The Chicago Cubs undoubtedly have a lot of frustration to handle. They are arguably the worst team in baseball with a future that looks as bleak as their recent past. The Cincinnati Reds have had a big part in emphasizing just how bad that past has been. They have beaten the Cubs 58 times since 2010 for a winning percentage of .716 heading into Sunday’s game between the two NL Central teams.
When first baseman Anthony Rizzo decided to shout at Reds closer Aroldis Chapman after Chapman threw two Cuban Missile fastball near-misses near the head of teammate Nate Schierholtz in the ninth inning, Rizzo was understandably upset.
But when Rizzo reacted to chirps from the Reds’ dugout in the field afterwards, he should have been immediately ejected from the game once he threw off his glove and hat and walked to the Reds’ dugout while challenging the Reds’ player to come out and face him.
Again, given the disastrous state of the Cubs, it’s bound to be frustrating to play for such an awful team, but the line has to be drawn at the point Rizzo crossed.
Like the past several years, the Cubs have absolutely nothing meaningful to play for this year. Putting the Reds’ players in a position to react to an overt challenge like Rizzo’s could lead to the kind of injuries that can negatively impact a team’s chance for a playoff run.
Baseball shouldn’t tolerate that kind of action, especially from a team on the outside looking in like the Cubs.
Hopefully, Rizzo will at least be fined for his action since he was allowed to remain in the game. Or maybe even suspended from the All-Star game if he is selected in the vote run-off.
On the flip side, Rizzo probably doesn’t realize just how lucky he was nothing did happen after his taunt because Chapman learned how to box from his father who was a boxing trainer in Cuba.
The ugliness that could’ve ensued for Rizzo on the field from Chapman could have been much worse than what he’s grown accustomed to suffering through since he’s been playing for the Cubs.