Cubs

Anthony Rizzo's got jokes: 'I'm statistically the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time'

Anthony Rizzo's got jokes: 'I'm statistically the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time'

Anthony Rizzo has kind of nailed this whole leadoff thing.

The Cubs' slugging first baseman has thrived in his first two games as the team's unorthodox leadoff man, smacking leadoff homers in each of the last two games to go along with other offensive highlights.

As he yelled in the dugout after hitting Leadoff Homer No. 2 on Wednesday night, "Anthony loves batting leadoff!"

And, in the face of indisputable evidence, Rizzo has already crowned himself the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time.

"I'm statistically the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time," Rizzo said after Wednesday's game. "I'd like to retire there and just talk smack to everyone that tries to do it."

[CUBS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Forget Rickey Henderson. Forget Tim Raines. Forget Craig Biggio and Lou Brock and Ichiro Suzuki. Rizzo's your guy, Hall of Fame.

Of course Rizzo is joking around, but Joe Maddon's unconventional move has paid off for the Cubs. Rizzo was excellent in Tuesday night's 14-3 blowout win. Wednesday he kickstarted another game with a leadoff homer before the Cubs blew a 4-1 lead en route to a 9-4 defeat.

The team's performance as a whole will most likely determine where Rizzo spends most of his time in the batting order this season, but the leadoff thing sure is going well for now.

Cubs Talk Podcast: David Ross set to be named manager; Bryant service time dispute

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AP

Cubs Talk Podcast: David Ross set to be named manager; Bryant service time dispute

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki react to the news of David Ross becoming the new manager of the Cubs and the upcoming hearing with Kris Bryant regarding his delayed callup back in 2015.

01:30 - Was it always David Ross' job?

04:00 - Ross having to do a mock press conference as part of his interview process

10:00 - Theo and Jed's interview process

13:00 - How will Ross hold his former teammates accountable

17:00 - How active will the team be in free agency this offseason

21:00 - Kris Bryant's grievance over his service time

28:00 - Chances Kris Bryant (or a core player) gets traded this offseason

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

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David Ross' mock speech and press conference helped him land Cubs' manager job

David Ross' mock speech and press conference helped him land Cubs' manager job

After much speculation, former Cubs catcher David Ross is set to become the team's next manager, replacing Joe Maddon.

While we'll know more soon about what went into the Cubs' decision to hire Ross, minor details are coming out regarding the interview process. According to two reports, the team was impressed with Ross' delivery of a mock speech and how he handled a mock press conference.

This isn't the first time the Cubs have asked managerial candidates to partake in such activities. After interviewing for the Cubs' vacancy In November 2011, former manager Dale Sveum partook in an actual press conference featuring questions from the media. He wasn't hired at that point, but the presser was part of the Cubs' interview process. 

No, Ross wasn't named the Cubs' next manager solely on the mock speech and press conference. His clubhouse leadership and familiarity with the organization are two big factors. But the speech points to Ross' strength in the latter category; his ability to represent the organization positively through media relations — one of Maddon's strengths — is important, too.

Whether these strengths lead to wins is to be determined, but Ross clearly impresed the Cubs for a multitude of reasons.

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