Chicago Cubs: Safety remains top of mind for players across the sport

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Chicago Cubs

Jason Kip nis / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

As fans, we just want to see the Chicago Cubs take the field. Our love of the game can overshadow acknowledging players have their own worries and concerns.

During the offseason, Jason Kipnis took a big step toward fulfilling a lifelong dream: taking the field as a member of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in front of his friends and family. Now, that scenario is very much in question, as COVID-19 continues to impact Major League Baseball’s attempts at playing this year.

The Cubs have a battle on their hands at second base, with the likes of Kipnis competing with top prospect Nico Hoerner and clutch performer David Bote for reps this spring.

“It just seems like it will never happen right now,” Kipnis told Marquee Network last week. “I try to stay positive, I try to reassure myself at times that it’s gonna happen — just stay patient. You just never know what’s gonna happen down the road or in the future or this year on forward.”

Kipnis, 33, is coming off a trio of below-average offensive showings with the Tribe and is hoping to re-establish himself in Chicago. Last year, he appeared in 121 games for Cleveland, slashing a pedestrian .245/.304/.410 – good for an 84 OPS+.

Still, you can’t help but pull for the guy. He’s always been a fan favorite in Cleveland and it’s incredibly cool to see him have a chance to live out his dream in 2020. Will it happen? No one knows. But he’s staying hopeful.

“I think a lot of guys, one thing we can all agree on is we want to play this year. I think everyone just wants to make sure that it’s safe and a reasonable way to do it. I don’t think we want to force the issue. If they find a way to make it happen where we all agree that it’s a safe way to take that next step forward, I’ll be ready to go.”

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