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:

[CUBS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

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.

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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