Rizzo: It's 'awesome' to be the face of the Cubs

Rizzo: It's 'awesome' to be the face of the Cubs
March 29, 2014, 12:45 pm
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Tony Andracki

At 24, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro are young to be considered the face of their franchise.

But the pair of Cubs stars are paving the organization's path despite down seasons in 2013.

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When asked if he pays any attention to the face-of-the-franchise talk, Rizzo let down his guard and answered CSN's David Kaplan honestly:

"I think it's awesome," Rizzo said. "For people to say that about me is an honor. It's somewhat humbling as well, because of all the great players that have played here, all the great first basemen that have played here.

"It's something that comes with hard work. You gotta work hard, go out, have fun, be a good person on the field, off the field, all around."

After less than a year in the big leagues, the Cubs paid Rizzo like a franchise cornerstone with a seven-year, $41 million contract that will keep the young slugger in Chicago through the 2019 season.

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Rizzo admitted the deal gives him peace of mind and has helped him relax and provide security.

"Now it's about going out and playing," he said. "If I play up to my potential and what I'm capable of doing and how I expect to play, I think we'll rip this contract up down the road and sign the really big bucks.

"For me now, it's just about winning. The money part is all set. It's all about going out, having fun and putting this team on the right track."

Rizzo's Cubs are far from World Series favorites and most experts project the team to come in around the 95-loss mark. But that doesn't matter to the former top prospect.

"I don't know why they would pick us, to be honest," Rizzo told Kaplan. "We haven't earned their respect, but that's what we need to do."