Column: Theo Epstein says the Cubs have no ‘untouchables.’ But Anthony Rizzo’s bromance with David Ross makes him the closest thing.

Chicago Tribune Sports 1 month ago
Anthony Rizzo runs the bases after hitting a homer during the first inning against the Giants at Wrigley Field on Aug. 20, 2019. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo celebrates his home run against the Cardinals in the third inning on Sept. 19, 2019. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo reacts after injuring his right ankle on a fielding error in the third inning against the Pirates on Sept. 15, 2019 at Wrigley Field. (John J. Kim / TNS)
Anthony Rizzo rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam in the third inning against the Padres at Wrigley Field on July 19, 2019. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo reacts after striking out to end the 8th inning against the Braves at Wrigley Field on June 25, 2019. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo greets a fan before the game at Wrigley Field on June 23, 2019. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against the Reds at Wrigley Field on May 24, 2019. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo holds his 3-year-old nephew Vincent while his wife Emily Vakos holds her 1-year-old niece Aria during the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation's Cook-Off for Cancer on May 23, 2019. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo gets tagged out by Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto during the fifth inning at Wrigley Field on May 20, 2019. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo dunks Jason Heyward as he celebrates a walk-off home run in the eleventh inning at Wrigley Field on May 8, 2019. The Cubs defeated the Marlins, 3-2. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo douses Cubs shortstop Javier Baez with Gatorade after a 6-5 win over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field on May 4, 2019. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo smiles at the start of the ninth inning against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field on May 4, 2019. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo carries his 2018 Gold Glove award back to the dugout before the start of a game against the Pirates on April 10, 2019, at Wrigley Field. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo pulls his helmet off after striking out in the first inning against the Pirates at Wrigley Field. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
A bundled up Anthony Rizzo waits to run onto the field for a game against the Pirates on April 10, 2019, at Wrigley Field. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo greets teammates before the team's home opener on April 8, 2019, at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo reacts after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning against the Diamondbacks on April 19, 2019, at Wrigley Field. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo rounds the bases after lashing a triple in the fourth inning against the Diamondbacks on April 19, 2019, at Wrigley Field. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo takes a pitch in the first inning against the Diamondbacks on April 19, 2019, at Wrigley Field. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo warms up his jacket with air from a heater in the fifth inning against the Pirates on April 11, 2019, at Wrigley Field. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hugs Tommy Hottovy after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Angels on April 12, 2019, at Wrigley Field. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo bats in the second inning of a Cactus League game against the Athletics at Sloan Park on Feb. 28, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo sits in the dugout before a Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks at Sloan Park on Feb. 26, 2019. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo bats during spring training at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz., on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo stretches at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz., on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo catches a pop-up by Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart on Sept. 16, 2018, at Wrigley Field. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hits an RBI double against the Mets at Wrigley Field on Aug. 27, 2018. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
The Cubs' Anthony Rizzo holds his batting helmet while running out a single against the Brewers at Miller Park on Sept. 5, 2018. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo celebrates his RBI double in the third inning against the Cardinals on Sept. 30, 2018, at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo takes a curtain call after his home run in the fifth inning against the Brewers on Oct. 1, 2018, at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, center, reacts after teammate Kyle Schwarber hit a home run in the sixth inning against the Brewers at Miller Park on Sept. 5, 2018. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and girlfriend Emily Vakos take in a boxing match at Cubs manager Joe Maddon's annual charity boxing event on May 25, 2018, in Chicago. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo walks off after grounding into a double play to end the sixth inning Oct. 2, 2018 in the National League wild-card game at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo stands on the infield after the Cubs failed to score in the sixth inning against the Pirates at Wrigley Field on Sept. 25, 2018. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo gets hit by a cooler full of water by Javier Baez after Rizzo hit a walk-off home run July 26, 2018, at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo laughs after the first inning Sept. 30, 2018, at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo bats Aug. 15, 2018, at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo before the National League wild-card game Oct. 2, 2018 at Wrigley Field. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Former teammates Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, left, and Jake Arrieta of the Phillies during batting practice before their game at Wrigley Field on June 5, 2018. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo gets tagged by Nationals shortstop Trea Turner during the third inning at Wrigley Field on Aug. 11, 2018. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo smiles in the dugout after his 1,000th hit during the third inning against the Nationals at Wrigley Field on Aug. 11, 2018. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo motions to the umpires after a review was ruled in his favor, during the seventh inning against the Mets at Wrigley Field on Aug. 27, 2018. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo retrieves a ball thrown to him from the dugout after catching Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton off base to end the top of the fifth inning at Wrigley Field on Aug. 23, 2018. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo scratches his head with two outs in the ninth inning against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field on Sept. 30, 2018. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo reacts after hitting a triple in the first inning at Wrigley Field on July 21, 2018. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs players Ben Zobrist, from left, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber cheer on their wives and girlfriends during the Brewers-Cubs Wives Softball Challenge at Helfaer Field at Miller Park on June 12, 2018, in Milwaukee. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hits a homer during the fifth inning of the National League Central tiebreaker game against the Brewers at Wrigley Field on Oct. 1, 2018, in Chicago. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo reacts after striking out against the Reds on June 21, 2018, in Cincinnati. (John Minchillo / AP)
Cubs first baseman Anthony and a fan attempt to catch a foul ball hit by Francisco Cervelli of the Pirates on Sept. 26, 2018, at Wrigley Field. (David Banks / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo laughs after walking in the 8th inning against the Pirates at PNC Park on May 29, 2018. (Justin K. Aller / Getty Images)
Pirates catcher Elias Diaz throws to first after getting the force out at home plate as Anthony Rizzo slides in hard during the 8th inning of a game on May 28, 2018. Diaz's errant throw to first allowed two runs to score. (Gene J. Puskar / AP)
Anthony Rizzo connects for an RBI double In the first inning against the Giants at Wrigley Field on May 25, 2018. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo and fiancé Emily Vakos take in a boxing match at Joe Maddon's annual charity boxing event called Respect 90 Main Event at the Wintrust Building on May 25, 2018. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo walks the dugout during a game against the Indians at Wrigley Field on May 23, 2018. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo accepts high-fives in the dugout after scoring on a 3-run triple by Jason Heyward against the Reds on May 19, 2018. (Gary Landers / AP)
Anthony Rizzo confronts Reds pitcher Amir Garrett during their game on May 19, 2018, at Great American Ball Park. Benches cleared after Javier Baez struck out to end the inning and got into a shouting match with Garrett. (Jamie Sabau / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo jokes around with Atlanta Braves mascot Blooper before a game on May 17, 2018. (John Bazemore / AP)
Anthony Rizzo waves to the dugout during the second inning of a game at Wrigley Field on May 11, 2018. (Jeff Haynes / AP)
Anthony Rizzo yells while running to third base after hitting a homer during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field Tuesday May 1, 2018 in Chicago. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo has a laugh while hosting the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation's sixth annual Cook-Off for Cancer fundraiser at at Morgan Manufacturing in Chicago on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo is congratulated on a three-run home run against the Chicago White Sox in the first inning at Wrigley Field Saturday, May 12, 2018, in Chicago. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo singles in the first inning against the Cardinals on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant check out the new dugout in the snow on Monday, April 9, 2018. The home opener was postponed until the following day. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo bats in the first inning on opening day against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on March 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Mark Brown / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo hits a three-run double in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on March 31, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Mark Brown / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo throws before the start of a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park in Miami on Friday, March 30, 2018. (David Santiago / TNS)
Anthony Rizzo takes infield practice prior to a spring training game against the Dodgers on March 6, 2018 in Mesa, Ariz. (Norm Hall / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo singles against the A's during the first inning of the spring training game at Sloan Park on Feb. 28, 2018. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo walks on to the field for a spring game against the Rangers in Mesa, Ariz., on Feb. 24, 2018. (Rodger Mallison / TNS)
Anthony Rizzo, a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, wears a ball cap from the school along with his teammates at Cubs spring training on Feb. 23, 2018. (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo works out with weights at Sloan Park before a spring game against the Brewers on Feb. 23, 2018. (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune)
Kris Bryant rests against Anthony Rizzo after practice during spring training at Sloan Park on Feb. 20, 2018, in Mesa, Ariz. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo get a ride to the stadium from the practice fields on Feb. 24, 2018. (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo, a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, came home from spring training to help his community following the mass shooting at the high school. (Jim Rassol / Sun Sentinel)
Anthony Rizzo, a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, came home from spring training to help his community following the mass shooting at the high school. (Jim Rassol / Sun Sentinel)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo talks with players and staff during the first day of pitchers and catchers practice at Sloan Park during Cubs spring training Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Mesa, Ariz. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo fields ground balls during the first day of pitchers and catchers practice at Sloan Park during Cubs spring training Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Mesa, Ariz. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo waves to the fans on the first day of the annual Cubs Convention at the Sheraton Grand Chicago on Friday, January 12, 2018. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs players Kris Bryant (left) and Anthony Rizzo share a moment on the first day of the annual Cubs Convention at the Sheraton Grand Chicago on Friday, January 12, 2018. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and girlfriend Emily Vakos (left) have a laugh during the Anthony Rizzo Foundation's Laugh-Off for Cancer event at Studio Paris in Chicago on Thursday, January 11, 2018. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune) (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo poses after winning the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, right, and Vera Clemente before Game 3 of the World Series on Oct. 27, 2017. (Chris Carlson / AP)
Anthony Rizzo celebrates the final out and win over the Dodgers during Game 4 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field on Oct. 18, 2017. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
A fan holds up a sign after Anthony Rizzo strikes out during the second inning of Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Oct. 18, 2017. (Matt Slocum / AP)
Anthony Rizzo greets former teammate David Ross during batting practice before Game 4 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field on Oct. 18, 2017. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo reacts after being hit by a pitch in the 9th inning against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS on Oct. 15, 2017. (Harry How / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo makes a ball levitate (ok not really) before Game 2 of the NLCS against hte Dodgers on Oct. 15, 2017. (Matt Slocum / AP)
Anthony Rizzo looks up at a foul ball before striking out in the ninth inning during Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Oct. 14, 2017. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo celebrates the Cubs' NLDS win over the Nationals on Oct. 12, 2017. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo embrace after the Cubs won Game 5 of the NLDS against the Nationals on Oct. 12, 2017. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo celebrates after hitting a home run in the 4th inning during Game 2 of the NLDS against the Nationals on Oct. 7, 2017. (Scalzo / EPA)
Anthony Rizzo hits a 2-run home run against the Nationals during Game 2 of the NLDS on Oct. 7, 2017. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo reacts after striking out in the fourth inning during Game 4 of the NLDS against the Nationals at Wrigley Field on Oct. 11, 2017. (Stacy Revere / Getty Images)
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo celebrate after the Cubs beat the Nationals in Game 3 of the NLCS on Oct. 9, 2017. (Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo is introduced before Game 1 of the NLDS against the Nationals on Oct. 6, 2017. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo takes a photo with teammates after the Cubs clinched the NL Central over the Cardinals on Sept. 27, 2017. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo is doused by teammate Kris Bryant after the Cubs beat the Cardinals to clinch the NL Central on Sept. 27, 2017. (Jeff Roberson / AP)
Anthony Rizzo is tagged out at home plate by Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina at Wrigley Field on Sept. 15, 2017. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)
A young fan gets a hand shake from Anthony Rizzo before the Cubs took on the Braves on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, at Wrigley Field. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo smiles in the dugout after reaching 100 RBI's on a three-run triple against the Braves during the fourth inning at Wrigley Field on Sept. 2, 2017. (Jon Durr / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo poses for photos while attending a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 29, 2017, to commemorate The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation's $3.5 million commitment to Lurie Children's Hospital made in May. The foundation created two endowed funds for patients treated for cancer and their families. (Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo runs to first on a single in the fourth inning against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 25, 2017 in Philadelphia. (Drew Hallowell / Getty Images)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo reacts to a replay on the big screen as officials determine whether Javier Baez was tagged out at home during the second inning against the Blue Jays on Friday, August 18, 2017, at Wrigley Field. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo attends the third annual Respect 90 Main Event charity boxing fundraiser hosted by Cubs manager Joe Maddon and his wife Jaye Maddon (not shown) at the Wintrust Bank building on South LaSalle Street on Aug. 17, 2017. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo celebrates after scoring against the the Reds at Wrigley Field on Aug. 17, 2017. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo celebrates in the dugout with Kyle Schwarber after Rizzo's grand slam against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Aug. 16, 2017. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo hits a single against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Aug. 15, 2017. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo watches his home run against the Reds on Aug. 14, 2017, in Chicago. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP)
Anthony Rizzo laughs as he talks with teammates before a game against the Diamondbacks on Aug. 12, 2017, in Phoenix. (Ralph Freso / AP)
Anthony Rizzo looks into the rain as he walks in for the third rain delay during a game against the Diamondbacks on Aug. 3, 2017 at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo watches his home run against the White Sox during the fourth inning on July 27, 2017, at Guaranteed Rate Field. (David Banks / Getty Images)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo scores as White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez awaits a throw to the plate in the sixth inning on July 25, 2017, at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / TNS)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo walks off after being forced out to end the third inning Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo makes a catch for an out during the eighth inning of a game against the Rays on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, at Wrigley Field. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)
The Nationals' Bryce Harper and the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo talk during their game at Nationals Park on June 26, 2017, in Washington. (Rob Carr / Getty Images)
Cubs player Anthony Rizzo rounds the bases after hitting a solo homer in the first inning against the Padres at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo collides with San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges at Wrigley Field on Monday, June 19, 2017. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo drives in a run with a single off Pirates relief pitcher Wade LeBlanc in the fourth inning on April 26, 2017. (Gene J. Puskar / AP)
Anthony Rizzo scores as the ball gets away from Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli on April 24, 2017. (Gene J. Puskar / AP)
Anthony Rizzo makes a catch for an out against the Brewers while leaning against the tarp during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field on April 18, 2017. (Jon Durr / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo holds his Golden and Platinum glove awards before a game against the Brewers on April 18, 2017 at Wrigley Field. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP)
Anthony Rizzo smiles in the dugout after a double play against the Pirates to end the fifth inning at Wrigley Field on April 16, 2017. (Jon Durr / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo holds his silver slugger award presented to him before a game at Wrigley Field on April 14, 2017. (Jeff Haynes / AP)
Anthony Rizzo reacts after hitting a game-winning single against the Dodgers during the home opener on April 11, 2017. (David Banks / AP)
Anthony Rizzo carries the World Series into Wrigley Field before the home opener on April 10, 2017. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo bats during the sixth inning against the Cardinals on April 6, 2017. (Jeff Roberson / AP)
Anthony Rizzo during batting practice at Busch Stadium on April 2, 2017. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo takes photos with fans before the first inning of an exhibition game against the Indians at Cubs spring training Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 in Mesa, Ariz. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
President Barack Obama is presented a jersey from Anthony Rizzo as he welcomes the World Series champion Cubs to the White House in Washington on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (YURI GRIPAS / AFP/Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo, David Ross, and Dexter Fowler sing "Go Cubs Go" with Bill Murray during the Weekend Update segment of "Saturday Night Live " on Nov. 5, 2016. (NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo speaks Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, as the Cubs celebrate their World Series championship with a rally in Grant Park. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo, along with teammates family, staff and friends, ride in a double decker bus past Wrigley Field during the parade honoring the World Series champions on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo carries the Commissioner's Trophy as the Cubs arrive at Wrigley Field on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo after the Cubs won the World Series in the early hours of Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Game 7 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo celebrates with his father John after the Cubs won the World Series in the early hours of Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo and Jon Lester after the Cubs defeated the Indians in the early hours of Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, to win the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo catches the final out as the Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years in the early hours of Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo scores in the 10th inning during Game 7 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland in the early hours of Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo celebrates his fifth-inning RBI double as Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor walks away Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, during Game 7 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo can't catch a bad throw from Javier Baez as Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor reaches on the Baez error in the first inning during Game 7 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo celebrates Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, after the Cubs won Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo approaches Cubs first base coach Brandon Hyde after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning off Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger during Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo hits a two-run home run off Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger in the ninth inning during Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo reacts as Aroldis Chapman covers first base during Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo reacts after Ben Zobrist scores in the first inning on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo runs from first to third on a Ben Zobrist single in the first inning during Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist celebrate after scoring in the first inning after an Addison Russell double during Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo singles in the first inning Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, during Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, before Game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo hits a double in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Five of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field on October 30, 2016. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo reacts after reaching third base in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Five of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field on October 30, 2016. (Elsa / Getty Images)
All eyes are on first baseman Anthony Rizzo watches his long foul ball in the 1st inning Oct. 30, 2016 in Game 5 of the World Series at Wrigley Field. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Cleveland Indians' Carlos Santana slides safely back to first as first baseman Anthony Rizzo tries to put a tag on him after a hit during the sixth inning of Game 4 of the Major League Baseball World Series Oct. 29, 2016, in Chicago. (David J. Phillip / AP)
Cleveland Indians batter Carlos Santana dives safely back into first base as first baseman Anthony Rizzo tries to make the tag after Snatana made the turn at first base after an infield single in the top of the sixth inning of game four of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field 29 October 2016. (Tannen Maury / EPA)
First baseman Anthony Rizzo walks to his position after striking out in the sixth inning during Game 3 of the World Series on Oct. 28, 2016, at Wrigley Field. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / TNS)
Anthony Rizzo swings through on an RBI double in the first inning against the Indians in Game 2 of the World Series at Progressive Field on Oct. 26, 2016. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo celebrates scoring a run on an RBI single hit by Kyle Schwarber during the third inning of Game 2 of the World Series on Oct. 26, 2016. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)
David Ortiz points at Anthony Rizzo after winning the Hank Aaron Award before Game 2 of the World Series on Oct. 26, 2016. (Gene J. Puskar / AP)
Anthony Rizzo reacts after popping out to the Indians' Roberto Perez in Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 25, 2016. (Elsa / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo reacts as he flies out in the eighth inning of Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 25, 2016. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo speaks to reporters before the World Series on Oct. 24, 2016, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
First baseman Anthony Rizzo celebrates by waving a flag after advancing to the World Series with a Game 6 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS at Wrigley Field October 22, 2016. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
First baseman Anthony Rizzo celebrates with teammates after Game 6 of the National League baseball championship series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Oct. 22, 2016, in Chicago. (David J. Phillip / AP)
First baseman Anthony Rizzo jumps for joy as the Ciubs win game 6 of the NLCS, at at Wrigley Field, Oct. 22, 2016. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Third baseman Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo celebrate Oct. 22, 2016 in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Third baseman Kris Bryant and first baseman Anthony Rizzo celebrate as the Chicago Cubs win the National League pennant at Game 6 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Oct. 22, 2016. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Catcher David Ross photo bombs first baseman Anthony Rizzo with his mother and girlfriend after the Cubs beat the Dodgers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, and advancing to the World Series at Wrigley Field October 22, 2016. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo celebrates after hitting a double in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game six of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016. (Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo hits a home run in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field Oct. 22, 2016. (Brian Cassella)
Anthony Rizzo bunts for a single during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the National League baseball championship series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Oct. 20, 2016, in Los Angeles. (David J. Phillip / AP)
Anthony Rizzo rounds third base after a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field Oct. 22, 2016. (Nuccio DiNuzzo)
Third baseman Kris Bryant hugs Anthony Rizzo after Rizzo's home run in the fifth inning Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)
Anthony Rizzo hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 19, 2016. (Josh Lefkowitz / Getty Images)

There was no press release Monday announcing the extension of the David Ross-Anthony Rizzo bromance, which became official when the Cubs picked up Rizzo’s $16.5 million option for 2020, a week after hiring Ross as their manager.

Rizzo’s option was a no-brainer for Cubs President Theo Epstein, who signed the then-23-year-old in May 2013 to a team-friendly seven-year, $41 million deal that included performance-based escalators and two option years for another $33 million.

The deal was a little bit of a risk for the Cubs at the time. Rizzo showed promise but had played in only 124 games when he signed and wasn’t in the kind of playing shape he’s in now at age 30. All long-term deals are risky by nature.

But Rizzo, who won his third Gold Glove Award on Sunday, long ago made that deal a bargain for the Cubs. He became the player they hoped he would be and a great spokesman for “The Cubs Way.”

So what’s next?

Rizzo has hinted the last two years he would be up for a long-term extension that would make him a Cub for life.

“When it comes time, we’ll be able to hopefully do something,” he said in August in Cincinnati shortly after turning 30. “It’s out of my control. I’m not sure when the time is right. … I’m financially set, but I do want to stay here. I do want to be a Cub.

“Everyone wants to stay when you’ve been with one franchise for a long time, but this is a business and it’s cutthroat as ever right now — all of sports, not just baseball.”

Rizzo’s agent, Marc Pollack, also is the agent for Ross, who signed a three-year deal with an option for 2023. Expect the Cubs and Pollack to discuss an extension for Rizzo this offseason, though there’s no urgency on either side because the team has another $16.5 million option for 2021. Epstein’s priority is deciding what significant roster changes are needed this offseason, which begins in earnest next week at the general managers meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The dynamic between Rizzo and Ross bears watching in 2020, which already has been dubbed the “year of accountability” after the frequent utterances by Epstein and Ross. The implication is there was little accountability by the end of the Joe Maddon era.

When asked about the general impression that the repetition of the “accountability” criticism left, Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times: “All these other semantics and descriptions, I don’t necessarily agree with all that. We’ll see how it all works out. But I’m really into David being really successful.”

Ross will depend on Rizzo’s presence as a clubhouse leader, while Rizzo will have to assume an even bigger role in bringing together what could be a much different group of players. The departure of strength coach Tim Buss, the team’s ambassador of good times, suggests the Cubs are seeking a more serious tone as they shift gears, and Ross and Rizzo will be part of that shift.

The Rizzo-Ross relationship dates to 2015, when Ross was a veteran backup catcher joining a team on which Rizzo had already assumed leadership. By the time Ross ended his career in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, getting carried off the field by Rizzo and Jason Heyward, he and Rizzo were close friends who had won a championship together.

Ross called Rizzo “the most important player” on the 2016 Cubs because of his attitude and ability to get the entire clubhouse involved both on and off the field.

“He’s more worried about everybody else having a good time and puts himself second,” Ross told writer Tom Verducci in “The Cubs Way.” “And I see his personality over everything in baseball. Whether it’s his at-bats, batting practice or anything, he’s quick to take a back seat to others. That’s unusual for a superstar.”

Rizzo will be around through at least 2021, and he mused on his 30th birthday about playing until he’s 40, as long as he’s performing at a high level. He has been healthy for the most part, and he impressed Epstein and his teammates in September by bouncing back quickly from an ankle sprain to try to help the Cubs during the ill-fated Cardinals series at Wrigley Field in the final homestand.

Epstein has repeatedly said there are no “untouchables” on the roster. If true, that means he should listen to any offers for Rizzo, just as the Cubs plan to listen to teams interested in Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, the two biggest stars on the roster.

The biggest difference may be that Rizzo and Epstein also have a long-standing bromance. They once sang AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” together at a karaoke bar during the 2015 season.

Would Epstein dare trade a former karaoke partner?

No one can be that cutthroat.


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