We all know what’s at stake over the next eight weeks: the very future of this Chicago Cubs team, including several key veteran players. Those players themselves are all too aware of this fact, so it makes sense that emotions are running high, especially when you’re playing catchup in a lopsided game.
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That was the case between Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras on Friday night, when cameras at Oracle Park caught the two exchanging words in a heated back-and-forth in the dugout. After the game, manager David Ross brushed it off, chalking it up to both guys’ competitive nature.
Here’s what Rizzo said about it.
"“It’s just competition and what’s at stake and everything,” Rizzo said. “The beauty of this team is we know each other and have played with each other for so long that we can have those brotherly love conversations.”"
Rizzo is one of several free agents-to-be on this team and, at least right now, this feels like it could very well prove to be his swan song on the North Side. Contract extension talks didn’t go well this spring and he shut down the prospect of any in-season talks.
After rocketing up the standings and working their way back into the postseason picture in May and in a three-game set against the Padres at home this week, the team has now dropped two straight to the Giants, who enter action Saturday one game up on San Diego in the NL West.
Chicago Cubs: Disagreements are often a sign of healthy communication
Now, it’s obviously not ideal to have this type of scenario caught by a camera. No one in the organization will dispute that fact. But it means two things: A) these guys are passionate, invested and want to win. B) they trust each other enough to go head-to-head, then be mature enough about it to put it in the past and move forward.
"“It ends there. We just move on,” Rizzo said. “With our relationships here, it’s just so easy to talk to each other like we’re brothers.”"
It’s a long season in Major League Baseball. And each one carries its fair share of ups and downs. The Chicago Cubs aren’t immune to that. So while it was a bad look at first glance, these guys know how to be professionals and put a tough loss behind them. That’s exactly what they’ll look to do on Saturday night in the Bay.