This is absolutely not a great weekend to be a Cubs fan.
With the team staging the biggest firesale of big-name talent in recent MLB memory ahead of Friday’s trade deadline, not only have fans had to deal with the inherent emptiness that comes when you realize your big-market club is going to go into a rebuild of some kind, they’ve had to watch those same players succeed for other teams immediately.
That’s not a surprise, of course; Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, and Anthony Rizzo are all very good players. The instant success was a bit on the nose, though.
Today, Kris Bryant homered in his Giants debut, a trademark easy power pulled line drive to left.
KRIS GIANT. pic.twitter.com/pLnCwqLcha
— MLB (@MLB) August 1, 2021
So, yeah, that’s fun! It comes on the heels of Rizzo and Baez both homering in their debuts, too. (Rizzo tacked on a second homer over the weekend as well.)
So, to recap…
Kris Bryant: HR in Giants debut
Javy Báez: HR in Mets debut
Anthony Rizzo: HR in Yankees debut
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 1, 2021
Welcome to New York, Javier Báez. Much like his ex-teammate Anthony Rizzo across town, Báez debuts with a homer. It's a two-run shot, and Francisco Lindor is hyped.
Báez just came back out for a curtain call.
Reds 4, Mets 3, bottom six. pic.twitter.com/9bCuzHnYTf
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 1, 2021
Anthony Rizzo crushes his first homer as a Yankee! pic.twitter.com/3ta2fYcLxU
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) July 31, 2021
So, yeah, that’s exactly what Cubs fans won’t want to see. The issue was never really with these players specifically; they’ve had ups and downs, yes, but even if they’d been playing at MVP level the last few years, it wouldn’t have been enough to overcome the rest of the roster’s issues.
And the odds that the team will be able to replace Kris Bryant, specifically, with anyone as good as Kris Bryant over the next five seasons feel slim indeed. It’s kind of wild to think about how differently the Theo Epstein era in Chicago would be perceived if the Cubs had lost Game 7 in 2016. Maybe ownership pushes more resources to the roster in that case in pursuit of ending the century+ drought rather than becoming more of a Wrigleyville real estate venture than the kind of big market behemoth on the field that the Dodgers have become, or that the Yankees continue to be.
Or maybe not. Either way, it’s been a rough weekend for fans.
Also the Cubs lost 6-5 to the Nationals.