Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo found himself at the center of attention Tuesday for something that had nothing to do with him coming off the 10-day disabled list after recovering from a back injury.
During his weekly appearance on ESPN 1000, Rizzo pitched the idea of a shorter baseball season, even if it meant that players had to take pay cuts.
“I think we play too much baseball,” Rizzo told host David Kaplan. “Yes, guys are going to take pay cuts. But are we playing this game for the money or do we love this game? I know it’s both, but in the long run, it will make everything better.”
Rizzo argued for a transition period in which guaranteed contracts would be honored because players losing money for a shortened season would make the issue “a little more dicey.”
But when he was asked about his comments before the Cubs played the Cardinals at Wrigley Field, Rizzo said he didn’t think a shorter season was necessary and brushed it off as his “humble opinion.”
“I have an opinion,” Rizzo said, “and [Kaplan is] one of my good friends on the radio. So talking to him … I’ve been talking to him for three or four years on there now. It’s just me talking as a normal person.
“Obviously, it gets a little more blown up now, but that’s just my humble opinion. I mean, do I think that we need to do that? No. It’s just my opinion. And like I said also in the interview, I also play first base. So I know my lane, too.”
Rizzo seemed to want to end the conversation quickly. It wasn’t known whether he had heard from the players’ union about his pay-cut comments or whether he was just tired of talking about it.
“I just said my opinion on the air,” Rizzo said. “And I don’t really want to get into it just because I don’t know. I don’t quite know it. It’s not something I stand behind. It’s just my opinion.”