Following intimating as much over the past year or so, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant admitted he isn’t having as much fun playing baseball because he used to.
Bryant, 29, spoke to Red Line Radio, a Barstool podcast, also has been asked if there was joy for him on the field.
“It really got to me sometimes. The stuff I was hearing. The first trade rumors [from 2018] that began to pop up actually got to me. I find myself [thinking],’Man, is this even fun anymore? Why did I start playing this game?’ Since it was enjoyable.
“There’s a good deal of other stuff involved. You make a ton of money and fame and all this.
Bryant is set to be a free agent after next season after settling on a contract with the Cubs for $19.5 million for 2021. He’s been the subject of trade rumors, as he and the staff haven’t managed to come to an arrangement on a longer-term thing. He has also heard criticism of his play, perhaps for the very first time in his career. That prompted the 2016 NL MVP to sound off at the end of the 2020 season.
“I don’t give a s,” Bryant said at the moment. “I really don’t. That is a good answer. I am over it. Occasionally I go out there and proceed 4-for-4 and it is not good enough for a few people, so I do not give a s–.”
Bryant hit just .203 last year but battled injuries and was the only Cub who struggled in 2020. He has had some nagging ailments for a couple of years, which might have helped prevent him from returning to his MVP form.
However, the past couple of years are a battle as he has become a bit of a poster boy — fairly or unfairly — to the Cubs’ offensive battles, particularly in the postseason.
On the podcast, Bryant recalled the joy of his father picking him up before he reached home plate after he hit his first home run as a kid. The six-year veteran wants to find that happiness from the game again, though he indicated there are far more important things happening in the world right now.
“I found myself sitting there,’I really don’t have that joy at this time,'” he said. “I am trying all I can to get back to that location. This year was really rough for me , simply statwise. I still had a fantastic time [regardless of COVID-19 protocols and battles ]. Taking advantage of a terrible situation.”