Morning Briefing: Cubs-Cardinals rivalry starts early this year

Kris Bryant on stage at the Cubs Convention in Chicago.
Kris Bryant on stage at the Cubs Convention in Chicago.
(Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)

While appearing at the team’s annual fan convention over the weekend, Cubs star Kris Bryant and former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster made some comments that irritated some St. Louis Cardinals.

In what was obviously meant as a joke, Dempster, who was interviewing Bryant onstage, asked if he would like to play for the Cardinals.

“Who would 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.”


Dempster said when he was playing he was asked by management if he would let them trade him to the Cardinals.

“I’m like, ‘Zero chance in hell,’” Dempster said. “No way. Won’t even go there as a free agent. Not happening.”

A couple of Cardinals with little sense of humor responded the next day.

On Instagram, catcher Yadier Molina said: “All stars, elite players and leaders of their teams do not speak bad about any city. 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.”

Responding to the post, Molina’s teammate, Marcell Ozuna, said, “From outside they speak and talk like tiger but at the end they gonna be like little cat.”

The teams first play each other on May 3. Should be interesting.

Show him the money

Evan Longoria of the San Francisco Giants is unhappy that so many free agents are still unsigned this offseason, saying on Instagram, “We are less then a month from the start of spring and once again some of our games biggest starts remain unsigned. Such a shame. It’s seems every day now someone is making up a new analytical tool to devalue players, especially free agents.

“As fans, why should ‘value’ for your team even be a consideration? It’s not your money, it’s money that players have worked their whole lives to get to that level and be deserving of. Bottom line, fans should want the best players and product on the field for their team.

“And as players we need to stand strong for what we believe we are worth and continue to fight for the rights we have fought for time and time again.”

Longoria was quickly blasted by most of his followers, with one saying, “Man I feel sorry for you guys. Maybe someone will start a gofundme for each of you to ensure you are paid what you deserve.”

Longoria, by the way, is in the middle of a 15-year, $145.5-million contract.

Keep them out

To conclude our all-baseball Morning Briefing for Monday, consider the words of Chris Archer. The announcement of which players will be elected to the Hall of Fame comes Tuesday, and the Pittsburgh pitcher picked last weekend to tweet his thoughts on who shouldn’t be elected.

“If you ever failed a test, got suspended, or admitted to using performance enhancers you should NOT be in the hall of fame. No hard feelings but you disgraced the integrity of the game, your stats are tainted. You don’t deserve the honor.”

Those comments could become even more interesting should Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, who are right on the edge of the 75% of votes to be elected based on early ballots, make it in this year. If they do make it, hopefully someone will ask Archer about it.