Mic'd up Rizzo calls fastball, and Joc homers

March 26th, 2021

called it. crushed it.

In the first inning of Friday's 5-5 tie with the Giants, Rizzo watched Pederson's at-bat against righty Nick Tropeano from the on-deck circle. Wearing a mic and an earpiece for the Marquee Sports Network broadcast, the Cubs' first baseman predicted a pitch.

"I'm calling fastball here," Rizzo told broadcasters Boog Sciambi and Jim Deshaies. "Am I just all in or what?"

Pederson indeed got a fastball, and the Cubs' outfielder pulled the pitch deep to right field for his sixth home run of the Cactus League season. As the baseball soared over the Sloan Park fence in Arizona, Rizzo did some bragging for the broadcasters back in Chicago.

"That's a homer, fellas. That's 2-0," Rizzo said. "Because I told him. I told Joc what was coming. You heard that, right?"

Back in the dugout later in the inning, Rizzo let Pederson know about his prediction.

"Oh, Joc, I told you that pitch was coming," Rizzo said on the bench. "That's what happens when you know what pitches are coming, you know what I'm saying?"

In the fifth, Pederson added a second homer (his seventh of the spring), but no word if Rizzo called that one, too. The first baseman was no longer the third man "in the booth" at that point.

Rizzo stayed mic'd up for the first few innings and was predictably entertaining. He joked that his dog, Kevin, is letting his internet celebrity go to his head. The first baseman talked about how his glove is not quite ready for Opening Day. It needs another few minutes in the oven -- really.

And during one fun exchange at first base, Rizzo told former Cub Tommy La Stella that he was wearing the mic. The first baseman asked La Stella if he had a message for Cubs fans.

"Hey, Cubs fans," said La Stella, leaning into the mic on Rizzo's jersey. "Sorry I stunk when I was with you."

La Stella hardly stunk. He hit .273 in parts of four seasons, played for the 2016 World Series team and will go down as one of the great pinch-hitting specialists in franchise history.

During his own first-inning at-bat, Rizzo did not predict the pitches nearly as well as he did for Pederson, striking out. Rizzo swung and missed at the first pitch and quipped: "That's what happens when you guess."