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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Column: Anthony Rizzo has no regrets over his ‘bad breakup’ with Chicago Cubs – ‘I wish him well’

Time heals all wounds, so it’s not surprising to hear that Anthony Rizzo has gotten over his “bad breakup” with the Chicago Cubs.

Rizzo returned to Chicago, downtown, on Thursday as a first baseman for the New York Yankees, which opened a four-game series against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Sox fans raved about him, just as Kyle Schwarber was with the Boston Red Sox last season. Once a cub, always a cub.

It has been more than nine months since Rizzo was presented with cash to the Yankees for minor leaguers Kevin Alcantara and Alexander Vizcano, a move that signaled the beginning of the end of the Cubs’ relevance. The biggest sale in Cubs history was quickly driven out of town by Xavier Baez, Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel and others as President Jed Hoyer went about building what he called the “next great Cubs team.”

When Rizzo left, he was shocked by Hoyer’s post-trade comment that he could sleep soundly as he made reasonable offers to try and retain stars from the 2016 championship team.

“I’m confused about why. Why say that?” Rizzo told WMVP-AM 1000 the next day. “Sounds like a bad breakup and the person saying they’re okay when they’re not okay. … I know it comes down to a business, and when you want your cake and you eat it Even if you want, it seems so.

In other words, the Cubs had no problem earning a lot of money from the popularity of Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez. But when it came time to compensate them for what they had brought to the organization, the Cubs found no common ground with even one of their stars.

Everything has been good for Rizzo. He is one of the best team leaders in the American League, playing for a team his father grew up loving and feeling rejuvenated at the plate.

Financially speaking, it has worked well for the Cubs as well. They average 31,655 fans at Wrigley Field, down from 38,208 in 2019, the last full season before the pandemic. The season ticket base is still impressive for a team that could easily lose 100 games.

And ticket prices haven’t dropped significantly when the Cubs cross the payroll, so it’s basically a dream scenario for Chairman Tom Ricketts.

During a media session in the Yankees dugout before the game, Rizzo was asked if he hashed it out with Hoyer.

“Yeah, I think with our relationships with Jade, Theo (Epstein) and Jason McLeod, all three of them really saw me grow up,” he said. “They know who I am. They know who my family is and (wife) Emily. And I know who they are. I don’t think it was ever necessary (bitter). It’s business.” …they had to make difficult business decisions.

“As a human, was I (chosen) turned off? Of course. But as a baseball player who sees what happens and (knows) it’s a business, it’s like that. As far as hashing out, I don’t think there is much to hash out. ,

“I wish him well. I wish Jade success in being president there. He was under GM and Theo for a while. So making the next great Cubs team for him and (his wife) Merrill And it would be great for his family.

The “next great Cubs team” is way off. This season’s team could be worse than the 2012 team that began rebuilding. That’s when the Cubs brought Rizzo up from Triple-A Iowa and proclaimed him as a wave of talented prospects that would change the culture of the organization.

Rizzo was as good as he was promoted, and Epstein and Hoyer did what they promised, winning a title in five seasons. But this reconstruction is very different. There’s no “Rizzo-esque” player to build in the Cubs clubhouse. Their best player, catcher Wilson Contreras, is in the same boat that Rizzo, Baez and Bryant were in this time last year, waiting to be tackled because the Cubs don’t believe he deserves what he thinks.

Seiya Suzuki, Nico Horner and Keegan Thompson may be the next wave, but it’s too early to say whether they will be the future All-Stars or players who can change culture.

What if the Cubs signed one, two or all three of their stars? Last June I asked Rizzo if the Cubs could afford them all.

“If they want, they absolutely can,” he replied. “Sports is thriving with all the TV deals, revenue (streams). If it’s their out and it’s time to go, then so be it. ,

That was his out. Ricketts recently considered buying Premier League soccer team Chelsea, which eventually sold for $3.1 billion, so he can’t say he didn’t have the money. He didn’t care to spend it. So for Rizzo, Baez and Bryant, it was time to leave.

Rizzo turned down several years of offers from the Cubs and the Yankees were offered two prospects who might not have come to Wrigley for years – if ever. He signed a two-year, $32 million deal in March to return to the Yankees, which seems reasonable for someone at this stage of his career.

“I helped create that culture and I have a lot of friends there,” he said. “It’s nice to see the traditions that have remained there throughout our time.”

Rizzo is lucky he’s not with the Cubs, being the spokesman for a team that’s going nowhere and playing meaningless games already in mid-May. He may still return to Wrigley someday and be welcomed like a hero without having to play here. Rizzo can ask Jake Arrita how bad things can happen when you try to do another act with the Cubs and not rekindle the magic of those 2015 and ’16 seasons.

Rizzo was happy to be back but coming in first place wearing Yankees pinstripes while playing on a beautiful night on the south side.

“We’re sitting there, I call it ‘The Sail’ … so it’s so easy to be here and enjoy the city of Chicago,” he said. “The next time I go to Wrigley, when and if it happens, it will definitely be more emotional, especially on a weekend like this. The place will go crazy.”

Life goes on, and no one can erase the memories.


World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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