Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is promoting a new product called BODYARMOR Sports Drink. In conjunction with this ad campaign I had the chance to speak to Anthony by phone before Tuesday’s game. Here’s a transcript of our talk.
BCB: The Cubs have gotten off to a bit of a rough start. How are you and your teammates handling this?
AR: We feel great, we really do. We know it’s part of the grind of the year. There’s a lot of baseball yet to be played. We still feel good about winning our division.
BCB: The recent homestand had a lot of ceremonies, then a couple of times you played a day game after a night game. How do you personally prepare for all that?
AR: It’s just something you do. I make sure to stay hydrated, and then you just show up and play baseball. It’s what we’re trained to do, so it’s all about being smart with your body.
BCB: You mentioned hydration, and you’re involved in a new campaign for BODYARMOR Sports Drink. Tell me what that’s all about.
AR: I’m excited about this campaign. This was fun to do and it’s a product that definitely helps me in preparing to play.
Here’s the commercial, which includes, in addition to Anthony, athletes from many sports, including James Harden, Mike Trout, Richard Sherman, Skylar Diggins, Andrew Luck, Dustin Johnson, Dez Bryant, and Kristaps Porzingis.
BCB: Looking back on your World Series win last year, you’re now the longest-tenured player on this Cubs team. While you were going through the tough times of losing 100 games, did you ever think you’d get to this point, being champions, this quickly?
AR: We saw the big picture. You never want to lose a game, much less losing 100 in a season, that’s not fun, but you do the best you can. I knew they were putting together the talent and by 2014 and 2015 I knew we had the ability to win.
BCB: Last week I talked to Kris Bryant and asked him a bit about his friendship with you. I’d like to hear from your viewpoint about your friendship with him and what that means to you both as a player and also outside the ballpark.
AR: Our friendship has grown to something outside of baseball, it means a lot to me. He’s MVP, one of the best in the game, but the way he handles himself through the daily routine, the daily grind is fun to watch. It’s fun to see him having developed a consistent routine through the two years he’s been here.
BCB: You frequently get hit by pitches, in an effort to get on base. Do you ever get tired of being hit? Does it hurt?
AR: There’s nothing I can really do about it. It’s not fun, but getting on base is the name of the game, and I do whatever I can to be a baserunner and get things going.
BCB: You used Matt Szczur’s bat during the World Series and have been using it also early this year. Is that something you’re going to continue to do?
AR: I think it’s all about feel. Maybe I’ll use it off certain pitchers, just see how things are going during the season to see how I feel about it.
BCB: What are some of your favorite things to do in Chicago when you’re not playing baseball?
AR: Mainly, relax. I like to check out a lot of the different food, but my favorite thing is to get out on the lake, I enjoy spending time out on the water, boating on the lake.
BCB: Joe Maddon likes to have some fun with you guys on road trips. Anything planned for the upcoming trip?
AR: I don’t believe there’s anything on this trip but I’m sure Joe will have something for us as the season gets going.
BCB: You and your teammate Jon Lester are well known as cancer survivors. You’ve done quite a bit of charitable work in this area. What do you have planned for this year?
AR: We’re staying the course. I do a lot of hospital visits, I’ll have the Cook Off For Cancer coming up May 18. Really it’s about giving back to a lot of families who need the help and support when they’re going through tough times.
BCB: I’d like your thoughts on the moving of the bullpens and the other changes at Wrigley Field.
AR: I think it’s great. People made a big deal about having two mounds in right and left field, but I don’t think it’s that important. For the players it’s a bit of an adjustment, but other than that it’s not a big deal.
BCB: What’s your favorite road city to play in?
AR: New York. I love to spend a few days there and enjoy everything New York City has to offer.
Thanks to Anthony for his time and to Maggie Quinn of Access Emanate for her assistance in setting up the interview.