Anthony Rizzo's got jokes.
Thursday, Rizzo poked fun at the Houston Astros cheating scandal. The Cubs first baseman posted on his Instagram story "I think it's safe to say I won't lead the league in hit by pitches this year..." accompanied by a gif of three trash cans.
The Astros used a camera during their 2017 championship season to steal opposing teams' signs. Houston would relay those signs to their dugout, and someone would bang a trash can to signal to Astros hitters the exact pitch coming their way.
The scandal has players fuming league-wide, with more damning information advancing the story seemingly by the day. Now, there's an overwhelming feeling opponents will retaliate by intentionally plunking Astros hitters this season.
RELATED: Jon Lester crushes Rob Manfred for devaluing World Series trophy 'quite significantly'
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is warning all 30 teams consequences will come from any intentional beanballs. This could turn problematic fast, as umpires may overreact to any hit-by-pitch. Pitchers have the right to throw inside, and sometimes, a pitch just runs in too tight.
Rizzo is all too familiar with this, hence the bigger punchline to his post. The 30-year-old has been hit 145 times in his nine-year MLB career — second among all active players (Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo holds a slight 'advantage' at 150, albeit with six more seasons on his résumé).
Rizzo notoriously stands on top of the plate, hence why he's plunked so frequently. If an Astro is hit more than him in 2020, one will rightfully make the connection to Houston's scandal.
In the meantime, we're here for Rizzo trolling, and he won't be the last player to do so at the Astros' expense.
Somehow things are still getting worse for Rob Manfred?
After admitting that the Astros' cheating apology was "not successful" while describing the World Series trophy as a "piece of metal," Manfred spoke again at Cactus League media day, if only because he happens to be in the middle his sport's largest scandal in decades.
He quickly apologized for the comments, and admitted it was just about the sloppiest way he could have phrased a larger rhetorical point. The comments made a lot of players very angry, and it doesn't sound like Manfred's apology did much to move the needle:
This has been the longest week of Rob Manfred's life and it's Wednesday morning.
Add three-time World Series champion Jon Lester to the growing list of players who are pissed.
On Tuesday, Lester was asked about MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's comments regarding the reasoning behind MLB's lack of player punishment. Manfred recently spoke to ESPN about why he ultimately decided to not strip the organization of their 2017 title, saying that "The idea of an asterisk or asking for a piece of metal back seems like a futile act."
Now, that didn't sit particularly well with players who won that piece of metal, mainly because, yeah, it's a stupid quote. Why not just call the Hall of Fame a house while you're at it, Rob?
Anyways, Lester obviously took offense to the idea that the Commissioner's (lmaoo) Trophy was simply a piece of metal:
That's somebody that's never played our game. You play for a reason. You play for that piece of metal. I'm very proud of the three that I have. I mean, if that's the way he feels, he needs to take his name of the trophy, you know? That's the first thing, when people walk into my house, if they've ever been to my house, I take them to where the trophies are. There they are. I'm proud of them. A lot of years, a lot of hard work. Then, just to bring it down like that, I mean, I'm sure it hurt a lot of guys when they saw that – especially guys that haven't won it that are striving for years to get it. I'm sure if Adam Dunn heard that – he played one playoff game – he'd probably be pretty upset. It's a very, very, special thing that he brought down quite significantly.
Put aside the enormous flex that is Lester bringing all his house guests to the trophy case first – hell yeah, Jon – and you can tell that literally not a single player considers the trophy "a piece of metal." Manfred will have a chance to backtrack on the like, half-dozen, dumb comments he's made when he talks with reporters in Arizona this afternoon.
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