Cubs keeping Rizzo in holding pattern

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Cubs keeping Rizzo in holding pattern

SAN FRANCISCO Perhaps its just the backup quarterback syndrome, but Anthony Rizzo may never again be as popular as he is now.

Of course, Rizzos Q rating would soar if hes everything Cubs executives think he can be a foundation piece for a team thats playing annually in October.

But the 22-year-old first baseman is a blank canvas for Cubs fans and the Chicago media. Its hard to ignore the firestorm his sore right wrist created on Twitter.

Jason McLeod, the head of scouting and player development, described Rizzo as being in the finishing stages at Triple-A Iowa. His arrival is still weeks away, perhaps later this month.

That will mean uprooting Bryan LaHair, who entered Friday leading all National League first basemen in homers (10), and ranking second behind Joey Votto in OPS (.979).

And Alfonso Soriano, who has seven homers in his last 14 games, is anchored in left field, with almost 50 million left on his contract.

The day Rizzo comes here, hes going to play every day, manager Dale Sveum said. So whatever we do, who really knows? We keep beating (that) dead horse every day.

But theres nothing you can do about moving people around until Rizzo gets here. We dont know when thats going to happen. We all know how well hes doing.

The Cubs named Rizzo their minor league player of the month after he hit .326 (31-for-95) with 10 home runs and 23 RBI in 26 games in May.

LaHair has said that he would welcome another big left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup, and insisted that it wouldnt take long to get used to playing in the outfield again.

Those are bridges we have to cross, obviously, when it happens, Sveum said. I think you have to get some preparation out there before you just go out to left field. (But) Sorianos been one of our best hitters, so theres not a whole lot we can do if Rizzo comes here.

Sooner or later, the Cubs are going to have to make room for Rizzo, and see if he can live up to the hype.

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

In a season where the triple-double has become commonplace to the point of stat chasing in the effort to chase history, Dwyane Wade didn't mind snatching his own piece of turf.

In a game where teammate Jimmy Butler reached the feat for the first time this season, it would've been doubly satisfactory for Wade to achieve the fifth triple-double of his career.

One rebound away in the final seconds of the Bulls' 117-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the memo didn't reach Cristiano Felicio, who reached over Wade to grab a rebound, causing it to harmlessly fall out of bounds and ending Wade's chance at history.

After Wade finished with 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in 34 minutes, he was asked if he "hated" Felicio for interrupting his moment.

"No hate. Just a strong dislike, though," said Wade with a wry smile. "You know how long it's been since I had a triple double? It's been a long time."

It's been six years, as his last triple-double came in the 2010-11 season with the Miami Heat, achieving the feat with a 22-point, 12-rebound and 10-assist performance against the then-Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 4, 2011.

Even more than the statistical feat was Wade's variety, as he grabbed seven rebounds in the decisive third-quarter run that broke the game open, hitting Butler and Bobby Portis for long touchdown passes that would've had Jay Cutler or whichever quarterback the Cleveland Browns are banking on next fall, blushing.

Perhaps even more impressive was the fact it was on the second night of a back-to-back with the Bulls winning in overtime against the Phoenix Suns—a game where Wade turned it up late then threw it down over Alex Len in overtime.

"I think we just found our groove," Wade said. "We've had some injuries that have gone on but we're playing good basketball."

More pointedly, so is Wade, aided by him often finding Felicio for easy dunks on the pick and roll as they play second and fourth quarters together. 

Felicio was clearly bothered by his gaffe, which was made worse by the take-no-prisoners approach from Wade and Butler. When a member of foreign media approached him about an interview, Felicio said "you're not asking me about that last rebound, are you?"

Later in the evening, Felicio went to Twitter, posting "I did not know!!" in reference to Wade's night.

"I told him I didn't not even gonna act like I ain't mad at him. I'm very mad at him," said Wade with a laugh. "But he's all good. He said he didn't see me down there. So he took a shot at my height. It's cool. Jimmy had one. It would've been nice to have two triple doubles."

"I'm sure a stat would've came out that would've said, ‘Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler are the first duo to get a triple-double on a back-to-back since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen', since they got every record around here."

He was close, although Jordan and Pippen didn't achieve their feat on a back-to-back but a random night in the 1988-89 season. Jordan scored 41 with 11 assists and 10 rebounds and Pippen had 15 with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 126-121 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

"We laugh about that often, but it's all good," Wade said. "I gotta work harder till I get another one one day."

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