Nice try, Ian. Nice try.
Over the last six years, the Chicago Cubs have had plenty of veterans, high-priced players, and MVP/Cy Young candidates, but the one guy who checked every one of those boxes (and then some) was Jon Lester. He may not have been the “captain” of the team, but he was the top status holder. And with that status came the best locker in the Sloan Park (spring training) clubhouse, with extra space and a position away from the most foot traffic.
But Jon Lester signed a one-year deal with the Nationals this offseason, which means the locker was up for grabs. And for a brief moment, Ian Happ thought the honor of that locker was his (670 The Score):
I got a picture from Nico (Hoerner) when he first got to Arizona that had my nameplate next to the locker …. So I was like, ‘Wow, that is a high compliment that they gave me that locker. I’m super excited about this.’
But sadly for Ian Happ, that didn’t last long.
On the Bernstein and Rahimi Show, Happ explained how his short-lived honor was quickly usurped by Anthony Rizzo, who’s approaching top-tier status with the Cubs, himself:
“Well, he has all of the rank on me,” Happ said on the Bernstein & Rahimi Show on Thursday morning. “He’s the longest-tenured Cub. He’s the captain.”
“He wanted Jon’s old locker basically as anything that Lester did is absolutely awesome. Like it’s a sign of, I don’t know, like maturity or veteran status to be able to have what he had. So Riz called up the clubhouse guys and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to need that locker.’ And so the next thing I know, Nico was sending me a picture and I was no longer there.”
That’s some good sh*t right there.
And, hey, as far as I’m concerned, Rizzo has earned it. Happ may have been the Cubs best position player in 2020, but Rizzo has the longevity. Maybe one day, that locker will be Happ’s, but not today.
2021 will be Anthony Rizzo's TENTH season with the #Cubs. During that time, he's been a model of consistency on the field and a role model off it.
Put simply: He *MUST* be extended, and he needs to finish his career as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
Nothing less is acceptable.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) February 8, 2021