The day after a heated dugout moment with teammate John Lackey that was caught on camera, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo told a flock of reporters Wednesday that it was “almost kind of like [Carlos] Zambrano and Derrek Lee.”
Then he smiled and paused for the laughs.
Rizzo, who left the ballpark unusually quickly after Tuesday’s game to keep an appointment, found it “funny” to be talking the next day about a dugout incident that was barely a sparkler compared to the M-80 Zambrano set off when he went after teammate Lee in the dugout in 2010 and had to be separated by manager Lou Piniella.
Manager Joe Maddon also called it “funny.”
Welcome to Cubs-Sox week, where anything a camera can see is also witnessed by the city’s legions of baseball fans on both sides of town — no matter how funny-strange or funny “ha-ha.”
So what was this non-topic that brought Lackey’s game-day intensity to Rizzo’s face after the White Sox’ two-run second inning?
“It’s none of your business,” Lackey said.
At least it seemed to end almost as quickly as it began.
“Wasn’t a big deal at all,” Lackey said. “Like I said, it’s none of your business.”
What seems clear is it had something to do with Tim Anderson taking off from first and drawing the shortstop to cover second as the pitch was hit through the vacated hole for a single instead of an inning-ending double play. Probably.
“Like I said, none of your business,” Lackey said.
Rizzo, who called Lackey “one of my best friends on the team,” said he was just telling his pal not to worry about the inning and the Cubs would score more runs.
“I think it’s just all uneducated speculation about our team, to be honest,” said Rizzo, who then declined an invitation to educate. “I don’t need to educate you guys on in-house matters.”
Nothing to see here, said Maddon — who added that he, indeed, did not see anything.
“And if there is a little bit of that that ever occurs, there’s nothing wrong with it,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with guys calling b.s. on somebody else in a moment. But that’s not what happened [Tuesday].”
No b.s. here. Just Cubs-Sox week.
Kris Bryant, who was ejected for the first time in his career Tuesday after arguing a bad third-strike call, said much of the reaction he got was from people “excited or proud that I stuck up for myself.”
But the third-year player kept a larger picture in mind, saying he planned to talk to umpire Lance Barksdale, who shifted to a third-base assignment Wednesday.
“I hope I didn’t really show him up too much,” Bryant said. “I don’t want to be that guy. I’m completely respectful of their job and what they have to do.”
With the expiration of his minor-league rehab assignment, left-hander Brett Anderson was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and then designated for assignment.
Anderson, signed over the -winter to an incentive-laden contract, was ineffective in six starts (8.18 ERA), then put on the DL a week into May because of a back strain.
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