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Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant admitted that hearing his name among trade rumors has taken some of the fun out of baseball for him, but seeing his name among headlines is apparently worse.
Appearing on Barstool Chicago’s Red Line Radio, Bryant was asked if he still found joy in playing the game.
“At times, no.” the 29-year-old said candidly. “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.
“There’s a lot of other stuff involved. You make a ton of money and fame and all this. You have to get yourself back to why I started playing.”
The telling quote made its rounds and ended up in an ESPN headline from writer Jesse Rodgers, who tweeted out the story: “Cubs’ Bryant not having as much as before.”
Bryant, who signed a one-year, $19.5-million deal with Chicago last week, then lashed out on Twitter after reading ESPN headline.
“Must be a slow news day to take something genuine and turn it into something out of context. Do better @espn#clickbait,” he wrote.
After he was named the National League MVP and won the World Series with the Cubs in 2016, Bryant has been beset by ocassional injuries and questions about his commitment to the organization. Last season he faced increasing criticism over his uncertainty about playing amid the pandemic and his withering performance at the plate, where he hit .206 in 34 games.
This offseason has seen the Cubs embark on a rebuilding plan punctuated by trading away some key pieces, such as pitcher Yu Darvish, while allowing other veterans (Jon Lester, Kyle Schwarber) leave in free agency. Bryant’s name also has come up in trade rumors after he and the organization couldn’t come to a long-term agreement.
Bryant’s latest reveal isn’t the first time he has expressed his frustration with how things are going with the Cubs.
“I don’t give a s—,” Bryant said at the end of the 2020 season. “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—.”
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