Chicago Cubs: Bryant’s weekend comments help build rivalry

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 15: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs is safe at home as Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals takes the throw during the sixth inning on September 15, 2017 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 15: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs is safe at home as Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals takes the throw during the sixth inning on September 15, 2017 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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While the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant was trying to have some fun, several Cardinals players took offense. Was the comment worth all the extra from the Cards? Yes, because it helps keep the rivalry alive.

In an offseason where the St. Louis Cardinals have made blockbuster moves which will help them contend in the NL Central again, the rivalry with the Chicago Cubs seems to be healthier than ever heading into the 2019 season. St. Louis has acquired reliever Andrew Miller and All-Star Paul Goldschmidt, two moves that will intimidate the rest of the division.

With a revamped group in place to add a spark to the intense Cubs-Cards rivalry, Kris Bryant made some comments at the Cubs Convention that will take this series to new heights. Not only did his remarks enrage Cardinals nation, but lit a spark to an otherwise dull offseason for the Cubs to this point.

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At this year’s Cubs Convention, Ryan Dempster sat down to interview Kris Bryant, and the two began to discuss of how boring of a city St. Louis is and how they would never want to play there. Just some (what seemed to be) fun,harmlessconversationabout a rival’s city.

Cardinals players and fans caught wind of this and were not happy. It started with relief pitcher John Brebbia. He countered Bryant’s comments by saying “cry me a river, loser. Future Hall of Fame catcher Yadier Molina followed that up by saying “only stupid players and losers make comments like the ones made by Bryant and Dempster.”

Cardinals fans began to piggyback off their players and say hurtful things on social media. One in particular stuck out to me that said: “I hope Kris Bryant gets hit by a #$&^&* bus and becomes a quadriplegic.” Very harsh and loaded comments based on a remark made in a joking tone by Bryant. If this isn’t something that makes the annual 17 game series in the regular season mean more, I’m not sure what does.

The sensitivity of the Cardinals and pride that they have for their city has been on display here and shows that they are more than fired up to play the Cubs this season. Also having two new All-Star acquisitions on your team can only help their case for the return smack talk.

One can only help think that the recent performances of each team the past four seasons are reasoning behind some of the Cardinals inability to hold back here. Having the Cubs knock them out in the 2015 NLDS, while they had the best record in baseball, was the beginning of a rough stretch for the Red Birds.

The Cards have failed to make the postseason the previous three seasons, while they’ve watched their division rival play October baseball in all of the past four. The frustration of a city with, in all honesty, great fans have built up in this time and they don’t want the Cubs to disrespect them one bit.

So, in an offseason for the Cubs that hasn’t provided much excitement, some heated jabber between rivals is something for the fans and players to enjoy this winter as the anxiety for the season builds. An already intense rivalry that hasn’t seen the teams on the same page for a whole season in terms of success for quite some time seems to hit the next level as we enter 2019.

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Two teams that will contend in the NL, and two teams that have now developed a sense of open distaste for each other, has the makings to be the not only the best rivalry in baseball this season but in sports too.

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