Cubs' Anthony Rizzo calls for shorter MLB regular season

Anthony Rizzo, who came off the disabled list to start Tuesday night, is lobbying for a reduction in the length of the season.

Rizzo batted third and played first base Tuesday as the Chicago Cubs hosted the St. Louis Cardinals. He was expected to be activated Monday, though the day's postponed game delayed the move.

Rizzo was placed on the DL last week with back discomfort, a malady he blamed on subpar sleeping conditions at the team hotel in Cincinnati. He vowed to sleep on the floor for future road trips to Cincinnati.

Before the game Tuesday, Rizzo said in his weekly appearance on ESPN 1000 radio in Chicago, "I think we play too much baseball. Yes, guys are going to take pay cuts. But are we playing this game for the money or do we love this game? I know it's both, but in the long run, it will make everything better. ...

"In a perfect world, we'd start the season later and play a few scheduled doubleheaders going into an off day. As a fan you're going to a baseball game in April, and it's raining, snowing and (with) freezing rain. Is it really that much fun? That's my question."

He added, "I think playing in the cold sucks. I was thinking about this the other day. When you think of Cubs and Cardinals, you think of a beautiful Saturday at Wrigley Field. You don't think about playing in 20 degrees."

Infielder Efren Navarro was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room for Rizzo on the 25-man roster after Chicago manager Joe Maddon determined Sunday that Rizzo was ready. Maddon said he observed Rizzo's gym workout to make sure he was primed to play every day.

"He looks fine," Maddon said. "I try to trust the guys. I do trust the guys. I ask them questions. When the guys are honest with you, it makes the decision-making so much easier. Mind reading is really difficult."

Rizzo, 28, was batting .107 (3-for-28) with one home run and three RBIs through six games this season before Tuesday.

--Field Level Media