(CBS) In the aftermath of his game-winning bloop RBI single in the eighth inning against the Nationals in Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Monday, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo screamed “respect me!” The roar came after Rizzo had thought Nationals manager Dusty Baker might signal to intentionally walk him with first base open, two outs and the game on the line.
One man who gives Rizzo plenty of respect is general manager Jed Hoyer, even though he doesn’t think Rizzo gets the credit he deserves nationally.
“A part of that is there are so many good first baseman in the National League,” Hoyer said on the Mully and Hanley Show on Tuesday morning. “Even just making the All-Star team is hard in the National League when you got (Joey) Votto, you have (Paul) Goldschmidt, you have (Freddie) Freeman, you have Rizzo. There’s just a ton of competition for those spots every year. I think that’s part of it. We’ve also got a number of other guys that get a lot of attention, when you have (Kris) Bryant winning an MVP and Jake (Arrieta) winning a Cy Young. It’s good. I think we have some competition for the spotlight, and I think that’s valuable.
“There’s no question that when it comes to taking huge at-bats and being a leader for us, anyone who watches us day in and day out knows how valuable Anthony is to our team.”
Hoyer enjoyed seeing Rizzo’s reaction after his game-winning hit in Game 3.
“An honest moment right there,” Hoyer said. “I thought Dusty answered it well after the game, ‘Hey, if I got a huge hit, I’d be screaming too.’ Which I think is exactly the right answer. I think whenever you’re on the side that’s yelling and screaming, you’re happy. Watching Bryce Harper and (Ryan) Zimmerman celebrate on Saturday was not a lot of fun. I do think the emotions of the playoffs are great. You can’t get bent out of shape when the other team is excited. You have to realize this is what it should be. I don’t like the stoicism of baseball where you’re not supposed to show emotion, where you’re supposed to act like you’ve been there before. You’re playing a kid’s game, and you should be excited. It’s nice to see Anthony get that fired up.”