I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Watching our beloved team win the World Series was everything I could have asked for and more. But, man, there’s a sect of fans who drive me absolutely wild since that happened.
They complain endlessly, whine without cause and have the innate ability to come up with half-cocked misinformed opinions at will. The latest and favorite target of their indignant comments and behavior? Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, who offered up some comments this week that rubbed some folks the wrong way.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
"“At times, no,” Bryant told Barstool’s Red Line Radio when asked if he still enjoyed playing. “It really got to me sometimes. The stuff I was hearing. The first trade rumors [in 2018] that started to pop up really got to me. I find myself [thinking], ‘Man, is this even fun anymore? Why did I start playing this game?’ Because it was fun.”"
Since winning a World Series championship and NL MVP honors five years ago, Bryant hasn’t been quite the same player statistically-speaking. I don’t think anyone is here to argue that point. Here’s the breakdown of his averages using 162 game numbers to account for the shortened 2020 schedule.
- Bryant: 2015-2016 (per 162 games): .284/.377/.522, 35 home runs, 107 RBI – 141 OPS+
- Bryant: 2017-2020 (per 162 games): .278/.383/498, 29 home runs, 80 RBI – 129 OPS+
So, no. Has the former first-rounder been an MVP-caliber player the last few years? He has not. But there are fans out there acting like he’s been downright awful for the better part of five years and that’s just not the case. Yes, he struggled mightily in 2020 – along with a ton of players throughout the league who battled through playing through a pandemic in empty stadiums.
Cubs star Kris Bryant was totally in the right this week
Armchair managers might think those things shouldn’t matter. After all, these guys are paid millions of dollars to perform and they need to do it no matter what, right? Wrong. Kris Bryant and every other big leaguer are human beings – with lives outside of baseball that include stresses and worries just like the rest of us. And in case you hadn’t noticed, 2020 was pretty freaking stressful for everyone.
Money can certainly help address these stresses, but when you’re constantly bombarded with trade rumors and endlessly criticized by a fan base and media that once heralded you as the next coming of Mr. Cub himself, it’s got to take a heavy toll on you mentally.
My favorite Kris Bryant moment actually came last year, as the season wound down when he finally let loose and spoke his mind:
"“I don’t give a s—. I really don’t. That’s a good answer. I’m over it. Sometimes I go out there and go 4-for-4 and it’s not good enough for some people, so I don’t give a s—.”"
So to all you Cubs fans who find something to complain about no matter what the situation and are the first to jump down the throats of high-paid players – how about you learn a little humanity? Lord knows the world could sure use more of it given the current climate.