Just Warming Up: Kris Bryant Pulls Away as MVP Frontrunner

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“This coming Labor Day weekend, I’ll make my third 2016 trip to Wrigley Field for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco Giants. I’m always excited to hear Bryant’s walk-up song, ‘Warm It Up Kris,’ the classic early 1990s rap tune tendered by Kris Kross. I’m not even sure Bryant was born when the song was briefly popular, but any writer has to love the name symmetry and fans (especially with a couple beers in the belly) can’t help but bounce to the peppy beat.

But we’ll be cheering Bryant’s plate approaches a little extra loudly because, as of this week, he’s the National League MVP frontrunner. All by himself. According to the latest report, ‘[the] third baseman for the Chicago Cubs and occasional outfielder, received eight of the 10 first-place votes in USA TODAY Sports’ NL MVP power rankings.'”

Read the full post at Wrigleyville Nation.

Keep Calm Cub Fans: This is Not 1969

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“This self-defensive crouch is understandable. I share many of Bill’s concerns. I was at the July 4 home game against the Reds, a rare recent victory for the Cubs. I bore firsthand witness to Kris Bryant’s bizarre turn in left field. The two-time All-Star and 2015 Rookie of the Year repeatedly struggled to communicate with center field. Half-jokingly I said to my partner Bob at the time, “No dance party room for him.” For all the current reasons Bill mentions, and the PTSD that is the legacy of any survivor of the Tribune era, it’s logical to wonder if this rough streak is the beginning of the end.

But it isn’t. This is not 1969. Let’s everybody just calm down, take a restorative breath and review the latest statistics from the Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds Report. Factoring in the Cubs recent slide, the likelihood of a division win remains 95.6%. A playoff appearance of any kind carries a 98.5% confidence rate. With the All-Star break imminent, I like those odds. We all should.”

Read the full post at Wrigleyville Nation.

Kris Bryant’s Rookie of the Year Win is Also One for Hopeful Cubs Fans

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“While I’m sure I’m not alone in confessing myself disappointed by Bryant’s lackluster post-season performance, the announcement offered occasion to remember how truly great he was throughout 2015. Bryant was a huge factor in the Cubs’ 97-game winning season, hitting 26 home runs and driving in 99 RBIs. Both of these statistics represent Cubs rookie records. Bryant also logged a .275 cumulative batting average and stole 13 bases. The numbers tell the story that the pain in our hearts almost occludes us from reading. Bryant had a great year, and under the capable management of Joe Madden, he’ll only get better.”

Read the full post at Wrigleyville Nation.