Cardinals center fielder Dexter Fowler always will be a part of Cubs history. The leadoff man played an integral role in the Cubs winning their first World Series title in 108 years.
“Those are memories that you’ll never lose,” Fowler said.
But that’s in the past, and -Friday closed that chapter of Fowler’s career.
Fowler was presented his World Series ring by Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward before -being joined by former teammates and president Theo Epstein for a photo. Fowler also was given a video tribute and got a standing ovation when he stepped up for his first at-bat. Then he homered off right-hander John Lackey.
“It was awesome, and I finally got my ring,” Fowler said. “I haven’t got a chance to look at it, but they treated me first-class. That was awesome.”
In two years with the Cubs, Fowler was an important part of the lineup and the clubhouse.
“Getting a ring is like closing a chapter of my life,” Fowler said.
Fowler also reminded the Cubs of what they lost when he -homered.
“The home run [stunk]. But you know what, we won. So it was good,” Rizzo quipped. “The ring ceremony was cool, to see his smile. The fans here have become accustomed to that smile for a few years. He’s always smiling. It was good to see him get that ring.”
Heyward at the top?
A year ago, the idea of -Heyward leading off would have been laughed at. Now it seems like a -viable solution, though manager Joe Maddon didn’t put Heyward in the leadoff spot Friday.
“I think Jason’s really settled in nicely,” Maddon said. “I did not want to mess with that.”
Heyward went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI and is hitting .259.
Lackey allowed two runs through the first two innings but then settled in, throwing five scoreless innings without allowing a hit. He said the key to his day was throwing fewer strikes as the game wore on.
How did that help?
“Sometimes you can throw too many strikes. There can be too many things that are hittable,” Lackey said. “[I] have a pretty long career and reputation as a strike-thrower, so I get a lot of early swings, and sometimes throwing something out of the zone’s not always a bad thing.”
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