Anthony Rizzo hopes Aaron Judge returns ‘for the sake of the game’

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NEW YORK — Now that Anthony Rizzo has decided to stay in the pinstripes of the New York Yankees, he would like Aaron Judge to stay as well.

“I hope Judge stays for the sake of the game,” Rizzo said Wednesday, “because you see a lot of franchise icons not getting what they deserve for the team they worked so hard for.”

Rizzo agreed to a two-year, $40 million contract on Tuesday, a week after turning down a $16 million player option.

“My wife, Emily, and I really love it here. We love the city. We love the energy. We love Yankee Stadium. We love going to Yankee Stadium and playing in that park every day,” said Rizzo. “And when you look at the team, the New York Yankees are a team that, this organization, this franchise, has consistently put winning products on the field.”

Rizzo will receive $17 million in each of the next two seasons, and the first baseman deal includes a $17 million team option for 2025 with a $6 million buyout.

Judge, who remains on the open market, contacted Rizzo after the deal.

“Just congratulations – the basics: ‘Well deserved. Happy for you. Say hello to Emily,'” Rizzo recalled.

He hit .224 with 75 RBI and had 32 home runs for the fourth time in his career. He hit 19 home runs at Yankee Stadium, including six close to the right field foul line.

Rizzo said his back hasn’t bothered him during off-season workouts.

Acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the 2021 trade deadline, Rizzo helped the Cubs win the 2016 World Series title – their first in 108 years.

“Just playing baseball is not enough in a big market. There are many more things involved and I enjoy doing those things,” he said. “I like taking the responsibility of doing those things, getting up to talk to the media, good, bad, or indifferent. And I think that really teaches you a lot about this baseball game and it teaches you valuable lessons in your own life. Everyone loves you when you are good, your coaches, the media, your friends, everyone, you are the best thing on earth. But when things go bad, you really discover who you are .’

He would not say which other teams have contacted him. although he had no face-to-face meetings.

“When teams reach out to you in this process, it just makes you feel good,” Rizzo said. “I feel like in this game you’re told what you’re not doing very well, so when teams call, they’re praising you in free agency.”

He looks ahead to restrictions on defensive shifts next season.

“I hope, of course optimistically, like any left-hander, that I’m very affected by the shifts, like many left-handers in the league,” he said. “Those maybe meaningless little singles that get into the hole there, I feel like a lot of us left-handers turn into a very dangerous batter.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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