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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
Here's that weird play with Rizzo getting thrown out at home. Replay doesn't show, but he slowed down getting to third and then started to run again as everyone looked confused on what the call was. pic.twitter.com/erf7VZjjNg
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Rizzo on Maddon: “I just don’t see where he’s going to get heat. I think he’s managed his ass off this year w/ what we’ve dealt w/, as far as losing Yu, losing Morrow, Stropy going down, KB not being healthy all year. We still figured out a way to win That’s all credit to him."
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.