Alexa transcribe this conversation where two young athletes explain just how much they love playing for the Cubs and why they want to spend their lives here:
Happ: We’ve been fortunate to be in this great city and build lives here. You love being in Chicago, i’s amazing in the summer. And you literally have no control if they want to move you, which is tough mentally.
KB: I think the biggest thing to me is the trade rumors and the narrative that’s surrounded me. There’s people that completely don’t understand and they don’t do any research or look at any of the interviews where I’ve talked about it. Like I’m upset here? Or I don’t want to be in Chicago? It’s “He just wants to leave as soon he can in free agency” and I’m like "When have I ever said that?" I have nothing but great things to say about everybody in this organization, on this field, in this city. Where is this coming from? I don’t know if I’ve ever come across this way to you?
Happ: - It’s an absurd narrative and the fact that any writer/reporter/fan would think that someone who came up in this city, won the rookie of the year, won the MVP, won a World Series for first time in 108 years, would ever want to leave? When a flag would be flown if he stayed here his whole career? What an absurd thing to think.
KB: It is so absurd. It is so absurd. You have to handle the media a certain way and I’m very guilty of kinda giving very vanilla answers because I just don’t want to create a story. Like put the whole quote out there of what I say. Not just clickbait. I understand they have jobs to do, but on a platform like this [Happ’s podcast] where I can talk to my buddies… we all know how I feel about playing here and everything that I’ve accomplished here and done here. I want to continue to do that.
Happ: And not to mention there probably isn’t a better place to play baseball in the world than Chicago with the fanbase, the facilities, the way we’re treated by the organization and because Chicago in the summer is the best city in the world.
KB: Absolutely. It would be foolish to say someone would not want to play here, or not want to play their whole career here.
Alexa get me a clean pair of shorts
So much shit has been talked about Kris Bryant's relationship to the Cubs and a lot of that has to do with Scott Boras. To some, understandably so. Historically speaking, his guys go to free agency. Then mix in the 2015 blatant service time manipulation and a quiet, humble media presence and you have a pretty solid recipe for interpretation. And in this case, it's been interpreted to read that KB doesn't want to be a Cub for life. Blah blah blah. Everyone's a fucking expert on the situation.
Here's the thing though. KB's been saying publicly going back to LAST OFFSEASON that he wants to be a Cub. That he loves playing in Chicago and has no intention of playing anywhere else.
Now I'm far from anything that can be confused with a credential baseball journalist, but I've certainly had my head up the butcher's ass long enough to know that this is coming from the horse's mouth. The man himself is saying he loves it here. Ian Happ is doubling down in the process. The boys are vibing so hard about their joy of being Cubs and in the meantime the organization is dialed-in on a new network that still hasn't been announced to Comcast. Brass has spent cash on corporate renovations and acquiring neighboring real estate. There's new facilities in Arizona and millions upon millions of capital expenditures on Marquee Network. All stuff that lines up great on an already-leveraged balance sheet, but there's one asset category that's severely lacking lately. Goodwill.
In this case we're talking player happiness and for the life of me I'd like to see some investment there over the next year or so. I know times are tough but honestly and behalf of Cubs fans everywhere, we'll trade you every material upgrade over the last 5 years if you promise Baez, Bryant and Rizzo will be Cubs for life. Shut the lights off and play day games only if you want. All that matters is there's enough money to keep those guys in uniform. Please.
Maybe (just maybe) I'm being dramatic but at the same time we've gotten so far away as a society about what it means to be a fan. Like I'm just here for the best team to win as many games as possible. I could give a flying fuck if I get a wristband and free mai thais & hot dogs. I find the access to WIFI and half-a-dozen retail options on my way to take a piss insignificant in the long run. What I want more than anything is good players on my favorite team and while I'm not completely bitching just yet. I want to make it clear that there are some fan-based expectations and the boys them extremely clear on this week's episode.
Elsewhere - I'd be remiss if I didn't take a turn towards positive town and admit that I got pretty horny when they talked about Chicago as a baseball town. That Happ thinks it's the best place in the world and KB thinks it's foolish to not want to spend your career for the Cubs. That's the shit that gets me going although admittedly Happ basically said he loves all the shit the team spent money on for the players. So maybe in hindsight don't change any of that stuff but everything else you can treat the fans like peasants. We'll be fine if you win a division and serve cold ones through the 9th.