Chris Bryant, Ex-Chicago Cubs Struggling at 22

The iconic image of the first batch of celebrating Chicago Cubs players is as fresh in your mind now as the day it happened nearly six years ago in Cleveland.

Anthony Rizzo and Chris Bryant together hung mid-air.

Mike Montgomery holding Bryant.

Javier Paez hugs Addison Russell as they fall forward.

The image of World Series Game 7’s revolution can be found in bars and restaurants all over Chicagoland, not to mention dens, living rooms, and men’s caves around the world. When a once-in-a-lifetime event occurs, you frame it.

But while 2016 was a very good year for being a Cub, 2022 was a season most Cubs won’t forget in 2016.

Bryant’s return to Wrigley Stadium this weekend saw him rehab from a left foot injury that followed a back illness that limited his first season with the Colorado Rockies to just 42 games.

“I’ve been in trouble, but I’m feeling better,” Bryant said on Friday.

Bryant is hoping to be back before the end of this lost season, but he’s mostly recovering by 2023. And while he’s perhaps the most prominent of the former Cubs, he’s not the only member of the 2016 champions in bummer.

The last three cubs remaining from the championship team – Jason Heyward, Wilson Contreras and Kyle Hendricks – were all on the injured list on Friday, and Heyward was told he would be released before the final year of his contract. The Toronto Blue Jays released Dexter Fowler in May after three matches with their Triple-A affiliate, and Justin Grimm was released by Oakland A’s that same month.

Albert Almora was abandoned by the Cincinnati Reds immediately after playing at Wrigley. Addison Russell played his second season in the Mexican Major League Baseball. Jake Arrieta has officially retired after his disastrous return to the Cubs in 2021.

Montgomery is 2-10 with a 6.82 ERA with the Triple-A subsidiary of the New York Mets. New York Yankees closer, Aroldis Chapman was demoted to the setup role and has a career worst 4.70 ERA. Javier Baez struggled all season with the bottom line Detroit Tigers with 24 fouls and 651 OPS.

Joe Madon has been fired as Los Angeles Angels manager In June in the midst of a 12-game losing streak.

The only three active players to have had a successful season are kickers Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber and Washington Nationals loyalist Carl Edwards Jr. Even Rizzo was on IL for Yankees suffering from migraines after epidurals to treat lower back tightness.

After six years of rule, she spilled.

Bryant knows that all too well. In a casual conversation Friday at the Rockies’ lair, Bryant said he had “no regrets whatsoever” about the way things went with him in Chicago, where he was once considered the face of the franchise.

He confirmed he had no “serious” discussions about returning to the Cubs as a free agent after the shock sale in July 2021.

“I feel like once I traded last year, I closed the book a bit when I got back[with San Francisco],” he said. “Getting that recognition was great, but it continued into the next chapter. It was great for everyone – the fans, me, the team – to be able to focus on their youth here and the youngsters who came to them and trying not to worry about the old gasses left.”

By the way, Bryant is 30 years old.

While Rizzo and Schwarber left feeling betrayed by the Cubs, Bryant said he had no animosity to the front office or David Ross, saying their decision was to do what they felt should be done. He said he “respects” their decision to move forward.

“There are no hard feelings whatsoever,” he said. “I just won’t mention my son Theo.”

Bryant laughed, and although Epstein wasn’t around when Jed Hoyer dealt with him, the former Cubs boss had him wait an extra year until free agency with service time manipulations triggered a complaint.

Bryant has been to some oldies since returning this week, saying he stopped by the North Buena Deli & Wine in Uptown to answer a sandwich craving. He also walked around Clark Street to see if his mural still hung on the wall of a sports bar, and took a few pictures on his phone in case they ever decide to paint his face.

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He spent his final season as a cub living in a house near Wrigley after staying in a high-rise building for most of his career.

“I always took the elevators,” he said. “Living close to the stadium last year was a huge game-changer for me. It felt so much more at home. In Denver I have a house with a backyard. That would be my biggest advice to anyone who plays here – stay close to the stadium because it really feels like you’re in the home “.

Chicago is no longer home to Bryant, and he said he doesn’t pay enough attention to the Cubs to know what their future looks like. He was surprised to learn that none of the 2016 Cubs were left on the active roster due to injuries to Contreras, Heyward and Hendricks. The only one left is David Ross.

“And he’s the manager,” Bryant said. “He is old.”

Returning to Wrigley on a warm September afternoon was yet another reminder of the days when all seemed well in the world. as such Miguel Montero once said After he booed on his return with the Blue Jays: “Whether they hate me or love me, they will remember me forever.”

Bryant doesn’t have to worry about the Cubs’ legacy. He saw several Cubs fans wearing his old jersey on Friday at Wrigley. He may be gone, but the cubs still make some money from him.

“I do everything I can,” he said.