Results tagged ‘ Anthony Rizzo ’
Anthony Rizzo and Team Italy open up the second round of the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday in Miami against the powerful Dominican Republic team.
“This game is so funny that anyone who’s played it for a long time knows that it doesn’t matter who’s out there,” Rizzo said. “Anyone can beat anyone on any given day. It just depends on that day. Hopefully, the luck keeps turning our way.”
The underdog Italian team advanced from its pool to the second round. Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on MLB Network and ESPN Deportes. Play begins at noon CT at Marlins Park in Miami.
– Carrie Muskat
Anthony Rizzo did stop by HoHoKam Stadium on Sunday to say hello and goodbye to his Cubs teammates, pick up some bats, and take a few swings. Rizzo and Team Italy have advanced in the World Baseball Classic, and next play Tuesday in Miami. It’ll be a homecoming for Rizzo, who grew up in Parkland, Fla. Dale Sveum has supported Rizzo.
“I told him, ‘You’re going to be part of something that’ll be playoff type atmosphere when you’re playing in games’ and I think it’s an experience you can’t pass up,” Sveum said. “Any experience like that will always be beneficial in the season, in the playoffs, when you’ve gone through some intensity that you don’t go through in regular season games.”
Rizzo said he’s still not fluent in Italian. He’s enjoying the cap exchange between players of each team, and so far has collected one from Joey Votto and Ryan Braun.
– Carrie Muskat
Anthony Rizzo thought he’d be back in the Cubs lineup on Sunday, prepping to face the Padres in a Cactus League game. Team Italy entered the World Baseball Classic as a underdog, especially in a pool that included Team USA, Mexico and Canada.
Evidently, no one told the Italians.
Now, Rizzo plans on stopping by HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa on Sunday to pick up some more bats, take a few swings in the cage with hitting coach James Rowson, and then say, “arrivederchi.” Italy and Rizzo are moving on to the next round in the World Baseball Classic, which will be held in Miami, near his hometown.
“I imagined being in Cubs camp tomorrow,” Rizzo said prior to Saturday’s game against Team USA at Chase Field. “[Italy's manager Marco Mazzieri] has been so inspirational, telling us that no matter what, we’re going to win.”
No matter what the result is on Saturday against the U.S. squad, Italy has advanced, beating Mexico, 6-5, then romping 14-4 over Canada. The Canadians win over Mexico on Saturday assured Italy that it is moving on.
The game may be the same, but there is an intensity in the World Baseball Classic that Rizzo said he hasn’t experienced before.
“This is different,” he said. “My dad spoke to one of our cousins — we have a lot of family in Italy — and he said they’re going crazy over there. I can only imagine what it’s like just to see the excitement with the guys here. In the hotel, we were watching the Mexico-Canada game [Saturday], and every out, they’re clapping because we needed Canada to win so we could clinch.
“This is an experience that a lot of guys who have never been here will never experience again — it’s something I may never experience again. I don’t know what the postseason is like, but every out means something. It’s fun.”
The players dress together at their hotel, then bus with a police escort to the stadium. Rizzo said it reminded him of his youth league days.
“It’s like we’re all little kids,” he said, smiling.
In the win over Mexico, Rizzo delivered a two-run, go-ahead double in the ninth. He picked up an RBI in the win over Canada on a groundout.
“When I was in Cubs camp, my focus was being there,” Rizzo said. “Now my focus is being here. I grounded out the other day [against Canada] and I was happy because I scored a run. It’s just things like that where it’s tournament play and so much different than the regular season.”
He hasn’t forgotten his Cubs teammates.
“I check every day, and talk to Dale [Sveum] every day,” he said of the Cubs manager. “They’re fully supportive. I’m going to be playing more here than I would be in Spring Training. It’s just nice to be competing.”
It’s been even nicer to be playing at Chase Field with larger crowds — the games were moved because of inclement weather. Now, he’s headed home for a few days. Team Italy flies to Miami Sunday night, practices Monday, then starts the next round Tuesday.
“That’ll be cool,” Rizzo said about going home, where he will definitely have a larger family contingent backing him. “To be honest, I got over here, played the first couple [exhibition] games, and thought, ‘We have good hitters, decent lineup, guys who do their job,’ and Mexico was the game of my life that I’ve ever played. It was so much fun and energetic. It was crazy.”
Rizzo hit his double off Giants closer and World Series champion Sergio Romo, while Italy’s closer, Jason Grilli, made it interesting as Mexico loaded the bases in the ninth. Grilli induced an game-ending double play.
“The second baseman [Alessandro Vaglio] doesn’t speak much English, and he said, ‘Hey, I think I have heart attack,’” Rizzo said.
Team Italy was the most popular at Chase Field in terms of merchandise sales. Every shop at the ballpark was sold out of t-shirts and jerseys before Saturday’s game even started.
Italians aren’t the only ones to benefit from the unexpected win. More than a few Cubs players pledged $500 each if Italy won at least one game. Sveum joked with his first baseman that it was only $50 but the team has the morning meeting and friendly wager on video. The money will go to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.
“I made sure to text everyone with dollar signs to get their checkbooks ready,” Rizzo said.
Now, all he needs are a few more bats and he’s headed to Miami.
“We’ll see what happens — who knows?” Rizzo said of Italy’s chances. “Everyone counted us out and we’ve been coming up with hit after hit.”
– Carrie Muskat
Viva Italia! Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Italy improved to 2-0 in the World Baseball Classic with a 14-4 win Friday over Canada at Chase Field. Rizzo went 0-for-3, but drove in a run in the first inning on a ground out. Italy scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth, and the game was called because of mercy rule. Next up will be a meeting Saturday night against Team USA. The game is scheduled for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Apparently, at least five of the Cubs players told Rizzo that if Italy won one game, they’d donate $500 to his charity.
If Italy advances, Rizzo may miss another week with the Cubs.
“If we lose him, he’s still playing anyways,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “It’s the same as if he’d be playing here.”
Italy was the underdog in its pool, beating Mexico on Thursday and now Canada. Rizzo delivered a go-ahead two-run double in Thursday’s 6-5 win.
“You don’t get to have that feeling he got yesterday, the whole team, to be that big of an underdog and to win a game like that,” Sveum said. “He said his second baseman said, ‘Man, I’m going to have a heart attack out here.’”
– Carrie Muskat
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run, go-ahead double with one out in the ninth off Sergio Romo to lift Team Italy to a 6-5 come from behind victory over Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Rizzo also singled in the first inning off former Cubs pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. Italy faces Canada on Friday at Chase Field; the game was moved because of the forecast for rain.
– Carrie Muskat
Anthony Rizzo went 0-for-2, striking out twice, as Team Italy lost, 12-6, to the Angels in an exhibition game in Tempe on Wednesday. Next up for the Italian team is its first game in the World Baseball Classic on Thursday against Mexico, and it will follow that with a game against Canada on Friday. Italy will face Team USA on Saturday night. All of the games will be played at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale.
The Italy team is the underdog in its pool but its manager Marco Mazzieri recalls a win over Team USA in the 2007 Baseball World Cup.
“This is one of the first things I told my guys when I took over in 2007: One single game, you never know what can happen,” he said. “Maybe they kind of underestimate us and they don’t go out as ready as they should. If we pitch good and minimize mistakes, we can maximize results.”
– Carrie Muskat
Team Italy lost 4-3 to the Athletics in an exhibition game in Phoenix on Tuesday but Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo made a dent in the scoreboard. Rizzo led off the fourth with a home run off the scoreboard at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. He connected off right-hander Henry Rodriguez. Rizzo seems to be enjoying the experience.
“It was kind of cool hearing the Italian anthem and the national anthem,” he said. “Once you get between the lines, it’s just baseball and I’m playing the A’s and I’m familiar with them.”
Team Italy will play another exhibition on Wednesday, then open the World Baseball Classic on Thursday against Mexico, followed by a game Friday against Canada and then Saturday night against the U.S. team.
“They played hard,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of the Italian team. “Until you see a team a couple of times, it’s really tough to tell what they’re like. You know Rizzo is going to do some damage. There were four guys in the lineup we knew something about, the others not so much. It looks like a nice team.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Topps Company the Cubs have partnered to create an exclusive, 82-card Topps Archives set, featuring current and former Cubs players on classic Topps card designs. The player and design pairings are unique to the set, and they will be delivered to Cubs Season Ticket Holders as part of their season ticket package. The set designated for Season Ticket Holders will include a logo to differentiate the collection from cards made available to fans over the course of four Cubs home games at Wrigley Field this season.
Cubs fans have the chance to secure the entire 82-card set by attending all four Topps promotional games at Wrigley Field. The cards will be given away in four installments on the following dates:
* May 3 vs. Reds: Cards 1-20, featuring Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Shawon Dunston, Andre Dawson and Anthony Rizzo, among others.
* July 5 vs. Pirates: Cards 21-40, featuring Dave Kingman, Ryne Sandberg, Kerry Wood, Greg Maddux, Jeff Samardzija and Alfonso Soriano, among others.
* Aug. 2 vs. Dodgers: Cards 41-60, featuring Billy Williams, Starlin Castro, Dennis Eckersley, Anthony Rizzo, Mark Grace, Glenn Beckert and Darwin Barney, among others.
* Aug. 30 vs. Phillies: Cards 61-82, featuring Lee Smith, Milt Pappas, Keith Moreland, Fergie Jenkins and Rick Sutcliffe, plus a “Future Stars” card with Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Javier Baez.
Tickets for these for promotional dates are available for purchase now in a custom Cubs Six-Game Pack titled the “Topps Baseball Card Pack,” available at http://www.cubs.com/packs. The first 10,000 fans at each game receive a pack of the cards outlined above. Collectors are encouraged to arrive early to ensure they receive the cards. These cards are only available during the designated promotional dates at Wrigley Field and the sets will not be sold through retail. For a complete checklist of the cards included in the set, visit http://www.cubs.com/Topps.
The Cubs have agreed to terms with all 21 of their pre-arbitration eligible players on the 40-man roster on Monday, giving second baseman Darwin Barney $562,000 and first baseman Anthony Rizzo $498,000. Pitcher Travis Wood signed for $527,500, reliever Michael Bowden $509,500, and catcher Welington Castillo $503,000.
Other players who agreed to contract terms include right-handed pitches Alberto Cabrera, Rafael Dolis, Trey McNutt, Hector Rondon, Arodys Vizcaino and Robert Whitenack; left-handed pitchers Brooks Raley and Chris Rusin; catcher Steve Clevenger; infielders Junior Lake, Christian Villanueva, Josh Vitters and Logan Watkins; and outfielders Brett Jackson, Dave Sappelt and Matt Szczur.
– Carrie Muskat
Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff home run and Blake Lalli added a RBI double to back Marco Estrada and lead the Brewers to a 4-3 victory Sunday over the Cubs, who were playing a split squad game. Gomez led off the third with his home run off Drew Carpenter, and Lalli, a former Cub, added his double one out later. Javier Baez drove in all three Cubs runs. He hit a two-run home run in the fifth and drew a bases loaded walk with two outs sixth.
Baez fouled a ball off his left foot before he homered. The Cubs’ athletic trainer came to check on him but Baez said he was OK.
“It still hurts,” Baez said of his foot. “I told [the trainer] I was all right. I don’t like coming out of the game.”
So far, spending Spring Training in the big league camp has been pretty nice for Baez, the Cubs’ 2011 first-round Draft pick.
“You learn things that you don’t realize you’ll learn,” said Baez, who is getting a lot of tutoring on his defensive positioning.
He didn’t get the ball from his first home run. Was it a big deal?
“Not really,” Baez said. “I’m just going to keep trying to hit the ball hard.”
In Tempe, Brad Nelson and Brian Bogusevic each hit home runs in the Cubs’ win over the Angels. Bogusevic was 3-for-3 with two doubles and a home run. Nick Struck, the Cubs’ 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, threw three scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.
* On Monday, right-hander Alberto Cabrera will make his first Cactus League start when the Cubs play host to the Indians at HoHoKam Stadium. With Matt Garza not expected to be ready for the first month, and Scott Baker sidelined until mid April, the Cubs need to get a good look at some of the other pitchers for the bullpen spots. Cabrera, who appeared in 25 games in relief last season, could be one. Brad Nelson will start at first base as Anthony Rizzo joins Team Italy for the World Baseball Classic. Jorge Soler will be the designated hitter and Steve Clevenger, who could win a job as a utility player, will start at catcher. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com.
* Rizzo was looking forward to playing for Team Italy in the Classic.
“I’m going to be competing on an international level, which is going to be cool,” Rizzo said. “From what I’ve heard, the Italian team is pretty good. Hopefully we can shock some people and play good baseball.”
The Italian team will practice Monday, then play exhibition games Tuesday and Wednesday before facing Mexico on Thursday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Rizzo talked to Cubs manager Dale Sveum before agreeing to play in the World Baseball Classic.
“Obviously, [Sveum] wants me in camp, and I want to be in camp, we want to build as a team,” Rizzo said. “For the short time I’ll be gone, I don’t think it’ll be much of a distraction at all.”
Sveum wasn’t too worried.
“He’d be playing here — it’s baseball,” Sveum said. “He’d be doing the same thing here that he’ll be doing over there. He’s in good shape and his legs are good and everything is fine. He’d be playing here just as much.”
* Former Cubs pitcher Rick Sutcliffe was back in uniform Sunday at HoHoKam Park, feeling much better after undergoing emergency hernia surgery. Sutcliffe actually stopped by Scottsdale Stadium on Saturday, four days after he had the procedure, to watch the Cubs-Giants game. He had just been released from the hospital. A Cy Young winner in 1984, Sutcliffe will get the stitches removed Wednesday, then go to work in the broadcast booth for the World Baseball Classic.
* Infielder Logan Watkins beat Rizzo in the first sweet 16 match of the Cubs bunting tournament. Three more matches will be played Monday, including video staffer Nate Halm’s showdown against pitcher Travis Wood.
– Carrie Muskat