The rebuilding Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t had much success in 2020. In fact, their .211 winning percentage through 19 games is the lowest in MLB. Even with an expanded, 16-team postseason this year, the odds of Pittsburgh playing October baseball are slim to none (0.3-percent playoff probability). Luckily the Bucs do lead the league in one very important category—Rob Schneider cutouts.
The cutout craze has taken over MLB with the majority of teams filling their vacant seats with likenesses of everyone from Ben Franklin and Chipper Jones to Bernie Lomax of Weekend at Bernie’s fame. That movement has made its way to the Steel City where frequent Adam Sandler collaborator Rob Schneider is depicted on four cutouts scattered throughout PNC Park. The Schneider cutouts debuted Tuesday night.
The Pirates don’t have any pre-existing relationship with Schneider, a Bay Area native and—by his own admission—a “diehard” San Francisco Giants fan. But veteran pitcher Derek Holland, who spent 2018 and part of last season in the Giants’ starting rotation, has apparently been pals with the Grown Ups and Deuce Bigalow actor for a number of years. When Schneider suggested the Pirates display him in cutout form, Holland did him one better.
“I took a little bit longer than I needed, but I made sure it was worthwhile for him,” said Holland, who logged a pair of scoreless innings out of the Pirates’ pen in Tuesday’s series-opening loss to Cleveland. “I want to give him something to laugh about.”
Schneider, who forged a friendship with Holland after meeting him backstage at a stand-up show in Dallas years earlier (Holland was pitching for the Texas Rangers at the time), seemed thrilled to be portrayed as a cutout, voicing his approval on social media. Holland also received a complimentary text from Schneider, who clearly appreciated the left-hander’s gesture.
“He’s pretty pumped about it. He’s a big baseball guy, so anytime you can get somebody like that to laugh, that’s huge,” Holland told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “He’s also been very very good to me, giving me some good pointers. He’s a funny dude.”
The slumping Pirates have won just twice in the month of August, but thanks to Schneider, their cutout game remains strong as ever.