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Anthony Rizzo OK with taking pay cut for fewer games: 'We play too much baseball'

CHICAGO -- Cubsfirst baseman Anthony Rizzo is advocating for a shorter season, even if that means a smaller paycheck for players.

"I think we play too much baseball," Rizzo said Tuesday during his weekly appearance on ESPN 1000. "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."

Rizzo believes a transition period with guaranteed contracts could be worked out, perhaps "grandfathering" them into a new system with new contracts reflecting fewer games played.

"Once you start taking money from guys, that's where it's going to be a little more dicey," he said.

The Cubs postponed back-to-back games Sunday and Monday and are scheduled to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in freezing temperatures Tuesday night. Rizzo has been on the disabled list with back tightness but is scheduled to play Tuesday.

The conditions at Wrigley Field, however, won't be ideal for someone coming off a back ailment.

"I think playing in the cold sucks," said Rizzo, who was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday. "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."

Even if the season isn't shortened, Rizzo sees no reason it has to start so early.

"In a perfect world, we'd start the season later and play a few scheduled doubleheaders going into an off day," he said. "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."

Rizzo conceded that nothing is likely to change, and players will just have to deal with the winter-like conditions. The Cubs' last game, on Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, was played in freezing rain, prompting both sides to complain. The Cubs haven't played since.

"This is kind of a freak April," Rizzo said.

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