Anthony Rizzo Pens Essay on Staying Connected, Staying in Baseball Shape During Pandemic

Anthony Rizzo, the unofficial (but basically official) captain of the Chicago Cubs, wrote an essay for ESPN Chicago about his day-to-day life amid the global pandemic. He of course talked about baseball, but he framed his perspective in the context of everyday life. You really should read what Rizzo wrote in its entirety, but I’ll highlight a few notable tidbits.

The nationwide shutdown of sports, along with schools and non-essential activities in most places, has left millions of people struggling to figure out what to do with themselves. I’ve been working from home and trying to stay on schedule, so I’ve found it useful to literally plan what I need to do almost on an hourly basis. Rizzo is apparently trying to do the same.

My message and biggest piece of advice: Get into some sort of routine, daily, to get you through so you’re not just wasting away time. Somehow make the most of this forced downtime.

After remaining in Mesa well after most of his teammates had gone home, Rizzo made the choice to depart as well. But without the state-of-the-art facilities at Sloan Park, and with gyms closed for the time being, the first baseman admitted that he’ll have to get creative and maybe get his wife to toss BP.

In terms of my new workout routine, I just got back to Florida so we’re just settling in, but I’ll do something to keep in baseball shape. I see the basketball players shooting baskets with socks and Willson [Contreras] having his brother pitch to him with a Nerf gun. I need one of those. Emily is a great athlete, so maybe she can pitch to me a little bit.

One of the most important things for all of us right now it to find ways to maintain human connection. Even if it’s just a quick note to let someone know you’re thinking about them, those things can help ease the emotional burden of these strange times.

I’m on a bunch of group texts with teammates and friends. That’s all you can do, especially in the big cities.

Rizzo also described what his charitable foundations are doing to help fight COVID-19. Not surprisingly, Rizzo is doing everything in his power to help during these dire conditions by providing meals to hospitals and healthcare workers. But ultimately, he says, we all bear responsibility for making things better.

This is everyone’s opportunity to be a hero by staying away.

Again, you should definitely read Rizzo’s entire essay, published on what should have been Opening Day. It will still be quite a while before we see baseball again, but baseball will be back sooner rather than later if we all do our part. Special thanks go out to those who are working tirelessly to develop robust testing, create predictive models, treat patients, hand out supplies, watch over loved ones, and so much more.

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