For the second year in a row, comments made by a Cubs player at the team’s annual fan fest downtown have sparked something of a war of words with the rival Cardinals.
This one feels more serious than the last one.
At Cubs Convention in 2018, catcher Willson Contreras told the Sun-Times he was going to be the best catcher in baseball — better than the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina or the Giants’ Buster Posey, both of whom he named specifically.
Molina, especially, didn’t like that, registering his disapproval in a post on his Instagram. It didn’t seem to matter that Contreras had named the pair of great catchers out of respect.
Saturday at the Sheraton Grand hotel, superstar third baseman Kris Bryant — in an on-stage interview with organization yukster-in-chief Ryan Dempster — ripped St. Louis, calling it “boring.”
“Why would you want to play in St. Louis?” Bryant said. “Boring. So boring. I always get asked, ‘Where would you like to play. Where would you not like to play?’ St. Louis is on the list of places I don’t like to play. It’s rough.”
Molina fired back on his Instagram, much as he had with Contreras. This time, his language was stronger.
“All stars, elite players and leaders of their teams do not speak bad about any city,” the veteran catcher wrote. “There should be respect, and you should play and compete with respect. Only stupid players and losers make comments like the ones made by bryant and dempster.”
Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna piled on, commenting on Molina’s post: “From the outside they speak and talk like tiger but at they end they gonna be like little cat.”
In this case, it clearly didn’t matter to them that the friendly, laid-back Bryant delivered his comments with a laugh and not a sneer.
Is the rivalry heating up? Let’s hope so. That would be fun.