Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

The Riz Kid

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Cubs manager Dale Sveum liked everything he saw from rookie Anthony Rizzo, from his mannerisms fielding first base to his plate approach.
``He didn't act like a kid,'' he said, Rizzo debuting with a 2-for-4 game and RBI in the Cubs' 5-3 victory over the New York Mets Tuesday, a win that gave them another series. ``Pretty impressive. You can't teach `no panic.' ''
What Sveum didn't like was what he saw from starter Randy Wells, who lasted only into the fourth, giving up all three runs on six hits with four walks--including one to starting pitcher Dillon Gee (5-6).
``Walking the pitcher--those things aren't too acceptable,'' Sveum said.
Wells starting role while Ryan Dempster is disabled is in jeopardy. ``We have a few days to talk about it, and maybe with the off day [Thursday] we can get by,'' Sveum said. ``We'll see what we come up with.'
There is no doubting Rizzo's future, Sveum assuring he is here for the duration.
``It was awesome, a lot of fun today,'' Rizzo said of the hype-filled day. ``The guys in here welcomed me with open arms.
``I was taking deep breaths before the first at bat, but in the box I felt really good. I kept my same routine all day--hitting, fielding, and just playing a baseball game. That's how I play the game--really relaxed.
``Everyone always says it looks like I'm not really trying--that's the way I like it.''
Rizzo's first cheers from the Wrigley Field crowd of 34,064 came for his glove in the first, the left hander fielding David Wright's ground ball and flipping to Wells covering for the third out.
His first at bat lining a ball off a diving shortstop Ruben Tejada drew boos first because it as called an error. Moments later, there were cheers when the scoring was changed to a hit.
In the fourth, he hustled out a double to center that scored Steve Clevenger.
``It scored a run,'' he smiled. ``Just playing baseball.
``Once the game starts, you're like a little kid just plaing baseball.''
Rizzo admitted when he arrived at the park, ``I thought about the movie ``Rookie of the Year'' '' that was shot in Wrigley Field.
``It's been building up since day one and he did great, and he'll continue to do great,'' said pitcher Scott Maine, who will remember the game for another reason---getting his first major league win.
``This is my third year of getting called up and down,'' he said. ``My first win--the guys showered me with Mountain Dew--they know I don't drink so they were respectful of that. It was nice.''
The game also gave Carlos Marmol his 100th career save.
The all-around good feeling on a night the Cubs had 12 hits made Rizzo's arrival a positive.
``Hopefully he continues to help the team win and he'll be here a long time,'' Alfonso Soriano said.

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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on June 26, 2012 10:50 PM.

``He's Ten Times More Excited'' was the previous entry in this blog.

History says Cubs' Rizzo has time for Rookie run is the next entry in this blog.

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