Even if it just was for a day… today was a great day to be a Chicago Cubs fan.
Young first baseman Anthony Rizzo became an All-Star, renovation plans for the historic Wrigley Field were finally approved by the city of Chicago, and uber-prospect Arismendy Alcantara became the first of (hopefully) many young guns to make an impact for the big club–as he went three for four on the day. Some fans may even consider today the best day the “Lovable Losers” have seen since the day that they traded for Theo Epstein–and he’s not even taking the field for the Cubbies!
All of these are great reasons to enjoy a day in which the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds, perhaps the best part of the day was watching the young stars of the Cubs step up and become blossoming leaders.
On the day that he could have just been thrilled with becoming a first time All-Star–thanks to his city’s devotion to baseball (and some help from Detroit Tigers fans in the form of a “We’ll vote for Rizzo if you vote for our boy, Rick Porcello)–Rizzo became much more than just an All Star. Cubs management has to be jumping up and down with joy at the thought of Rizzo growing up before their eyes–both on the field and off.
After watching Cincinnati’s flamethrower, Aroldis Chapman, throw consecutive 100+ MPH pitches by the head of teammate Nate Schierholtz, Rizzo was fuming. He began to bark, both at the pitcher and his dugout. He even took his argument with him to the field after the Cubs’ half inning ended, continuing voice his disapproval of the whole event, which ultimately led to both benches clearing. Benches clearing in baseball is a weekly event, so that was not what made this so noteworthy; however, seeing the only two players most casual baseball fans can name off of the roster–Rizzo and SS Starlin Castro–lead the charge was an exciting moment for Cubs fans.
The Cubs young pieces made their point.
Yes, this team is among the least talented in the NL Central, the NL as a whole, and perhaps all of baseball–but they aren’t about to lay down or throw pity parties for themselves. Tonight the Cubs weren’t okay with being stomped upon and placed in front of the fire–they were the fire.
Today marks the day that the “Young Guns” made their true impact on their organization–one that I am sure their peers took note of.