Rizzo has nothing to apologize for at ASG

July, 14, 2014
Jul 14
6:40
PM CT
Goessling By Ben Goessling
ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Through an odd turn of events, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo -- who has never run afoul of the Minnesota Twins, has played only three games at Target Field and hasn’t had a hit there -- could get booed in his first All-Star Game.

“I thought about that,” he said. “Minnesota fans are nice, though.”

He’ll find out Tuesday night if they’ll live up to that reputation.

Rizzo became a temporary heel in Minnesota last week, when he narrowly beat out Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau for the final spot on the National League All-Star team. He won the final vote ballot despite an enthusiastic effort from the Twins and their fans to get Morneau -- who made four All-Star teams and won the 2006 AL MVP with the Twins -- back to Minneapolis for the All-Star Game.

Morneau participated in Monday’s Home Run Derby, which gave the 33-year-old his moment with the fans who supported him for 11 seasons.

But Rizzo’s power numbers compare favorably to Morneau’s, and the 24-year-old Cub wasn’t about to apologize for the All-Star selection after an eventful 3 1/2-year stretch that saw him go from Boston Red Sox prospect to San Diego Padres rookie to Cubs slugger.

“I was very impressed -- very nervous and impressed. [Morneau] had a lot of great years here,” Rizzo said. “I got 8.8 million votes, so that’s getting your name out there a little more in the national spotlight. It was nerve-racking, but I also hit a few home runs [last week] to keep it going.”

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jason Hammel
WINS ERA SO IP
8 2.98 104 108
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Rizzo .284
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 56
RA. Rizzo 71
OPSA. Rizzo .917
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOJ. Hammel 104