Joe Maddon in no hurry for Anthony Rizzo to become clubhouse ‘leader’


Anthony Rizzo will be a “Grandpa” someday.

But Cubs manager Joe Maddon doesn’t anticipate that day will happen anytime soon.

With undisputed clubhouse leader and Rizzo confidant David “Grandpa” Ross retired, having traded his catcher’s gear for dancing shoes, the Cubs are left with something of a veteran leadership void in the clubhouse.

As usual, Maddon’s not worried. He acknowledged Ross’ value but said Rizzo will “just keep being Rizzo.” He said Rizzo’s “time will come to be that person within the clubhouse.”

But leadership happens organically, so Maddon isn’t about to push the issue.

“He’s still the same,” Maddon said. “David’s absence is what it is. We have a lot of other guys. A lot of the leadership last year wasn’t just David.

“I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on Rizz. … I don’t think it’s necessary he feels that kind of weight right now.”

The All-Star first baseman will turn 28 on Aug. 8 and is entering his sixth season with the Cubs.

Last year he batted .292 with 32 home runs, 109 RBIs and had an OPS of .928, his best season across the board in his six years.

pskrbina@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @ChiTribSkrbina



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