Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is departing spring training for his home in Parkland, Florida, to offer support in the wake of a deadly shooting at his former high school.
Rizzo was traveling Thursday, the team said. He had been an early arrival in Arizona, where Chicago's position players are set to report Monday ahead of the club's first full-squad workout. He is expected back by then. [[474091433, C]]
Rizzo, a 2007 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where the shooting took place Wednesday, donated $150,000 to his alma mater in November to help toward lights for the baseball and softball fields. His parents still live in the area.
Rizzo tweeted his support, saying, "Parkland and Coral Springs please stay strong!" and "This is out of control ... and our country is in desperate need for change." [[474100663, C]]
He added, "I hope In this darkest of times back home this brings everyone together and we can find love. You're all in my prayers" Rizzo ended the post with two emoji of hands together in prayer.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon later weighed in on the shooting, saying that he doesn't understand why some people want to own assault weapons.
"There's gotta be something to be done about that. There has to be," he said. "It just doesn't make any sense that an automatic rifle has to be in anybody's hands. I would need to sit down with the appropriate people and be educated properly as opposed to just what I may read or hear.
"I don't understand why those kinds of weapons are necessary in our culture in the hands of just about anybody," he added.