Many fans of the Chicago Cubs believe that the team needs to go out and find a veteran free agent to be the on field general, and to be their leader. Theo Epstein though disagrees with the fans in this aspect. He sees that in Anthony Rizzo.
Epstein -Any discussion of team starts with Anthony Rizzo. He stepped up as a leader and community contributor .
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) October 10, 2014
Epstein sees Rizzo as being that on field leader the Cubs need. Having played for the Cubs the past three years, and getting ready to enter his fourth, Rizzo has earned his veteran status. He earned his stripes on the diamond by both performance and attitude. He really stepped up big time this year. Rizzo has the capability to lead a team by example more so than anyone the Cubs could possibly bring in for the same role. Tenure, ability and attitude, Rizzo has them all. Remember when some fans were begging the Cubs to sign either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols to fill their first base role? Well, as things turn out, the Cubs just might have known what they were doing when they opted to take the “cheap” way by trading for Rizzo instead of trading for one of the proven veterans.
Outperforming two of the games best first baseman, in only his third full year of Major League baseball. Was that just a one year thing, or a trend of what is to come? Both Pujols and Fielder (while very talented) are both getting older and are on the decline, while Rizzo’s career is still escalating. Then there is the whole cost control issue that surrounds the trio of first baseman.
— TOOTBLAN Tracker (@TOOTBLANTime) October 8, 2014
Looks like the Cubs won that battle as well.
While Rizzo might not have the overall career that either Pujols or Fielder have had, there is a very good likelihood that from today til the end of their respective contracts, Rizzo might not only be the better value, but the better player putting up far better stats.
I do not think there is a need to go out and find that grizzled old veteran to add to the Cubs roster to add leadership when they already have one on their team. In my opinion, a leader on a team must be an every day player. Someone that goes out there day in and day out leading by example. Rizzo does just that. I do not want to sign a veteran to fill that void when all he would be doing is blocking the path of a young player already on the team like Chris Coghlan, or about the break through like Kris Bryant.
A leader (again, in my opinion) is someone that should actually have some tenure on the team which will already bring some accountability and respect from inside the clubhouse. That is hard to do with a new player off the street who most of the team likey does not know. Rizzo fits that as well.
All in all, Rizzo is the man who should be the on field leader of the team. If there were still team captains, Rizzo (along with Starlin Castro) would fit that bill. But if you are looking for an on field leader, someone for the team to rally behind, look no further than your Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo.