The Chicago Cubs have not named a team captain since Sammy Sosa. But Anthony Rizzo has earned the distinction – for so many reasons.
It’s not hard to imagine Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo with a ‘C’ emblazoned on his chest. He led the team during the tenuous rebuild, helped deliver a World Series championship and played a critical role in the Cubs’ three consecutive postseason appearances.
On the diamond, Rizzo – like Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt – is perennially underrated. He tied career-highs in both home runs (32) and runs batted in (109) this season and is coming off a Platinum Glove Award in 2016. The 2016 adage of ‘You Go, We Go’ applied to former Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler fits Rizzo like a glove.
But the front office brass and manager Joe Maddon don’t seem in an hurry to bring back the title for this squad. Known for their chemistry, the Chicago Cubs gel in ways many big league clubs don’t. The genius behind it all, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, admits now that having the right guys in a clubhouse makes a bigger difference than he once thought.
Despite the team’s misgivings about bringing back the ‘captain’ designation, Rizzo has done everything possible to earn it. He is the heart and soul of the Cubs – and it’s time the organization acknowledges this in a big way.