Cubs’ Kris Bryant prefers baby talk over baseball as he returns home for weekend

After the team’s two-game series in Las Vegas against the Reds, the third baseman will stick around for his wife’s ultrasound appointment Tuesday.

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Being the subject of trade rumors has made baseball sometimes not as much fun as it used to be, the Cubs’ Kris Bryant said in an interview with the Red Line Radio podcast.

“I think this is really what I’ve been put on this earth to do, is to be a dad,” Kris Bryant told the Marquee Sports Network during a recent game broadcast.

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LAS VEGAS — Kris Bryant’s dad, Mike, wasn’t only a professional baseball player who taught his sons how to hit. He also played guitar for a band he and his friends started, called Looking Back, which was good enough to get paid gigs around town.

“His buddies still come to Vegas once or twice a year and, in our [batting] cage, just blast the music,” Kris said.

Mike doesn’t have the same long rock-star hair that he used to. But the old man can still play a little.

“Don’t tell him I said it,” Kris said, “but he’s pretty good.”

Maybe that’s where the Cubs’ All-Star third baseman got the idea for the plans he keeps telling his wife, Jess, he has for their son, who’s due in a few weeks.

“I’ve always told her my kid’s not going to play baseball; he’s going to be a rock star,” Bryant said.

Regardless, it has been clear since spring training started that the biggest thing on Bryant’s mind these days is family, no matter how many trade rumors, grievances or annoying Cubs-at-crossroads questions he gets from the media.

Which makes this weekend’s annual trip home to Las Vegas with the Cubs his most anticipated of the six he has taken with them.

“Oh, yeah. I don’t even care about the baseball games,” he said. “I’m excited to go check out what his chubby cheeks look like.”

When the Cubs finish their two-game series against the Reds on Sunday, Bryant will stay home for an ultrasound appointment Tuesday before rejoining the team.

“I think this is really what I’ve been put on this earth to do, is to be a dad,” Bryant told the Marquee Sports Network during a recent game broadcast.

“He’s excited. Shoot, I’m excited for him,” teammate and pal Anthony Rizzo said.

Bryant has said that baby plans and appointments helped distract him in an offseason filled with trade talks. His status as a Cub seems settled for now, and if the 2016 National League MVP is spending any time wondering what might happen at the trade deadline if the team gets off to a rough start, you wouldn’t know it.

His thoughts are on April 7, the tentative birth day, and sometimes even on how to keep him from taking baseball seriously, like his pop.

No baseball for Kris Bryant’s kid?

“It’s kind of hard to chase what your dad has done,” he said. “We won the World Series after 108 years, and [I] won MVP in the same year. He’ll always have to look at that. At the same time, I know there’s going to be people around me, my family, who would love to see him out there on the tee-ball field running the bases backward, like I did my first game.”

Huh?

“My first game, my first hit, I hit the ball and ran to third,” he said. “There’s going to be plenty of that. It’s more of I just want to put him in the best position to succeed.”

If for no other reason than Grandpa Mike is a baseball instructor with a batting school, the little guy is almost certain to play.

“I know it’s going to happen,” Kris said. “It’s just more of a protective thing. Because I know how hard I am on myself and how I’m my own worst critic. It’s like, ‘Nobody should have to go through that.’ But he probably will.

“I’ll teach him how to be less of a critic.”

And let him play golf. Piano. Guitar. Anything and everything to allow him to find his own passion and identity.

No Kris Jr. tag, either.

“The only thing I want in him is to have my initials,” Kris said. “So he’s going to be a ‘KB.’ That’s all I can really say right now.”

“I thought he told me his name was ‘Tony,’ ” Rizzo said. “No?”

Rizzo has a dog named Kevin.

“Not Kevin,” Bryant said. “We’ll stick with Kevin as a dog — no offense to any Kevins out there.”

Meanwhile, about that rock-star plan. Imagine Mike and little KB starting their own band someday.

“No,” Kris said flatly, before smiling. “Stop giving ideas.”

They could call it Looking Ahead.

“Ha … Looking Ahead …”

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