Since the beginning of the MLB season, fans of the Chicago Cubs and fantasy owners have been anxiously awaiting the press release that Rizzo was headed to Wrigley Field. There had been false starts over the course of the season where minor injuries prompted Rizzo to leave games. Each of those departures prompted wild speculation about an imminent call up.
With a list of failed prospects more than a mile long in the past several decades (think Orie, Patterson and Mark Prior, among others), Cubs fans have fallen hard for “The Next Big Thing” on many occasions. Time and again, they were left wanting.
Yet the script has been written again. And, once again, fans are swooning. They couldn’t line up to get their customized jerseys fast enough.
On Tuesday, Rizzo finally made an appearance in front of the home crowd. He received a standing ovation and thrilled the home crowd with a 2-for-4 performance while batting in the third spot in the lineup and drove in the game-winning run.
His arrival doesn’t change the immediate future. He’ll put a few additional butts in seats this summer when the summer air takes flyballs over the right field wall. He symbolizes a new era, the beginning of the Theo Epstein era. But, he can’t do it alone. This team needs additional run generators beyond Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair.
But, as crosstown analyst Ed Farmer of the White Sox is quick to remind you, “The long road back begins with that first step.”
Rizzo’s big bat is a pretty good start.