Wow, I guess I really missed Anthony Rizzo.
I missed his smile, I missed his scent.
I certainly missed those majestic bombs he’s been hitting this year. It was pretty clear last night, the Cubs were happy to have their leader back too.
I didn’t realize how much he was missed until his presence was back on the field and in the middle of the Cubs order last night.
I had written many times before that it’s kind of unfair to have a 24-year-old be a leader in your clubhouse. Yet that is just what Rizzo is.
He’s a special kid.
After this past week or so of some pretty miserable Cubs baseball, it was nice to see Rizzo in the same lineup with the both Javy Baez and Jorge Soler for the first time. It gave Cubs fans a real glimpse of what the heart of the order could look like for years to come.
Even though the lineup was handled easily by starter Alfredo Simon last night, it all ended well after Rizzo’s walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth.
No matter who the Cubs pursue this off-season to provide a veteran presence, Rizzo will still be the face of this team. I feel he will ultimately be the Cubs version of Paul Konerko or Tino Martinez, if you will.
Acquiring Rizzo was the first order of business this Cubs front office took care of. He will probably always be seen as the face of this rebuild, and a handsome one at that.
Rizzo even took it upon himself to mess with his teammates by faking a back flare-up following the h0me-plate celebration, he told Patrick Mooney.
“I did it on purpose, just messing around with the guys,” Rizzo said. “Guys have (been hurt in those celebrations), but whenever you can win a game like that, it’s always fun. Obviously, you don’t want anyone to get hurt, but the emotions of a game take over.”
On a day where the press peppered GM Jed Hoyer regarding Kris Bryant’s eventual arrival, Rizzo knows he will be here to welcome and lead all the up-and-coming talent this organazation expects to field soon.
“Yeah, it will be really fun to write about,” Rizzo joked. “We’re missing our three-time All-Star shortstop, too. But, you know, it’ll all be together when we win the World Series.”
If that happens, I have a good idea who will be first to hold that trophy.