By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — Sorry Chicagoland, the chance of dating the most eligible bachelor in the city is gone.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo took himself off the market with his engagement to Emily Vakos on Thursday evening on the Cubs’ off day.
“This has to be the best,” Rizzo said about life and his future bride as he entered the clubhouse Friday. “It’s something in life that you want to be able to find someone to spend the rest of your life with. I am lucky enough to have that now.”
Rizzo pulled out all stops to make the occasion a special one for his wife-to-be.
“We were on a boat on Lake Michigan,” Rizzo said. “We had some fireworks go off. It was great. She was totally surprised. That is the way I wanted it. I was somehow able to keep this under wraps. Everyone has been really nice wishing us well. It has been a great 10, 12 hours.”
Rizzo’s big Thursday was followed Friday by the return of friend and former teammate Dexter Fowler, in town with the Cardinals to open a three-game series. Fowler jokingly asked Rizzo is the fireworks Thursday evening were for his return to Chicago, and he also kidded Rizzo about how nice it was that he was practicing handing out a ring. Fowler was scheduled to receive his 2016 championship ring from Rizzo and the Cubs ahead of Friday’s game.
A date hasn’t yet been set for the nuptials.
In his whirlwind 18 or so hours, Rizzo turned his attention back to baseball Friday. Off to an underwhelming 25-27 start and riding a six-game losing streak, the Cubs have a lot to prove.
“It is always nice to be home,” Rizzo said. “We have a chance to do some damage in our division this weekend. Hopefully, we will play some good baseball. I think the off day was great for all of us. We just have to get back to that contagious winning feeling again. We need to keep grinding. That is all we can do.”
The Cubs’ 0-6 road trip West followed a 7-2 homestand. They now begin a 10-game homestand against the Cardinals, Marlins and Rockies.
“It is always weird when you lose,” Rizzo said. “We are so accustomed to winning. That is just the way the game is. Things are not always going to be perfect. It is all about how you respond.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.