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#pounditSunday, September 27, 2020

Articles tagged: Anthony Rizzo

David Ross says Tejay Antone threw at Anthony Rizzo intentionally

David Ross

Managers David Ross and David Bell addressed the ejections from the second game of a doubleheader between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs on Saturday, and Ross believes one of his players was thrown at intentionally.

The Cubs won the first game of the doubleheader 3-0, but the Reds took the second game 6-5. In the second game, both managers were among five who were ejected.

Ross was ejected for complaining after a Tejay Antone pitch sailed over Anthony Rizzo’s head in the top of the fourth. So was Cubs assistant coach Mike Borzello.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, Adbert Alzolay threw high on Shogo Akiyama. Bell, Joey Votto and Jesse Winker were ejected from Cincinnati’s side for complaining.

Ross was convinced that Reds pitcher Tejay Antone was throwing at Rizzo.

“That’s not a slip. That’s not a miss. That’s not a grab some rosin slip. That was intentional. There is no doubt in my mind,” Ross said after the game via ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers.

Reds manager David Bell denied Antone was throwing at Rizzo.

“There is absolutely no way we throw at anyone, certainly not anyone’s head,” he said, via The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans.

Whatever the case, the umpires felt there was enough to warrant some ejections.

The teams will meet again on Sunday in the finale of a four-game series. The Reds have won two of three so far.

Video: Anthony Rizzo offers hand sanitizer to baserunner

Anthony Rizzo is taking baseball’s safe return to play seriously.

The Chicago Cubs first baseman had a bottle of hand sanitizer on him during Friday’s season opener against the Milwaukee Brewers. When Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia reached base on a single in the third inning, Rizzo offered some santizer to him and Arcia gladly accepted.

Major League Baseball is taking a number of precautions for the shortened season, including playing games without fans in attendance and a ban on spitting and licking fingers, among other behaviors.

The strict rules governing health and safety have already led to some unique, first-time sights in the ballpark. A player offering hand sanitizer to an opposing baserunner certainly falls into that category as well.

Anthony Rizzo says he has lost 25 pounds this offseason

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo is one of the more intimidating sluggers in baseball, but he may be less physically so this season.

The Chicago Cubs first baseman told reporters on Friday that he has lost 25 pounds this offseason, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Rizzo had been working diligently on a training program with Cubs coach Mike Napoli.

Rizzo was listed last season at 240 pounds, putting him in the weight range of hefty fellow hitters like Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, and Pete Alonso. In any case, he still led the Cubs in batting average, OPS, and RBIs in 2019.

The former All-Star will have a new role for Chicago this year under rookie manager David Ross, and Rizzo is clearly prepping his body accordingly.

Anthony Rizzo exits game with mid-back tightness

Anthony Rizzo

The Chicago Cubs are in engaged a tight battle atop the National League Central, but they may now have just been thrown an injury curveball.

Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo was forced to exit Saturday’s game against the Washington Nationals early. A team official stated that mid-back tightness was the cause of Rizzo’s early departure, per Patrick Mooney of The Athletic.

The three-time All-Star is having another excellent season, batting .291 with 25 homers and 82 RBIs. He had also appeared in 125 of Chicago’s 129 games so far and has played in at least 153 games in five of the past six seasons.

As for the Cubs, they sit just half a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the division lead. They could be getting another former All-Star back soon but might have just lost a more important one in his stead.

Bob Gibson thinks Anthony Rizzo needs some chin music

Anthony Rizzo

Even in his old age Bob Gibson is still advocating for brushback pitches.

When Anthony Rizzo was batting in the top of the first inning of Thursday’s Chicago Cubs-St. Louis Cardinals game, Cardinals TV announcer Dan McLaughlin began talking about how Gibson thinks pitchers should handle Rizzo.

McLaughlin shared that he communicates with Gibson regularly about Cardinals games. The legendary Cardinals pitcher told McLaughlin over text that pitchers need to throw some chin music at Rizzo to back the power hitter off the plate.

“Essentially Bob was saying someone needs to put [Rizzo] on his rear and don’t let him stand over the plate. Don’t let him hover inside. It’s your plate, not his,” McLaughlin says Gibson told him.

That would be nothing new for Rizzo and might not be much of a deterrent. He’s led the league in hit-by-pitches twice (2015, 2017) and averages 19 hit-by-pitches per 162 games. Yet he still crowds the plate.

Of course, brushback pitches from Gibson meant something different, so maybe that could have had an effect.

Word emerged last month that the 83-year-old former two-time Cy Young Award winner is battling pancreatic cancer, though he still has his passion for the game.

Anthony Rizzo ejected from Cubs-Giants game

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo was ejected from Wednesday’s Chicago Cubs-San Francisco Giants game as part of a bad double-whammy for his team.

Rizzo began his at-bat in the top of the fifth leading 3-0 in the count. Tyler Beede still came back to strike Rizzo out swinging to end the half-inning. Rizzo was upset about striking out — he thought a called second strike should have been the fourth ball — and seemed to say something. He was ejected quickly by home plate umpire Jordan Baker.

Rizzo then lingered and started talking with Baker about the ejection, which led manager Joe Maddon to come out of the dugout.

Not only did the Cubs lose Rizzo, who was ejected and replaced by Victor Caratini in the lineup, but Kris Bryant, who had struck out before Rizzo, also exited the game after the half-inning. Bryant was later termed to have right knee soreness.

Rizzo was 1-for-3 in the game. Bryant was also 1-for-3, though he had a 2-run home run.

Watch: Anthony Rizzo thrown out at home after ball hits security guard

The Chicago Cubs didn’t seem to realize that the security guard on a Major League Baseball field is in play, and it cost them a run Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals.

With Anthony Rizzo at first and two out, Kris Bryant hit a line drive down toward the left field corner. As it bounced, it hit a security guard on the third base line trying to get out of the way of it. This did not automatically rule the play dead, though both teams initially acted like it did.

Marcell Ozuna reacted first, throwing the ball home as Rizzo slowed, then sped up again, only to be tagged out.

We’ve seen ball boys grab fair balls without realizing they’re fair, which leads to umpires placing the runners. In contrast, unintentional interference like this allows the play to continue without umpire intervention. Rizzo may not have known that off the top of his head, but as long as the umpires weren’t signaling anything, he should have kept running. Not doing so cost his team a run.

Watch: Anthony Rizzo dents Budweiser sign with monster 3-run home run

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo got the green light on a 3-0 pitch Wednesday night and took out a red light on the Budweiser sign with it.

The Chicago Cubs first baseman was batting with two on and nobody out with his team down 3-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies in the bottom of the third. Though he was ahead in the count 3-0 — a count where many players take the pitch — Rizzo decided to let it rip. He got a Cole Irvin pitch right where he liked it and blasted it deep to right field at Wrigley Field.

The ball traveled so far it went over the scoreboard and hit the “D” in the Budweiser sign, leaving it dented.

The homer was estimated for a distance of 437 feet and had an exit velocity just over 110 mph.

That was Rizzo’s 12th home run of the year. He’s up to 34 RBIs on the season too.

Anthony Rizzo mocks media over Bryce Harper, Manny Machado reports

Anthony Rizzo

Depending on who you ask, both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado may have been on the verge of signing massive free agent contracts weeks ago. Yet, the two sluggers remain unsigned, and Chicago Cubs superstar Anthony Rizzo is as baffled as anyone about all the inaccurate reporting.

While speaking with reporters on Monday, Rizzo said he is shocked by how many false reports he has heard about Harper and Machado. But if both players want to end their free agency now, Rizzo says he has made them an outstanding offer on behalf of the Cubs.

“So this is what happened. I offered him half of my 12 (million) that I’m making this year,” Rizzo said, per Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune. “But he turned it down. Put that report out.”

Rizzo was initially referring to Harper, but he said the offer applies to both him and Machado.

“Both. Three (million each),” he said. “I split it in half.”

While the thought of playing with Rizzo and a talented young roster like the one in Chicago might appeal to Harper and Machado, that dollar amount seems a bit low. Harper is expected to sign for more than $300 million, and Machado has reportedly received a massive offer from at least one team.

So why all the false reports? In all likelihood, many of those are being planted by the agents representing the players. That’s part of the free agent strategy, and Harper’s agent Scott Boras is a master of manipulation. Rizzo should direct some of his comments toward him.

Anthony Rizzo backs Joe Maddon amid hot seat talk

Joe Maddon Cubs

Joe Maddon has enjoyed tremendous success in his four seasons as manager of the Chicago Cubs, but there has been some talk about his World Series championship and NL Manager of the Year Award not being enough for him to keep his job next year. At least one of Maddon’s star players thinks that is ludicrous.

After the Cubs lost the NL Wild Card Game in 13 innings on Tuesday, slugger Anthony Rizzo was asked for his thoughts on the rumblings that Maddon is on the hot seat. He passionately defended the manager.

Ken Rosenthal went into great detail about some of the reasons Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein might decide to move on from Maddon, and they include everything from the team’s inconsistent offense to Epstein seemingly blaming Maddon for reliever Brandon Morrow’s arm injury. Rosenthal also cited potential off-field issues like Maddon publicly saying he would not read the blog post in which Addison Russell’s ex-wife accused him of abusing her, as Maddon told the media he would prefer to let the investigation “play its course.”

The Cubs have averaged 97 wins in Maddon’s four seasons as manager and won a World Series for the first time in over a century. That said, successful managers like Joe Girardi, Dusty Baker and John Farrell all lost their jobs after reaching the playoffs last year. Two of those managers had won titles with the teams that fired them. Firing Maddon wouldn’t exactly be unprecedented.