interesting down there," veteran reliever Jason Motte told Gonzalez. "They put us away from everybody, so we have to do our own thing to pass the time. We go out there and have a good time."

If you're having a hard time visualizing this, take a look below. The game sprung to life during Monday's game against the Cleveland Indians.

Surely, these guys understand the risk involved of allowing a baseball, some obviously hit rather hard, crash into various body parts unimpeded.

"We've had a couple close ones," Motte said. "We've stayed in there. Some (hard-hit balls) have come down there that haven't hit us. They just missed us, but those balls were smoked. We'll see how it goes if one gets smoked, or one of us gets hit in the face. I guess that's how you win.

"I'm not sure if there's a real winner in that game, but that's how you win. That's how you would declare the winner. It would be over."

(h/t Chicago Tribune)