After the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, there was plenty of talk about the team forever shedding its “lovable losers” moniker, but does that mean that the team will become hated thanks to its newfound success?
At least one Cubs player doesn’t think so.
That player is first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who is coming off a Gold Glove-winning season with the Cubs. He has been one of the team’s leaders over the last few years, and even though his team now has the proverbial target on their backs as the best team in the game, he still doesn’t think public sentiment is going to turn against the Cubs very quickly.
“I had an older man in the gym tell me he’s a big Red Sox/Patriots fan,” Rizzo recounted during a press availability Thursday. “He goes: ‘Yeah, congrats, you guys won one, but you haven’t done anything until the whole country hates you.’ In a way, it’s true.
“I think this team has a lot of good personalities where it’s going to be tough, but it’s the way it goes. You got to go out and play. And if we just respect the game, we’ll just make it hard for people to not like us.”
With players like Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez in the mix, the Cubs certainly seem to have a good group of guys around, but the first baseman’s comments do raise an interesting question: will the Cubs become like the Red Sox, the Patriots, and the New York Yankees and become a hated franchise?
Naturally, the question becomes moot if the Cubs don’t have sustained success after their 2016 title, but whatever the future may bring, Rizzo seems like he’ll accept any outcome..
“It is what it is,” he said.