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Kris Bryant on the Astros, his contract status and more, plus video from Cubs camp

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It was a busy Saturday in Cubs world.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

MESA, ArizonaKris Bryant arrived at Cubs spring training Saturday and met with reporters, and hoo boy did he not hold back!

Wow. And that was just the beginning. KB on the Astros sign-stealing scandal:

Those are some of the strongest statements I’ve seen from any player on the scandal. We’ve also heard strong words in recent days from Cody Bellinger and Trevor Bauer, but Bryant’s words have more meaning because he is the Cubs’ player representative and active in MLB Players Association affairs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Astros’ attempt at an “apology” was embarrassing. Bryant is correct: If they hadn’t been caught, they likely would still be doing it, and the “apology” came across as “We’re sorry we got caught.”

It’s a stain on baseball that will take a long time to remove. And the Astros keep putting their collective feet in their mouths — check out this Ken Rosenthal interview with Carlos Correa. Yikes. The next thing any Astros player should say about the scandal is “no comment.”

Back to Bryant, who weighed in on his contract status:

Having seen that said, I still think Kris Bryant will be a Cub on Opening Day, and whether he is traded during the 2020 season depends on how the team is doing. If KB and the Cubs are doing well, I cannot see them dealing him. Out of contention at the trading deadline? Sure, at that point it’s probably the right thing to do.

A couple more fun quotes from Bryant, first regarding the Astros again:

Think of the way you hear Ryan Braun booed at Wrigley Field. Multiply that by about a factor of 10 and have it happen to every single player on the team and you’ll have an idea of what the Astros will be facing in road parks this year.

A couple more notes before I share some video from this morning’s camp. First, this is an update to my 2020 visitors guide to spring training. Have a look at this:

Al Yellon

Now, that might look like just an empty lot to you, but in fact, it’s where the orange and yellow parking is — or was — on this map:

A developer is putting up 1.35 million square feet of office space and parking garages on that land. This means there will be less parking available on the Sloan Park site in 2020. In 2021, the Cubs will have dedicated space available in the parking garages, but if you are going this year I suggest you use my pro tip:

Both Tempe Marketplace and Mesa Riverview will let you park free on Cubs home game days in their huge parking lots and take you to and from Sloan Park on a free shuttle. Here’s info on the Tempe Marketplace shuttle and here’s the scoop on the trolley from Mesa Riverview.

You have undoubtedly heard of the TrackMan system, which teams use to help both hitters and pitchers. Here’s the TrackMan setup at Field 1 in the Cubs complex:

Al Yellon
Al Yellon

Now, here’s some video from Saturday’s sessions at Cubs camp. Unlike Wednesday, there was music playing at all the fields. In fact, at Field 2 where I saw pitchers bunting practice, it was pretty loud until a Cubs employee walked over and turned it down.

KB went from his news conference to the back fields to do some hitting. Several of his teammates joined him.

I also watched some pitcher fielding drills:

The really tall dude above is Trevor Megill, the Cubs’ Rule 5 pick from the Padres this past December. You’ll also notice Brandon Morrow in that group.

And this one was fun, and should be especially for those of you who still like to watch pitchers bat — pitcher bunting practice, with the pitchers not hitting rotating through the infield as fielders (incidentally, Wyatt Short, the first pitcher you see for the first 10 seconds of this video, is in fact, short. He’s listed at 5-8 — that might be generous):

I’ll be back at camp Monday, when the first official full-squad workout will take place.