Cubs

Watch: Anthony Rizzo's first game as Cubs' leadoff man started with a homer and kept getting better

Watch: Anthony Rizzo's first game as Cubs' leadoff man started with a homer and kept getting better

Joe Maddon might be on to something with this whole Anthony Rizzo leading off thing.

In his first game at the top of the order, Rizzo debuted in spectacular fashion against the New York Mets. He led off the game with a solo home run, drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the second inning and plated another run with a double in the third.

So in three plate appearances in three innings, he was 2-for-2 with two extra-base hits, three RBIs and a walk.

Not bad.

Here's the homer:

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It wasn't Rizzo's first-ever moment at the top of the order. He entered 0-for-1 in his career batting first. But it was — and remains, for the time being — the batting order position with his fewest plate appearances.

Where has Rizzo batted most often? He's got 2,329 plate appearances in the No. 3 spot, far and away his most seen spot in the lineup. Next up is fourth, with 699 plate appearances, and second, with 225 plate appearances.

Maybe this will become a permanent thing? Who knows with the always quick-to-shake-things-up Maddon.

But you can't argue with the initial success.

2020 MLB season: All-Star game canceled, Dodgers awarded 2022 game

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USA TODAY

2020 MLB season: All-Star game canceled, Dodgers awarded 2022 game

Major League Baseball announced Friday they've canceled the 2020 All Star Game, which was scheduled for July 14 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The Braves are scheduled to host the 2021 Midsummer Classic, so MLB awarded the Dodgers the 2022 game.

"Based on the health circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic that are beyond MLB’s control along with governmental directives prohibiting large gatherings, the league determined it is unable to conduct the All-Star Game and its week of surrounding fan activities this year," MLB said in a statement.

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“Once it became clear we were unable to hold this year’s All-Star festivities, we wanted to award the Dodgers with the next available All-Star Game, which is 2022,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.  “I want to thank the Dodgers organization and the City of Los Angeles for being collaborative partners in the early stages of All-Star preparation and for being patient and understanding in navigating the uncertainty created by the pandemic.  

"The 2022 All-Star celebration promises to be a memorable one with events throughout the city and at picturesque Dodger Stadium.”

California has seen a 92 percent increase in COVID-19 cases this week compared to two weeks ago.

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Cubs Talk Podcast: Is there change coming to baseball's diversity problem?

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Is there change coming to baseball's diversity problem?

While trying to get the season going, the MLB and baseball as a whole are starting to address another problem: the lack of diversity. NBCS Cubs reporter Maddie Lee is joined by former Cub and professor Doug Glanville, Laurence Holmes and Eugene McIntosh of "The Bigs" to discuss ways MLB and baseball need to address the issues and how they can benefit from it.

(2:00) - Ian Desmond's comments really struck a chord in baseball

(12:06) - Youth baseball for young Black athletes

(26:09) - Glanville remembers being the only Black athlete on teams in MLB

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(30:14) - Current Black players in majors are still dealing with racism

(32:26) - Ways Theo Epstein is trying to help find solutions to the lack of diversity in baseball

Listen here or below.

Cubs Talk Podcast

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