Chicago Cubs: Bryant, the local folk hero
Like a great action movie or western, the Chicago Cubs have their share of heroes on the team, and Kris Bryant is undoubtedly one of them. While Javier Baez is the wild card pulling off amazing steals and sometimes clutch hitting, first baseman Anthony Rizzo is the “heavy.” Rizzo is the tough guy that you send in to get the job done, whether on offense or defense.
Willson Contreras is the young heart of the squad of heroes. If he can’t hit the ball with his bat, his sheer will can almost do it for him. Contreras’ give-it-all attitude is contagious and gets the rest of the Cubs motivated. Then who is Kris Bryant in this cast of heroic Cubs characters?
Bryant fills the role of the ‘silent professional’ on his squad and has just about attained folk hero status in Chicago because of it. Like Steve McQueen or Paul Newman of baseball, Bryant is an even-tempered cool-character on third base. And when he steps into the batter’s box there is fear by opposing teams that they are facing an MVP-caliber hitter capable of making teams pay the price if they underestimate him. Like McQueen and Newman, Bryant’s image is the good guy with all the talent.
Fans have heard these players referred to as the four horsemen of the Cubs, and it’s true, each makes a unique contribution. It is also from this group of players that most news reports are coming out discussing trades and possible moves; after all, these four players hold the top “value” for the Cubs team.
Even yours indeed has hypothetically considered that Bryant could be gone next season due to his grievance procedures. However, Bryant is like a folk-hero in Chicago. All Bryant has to do is hint to fans that he wants to stay in Chicago, and fans would go to bat for the Las Vegas native, and social media would blow up with a movement to “Keep Bryant in Chicago,” type propaganda.
While he has earned the love and trust of fans in Chicago, it would be like starting over if Bryant took his skills to another club. That’s why the third-best reason for Bryant to stay in Chicago is that he has attained folk hero status in Chicago already. There’s nothing to build, nothing to earn if Bryant stays in Chicago. He has done it all, and the fans already love him as a favorite.