It's ok to be excited about Anthony Rizzo

It's ok to be excited about Anthony Rizzo

Just like that Cubs baseball matters again. Now that may offend some of the faithful that have been watching regardless, but now it simply matters more. Believe me, I’ve been one of those watching and it has been painful. Last night the Cubs record was flashed on the screen and I had a hard time recalling the 26 wins.

We don’t want to put too much on the Anthony Rizzo arrival but last night he simply put a smile on Cubs fans faces. It seemed to be just as much about his presence as his two hits and his play at first. Rizzo flashed that reassuring confident smile and claimed he was “Here to stay”. You could feel the buzz back at Wrigley.

This time it was different buzz, there was a sense of relief and promise instead of overhype. Cubs fans are being hopeful that this is the start of the real rebuilding, the phase with the hope.  We will soon be able to see the end of that painful biding of time that marked the first 3 months of the season.

You can see some light at the end of the tunnel. The arrival of Rizzo gives Cubs fans a reason to turn back on the television and read the stories again. Yes we already had Starlin Castro to watch, but it’s hard to deny that there is something more charismatic and leadership-like about Rizzo.

There were Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod all there to see his debut. I even thought it was interesting to hear some of the vets on the team talk in excitement about Rizzo’s arrival.

There will be some ups and downs to this Rizzo thing; he seems to have made some adjustments (lower hands, shorter swing). Truth be told it was the right thing for the Cubs to wait this long, he seems as ready as possible. If he had gone 0-4 it would have felt different, but he didn’t.  He looked comfortable and his GM says, "go ahead, get excited."

 "He's going to have his ups and down, he's going to have to make adjustments," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "All players have to do that. I love the fact that people are excited. To me, it gives hope. You want to have a lot of players like this. Fans love homegrown players more than anything because they relate to them in the minor leagues and they know they can root for them for a long time."

Everyone involved was desperate for a breath of fresh air. Last night we got it.

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  • Let's hope that before the month is over there will be more good
    young prospects (from trades) to pin our hopes on for the season.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Need to get some pitching cuz Shark is starting to bite it :(

  • One at bat and one can see that Rizzo has a sweet swing. His enthusiasm and talent will pick up the team. He may be one of those who players that can change a club's confidence with his presence.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    That's what I see too Slug he could be the leader from the everyday players.

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    I wish Brett Jackson would shorten his swing.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Me too starting to get concerned, hope John can talk us off the ledge.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    At some point when you are striking out that much and everyone is telling you that you have a long swing, you should start to put two and two together, but he hasn't. It wasn't a big deal at the lower leverls because he was just so much better than most of the pitchers he was facing, but now, he is facing older pitchers. They're more like the pitchers he will face in the show. They know how to pitch even if they don't necessarily have great raw stuff like a better prospect in Hi-A or AA.

    Jackson is obviously not adjusting, and that really is what it's all about. Sometimes adjusting means not swinging at pitches you shouldn't be swinging at, but I don't think that is entirely the case with him. If it were, he would be drawing walks. He's just not making contact, and when that happens, you need to shorten your swing.

    I keep hearing about what a great kid and great worker he is, but there is a difference between working hard and working smartly. Insanity is often defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. He can practice that long assed loopy swing until hell freezes over, but it's not going to do him any good.

    The weird thing is that there is no physical reason why he can't shorten his swing. Fred McGriff or Hee Seop Choi. Those guys are big boys, and their swings are just naturally long. There is so much shortening up you can do with tall guys who have long arms. In Jackson's case, it's mental. That swing has worked for him to this point, and he is hesitant to mess with it.

    That may work yet, but even then, there are things you have to do. McGriff and Adam Dunn just stopped swinging at pitches they knew they couldn't hit with their swing even if they were strikes.

    He is looking more and more like a fourth outfielder to me, but a fourth outfielder with the potential to be a lot more. I don't think he is ever going to be a guy who consistently hits .300, but there is no reason why he can't be a guy who consistently hits .275, but right now, I'm not sure he could hit his weight in the show.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Doesn't have a fluid, natural swing up there but it's not a particularly long. He doesn't have the kind of smooth swing like Vitters or Castro. I think he'll eventually cut his strikeouts down a little, but he'll always have a lot and I don't think he'll ever hit for a high average. You just hope he does enough of the other stuff (extra base power, defense, speed, walks) to make up for it.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm going off the scouting reports, but the point is valid. If what you are doing isn't working, you need to try something else. Right now, I'm seeing a fourth outfielder on a good team and a starter on a bad one.

  • I am excited because while he might be a bit overhyped, he seems legit. And he is humble as well so you love to root for him.

    Michael, I would love to hear if they are attempting anything with Brett's swing to cut down on the strikeouts.

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    And today the Cubs are getting clobbered, so clearly Rizzo is a bust and must be traded immediately.

  • In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    I can't believe they didn't teach him to pitch.
    C'mon... Ruth pitched and everyone knows the Babe couldn't carry Rizzo's jock!

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    In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    Yes 16-1 in the 6th inning. Tear the team apart. Package Wood, Castro, and Rizzo for a couple of AAA prospects.....none of them have panned out.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Just saw the score right now on Cubs.com and I'm glad it's one of those games that starts while I'm at work and too busy to listen, otherwise I think I would be on the hook for a new PC and monitor.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    I had to leave half way through to drop off a friend at the airport. I was glad to go!

  • Did Abraham Lincoln take a moment out from slaying vampires, change from a stovepipe to a baseball hat and come back to stand in front of the Wrigley scoreboard?

    Well, never mind...
    I'll give the dude props for swinging a mean hatchet but I don't think he could hit a slider so he's not nearly as important.

  • How bout a piece or poll, Should Shark be moved back to b'pen duties?

  • In reply to lokeey:

    No Shark needs a two week DL trip to get some rest. This guy was a converted reliever. The cubs should have been treating him like the ChiSox is doing with Sales

  • Shark is off his square, but he was really throwing bullets early. I hope the early version is the real Samardziija.

  • It might be time to move Samardzija back to the 'pen.

  • I think Samardzija may have gotten worn down. He looks thinner and tlred in the face on closeups. Maybe the Cubs should shut him down for a couple of weeks before comes up with an injury.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    His hair looks shorter.
    Did he cut his hair and lose his powers??

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    Every converted reliever goes through a stretch like this guys so stop with all the panic. He'll be in the rotation for the rest of the year struggle or not and be a better pitcher for it.

    Let's be thankful he hasn't had the same fate as other converted relievers like Pedro Feliz and Daniel Bard. It could be much worse. Every one has a bad month. even the best of players. Be patient with him. I say skip a start every once in a while but let him take his lumps.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Ah! A measured voice of reason!

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Thanks I needed that. Now if I could get some soothing words on Bjax.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    No panic here. All Cub fans saw what Samardzija could do as a relief pitcher for a full season last year. Now we're seeing what he can do as a starter. He might help the Cubs win more games in his career as a dominant late inning relief pitcher than as as a starter who might not be able to handle a full season's workload.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    It's not panic, Marcel. It's one of those things where you have to sit back and evaluate the situation. When was his last win? How is his command? What is his Walk-to-K ration? He was almost Zambrano like today. He's not throwing strikes and those walks come back and hurt him.

    He gave up nine runs on six hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings, and now has not won since May 29. In his last five starts, he's been charged with 27 earned runs over 23 1/3 innings.

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    In reply to lokeey:

    I understand all that guys but the main thing is its much too early to tell. If he was going to be a 4 or 5 if all pans out then I say put him in the pen but if you can potentially get a 1 or 2 you have to roll with him as long as you can because the potential payout is too great. I say give him an innings limit and a few skips like you would usually do a rookie pitcher or converted reliever and hell be fine. No way does he have more value as a reliever than a starter. Keep him there. This kind of thing happens every year. The best example of a guy in sharks situation was Phil Hughes. He turned out fine as a starter. Give it a year or two. Not like we have anything to lose. And a reliever has no value on a non contending team.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Agreed. Way too early. I hope they give him a lot of rope. I worry though because he looks gassed already and it's not even July. Not sure how he can overcome that this year. Next year, he can not do his bootcamp off season.

  • I think we will all understand if you don't want to do a recap of today's game, no reminder needed

  • In reply to johnnywest333:

    Haha! Maybe we'll skip this one and pretend it never happened. Or we can just continue using this thread to vent!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I gotta say that was no fun to sit through at all, and was easily the worst i have ever seen them lose in person and that my friends is hard to believe

    At least i showed my friends from oakland a good time and thay was somewhat distracting

    I am gonna go crack several beers, play multiple games of the show on ps3 and look forward to the better days that are coming..

    I am gonna go crack a beer and play

  • In reply to Andrew13:

    Bad proofreading, Sorry about that, too much sun and beer

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Bless you. Let's treat it like a slumpbuster and never speak of it again.

  • Off topic, but Mooney of CSN reported that Wells was DFA'd in order to make room for Soler and his major league contract. Not sure if we had heard officially that he was getting the MLB contract and the spot on the 40 man that goes with it. Hasn't been talked about much, but the Cubs have a lot of roster spots tied up in guys who won't see the field this year, which makes Sveum and co's job that much harder....

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I saw that and that was kind of the speculation late yesterday. It does tie up the roster. 3 players: Matt Szczur, Gerardo Concepcion, and Jorge Soler won't see the majors for 2, maybe 3 years. They're pretty much playing with a 37 man roster for a couple of years. But I guess if it means adding impact talent, you have to do it.

  • Shark has great stuff, but it has always been his command. I really thought he had turned the corner this year as a SP the way he started out, just awesome with good control. I hope the fans ignore the local fish wraps and continue to support him since I believe he just might be putting too much pressure on himself. He said in the post game interview that it was his mental approach that was hurting him. Let's hope he stops beating himself up.

  • In reply to shalin:

    I always like to see the Cubs win and individual players do well. Hope fully the new FO is smarter than I am, but my prediction for Samardzija's next start is less than 5 IP and more hits AND ERs allowed than IPs.

  • I'll give a game recap....

    Game recap June 27th. Mets 465 Cubs 1.

    Anybody who had concerns over all the dead grass in the outfield from the Roger Waters concert need not worry. Jeff Samardzija, Casey Coleman, and the rest of the boys fertilized the entire field today. While a sweep of the Metropolitan 9 is probably asking a bit too much from this crew, today's game was incredibly hard to take. To the lowlights.....

    OFFENSE.

    No. Not really. Kinda took a day off before the day off. Anthony Rizzo did have a sweet double that the media will spend three hours talking about how the fans will blow this hit of perspective.

    PITCHING

    The wheels not only fell off the Jeff Samardzija bandwagon, they picked up glass in it's treads turned around and rolled up Shark's anus then spontaneously combusted. My grandmother's EKG had more movement than Shark's fastball today and she's been dead for three years. On the serious note, when you sign up for Jeff Samardzija as your starter, you have to allow for ruts like this. How Shark gets out of this funk, how he bounces back and how he finishes up ( He is, after all, a first year starter who can't possibly be asked to throw more than 150 innings.) is key to what kind of starter he's going to be. Which leads to what kind of prospects you trade for, what kind of free agents you target. etc. Now's not the time to just throw him back to the bullpen. Frankly this is exactly what Theo and Jed want to see this year. Word is he views video tape like a mad man and his velocity is still there. A skipped start might be needed. But the guess here is that #29 turns it around.

    Casey Coleman came in and did everything but cartwheel and lose all his clothes. I root for him but he's not a pro pitcher right now. Ascencio, Dolis, and Corpas mopped up and were pretty much the same guy.

    Overall, you take 2 out of 3 against a winning team. But this wasn't the game you wanted to leave in your mind with a day off coming up. This calls for scotch. Lots and lots of scotch. The Yankees just lost 2 starting pitchers, so the rumor mill should heat up. Until then, it's all Glenlivet time.

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    In reply to felzz:

    OMG! ROTFLMFAO!

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    In reply to felzz:

    Classic Felzz!!!!!!!! Love it!!!!

  • In reply to felzz:

    That's good stuff! Hilarious!

  • In reply to felzz:

    Felzz you can do the recaps anytime, that was perfect!

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    Nice summary. LMAO with snot pouring out my nose as I was drinking a scotch just before I read your notes from the game. Well done sir......

  • It is funny I was kind of miffed when my scout source wasn't so high on Shark and said he liked him better in the pen. Hate to admit that doesn't look lad bad analysis right now, hope it is for the long run.

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