When I decided to start this weekly series updating you on popular former Cubs, I didn’t think any of them would be involved in events that made big national news.
But here we are, after Javier Báez and some of his teammates got upset with Mets fans booing them:
“It’s just the boos that we get,” said Báez, who has slashed .210/.258/.452 in 17 games since being acquired from the Cubs before the trade deadline. “We’re not machines. We’re going to struggle. We’re going to struggle seven times out of 10.
“It just feels bad. When I strike out and I get booed, it doesn’t really get to me, but I want to let them know that when we (have) success, we’re going to do the same thing, to let them know how it feels. Because if we win together, we’ve got to lose together. The fans are a really big part of it. In my case, they’ve got to be better. I play for the fans, I love the fans, but if they’re gonna do that, they’re just putting more pressure on the team and that’s not what we want.”
Right here, you can see the difference between Cubs fans and Mets fans. With six years’ worth of Javy at-bats, Cubs fans learned to accept the strikeouts — because Báez did so much more for the team. Mets fans don’t have that history and Báez was supposed to be a difference-maker for them after his trade-deadline acquisition. You can see his slash line above and the Mets, who were 3½ games ahead in first place in the NL East when Baez was acquired from the Cubs, have gone 9-19 since and now inhabit third place in their division.
This isn’t Javy’s fault — in fact, he spent 10 days on the injured list during that time — but as noted, Mets fans and the New York media are notably tough on performances they deem to be bad in some way.
All of this prompted Mets President Sandy Alderson to release a statement:
Mets team president Sandy Alderson said in the statement below the thumbs-down gesture is “totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”— Deesha (@DeeshaThosar) August 30, 2021
Alderson said he will meet with players and staff, adding: “Fans at Citi Field have every right to express their own disappointment.” pic.twitter.com/1WArRxKwHE
Can you imagine Jed Hoyer or Tom Ricketts doing that? For something like this? No, this would be handled internally by Cubs management or ownership. But Mets gonna Mets, I guess. I can’t imagine Báez staying in New York past October 3 (and I note that specific date because after leading the NL East for 106 days this year, the Mets are going to watch the playoffs the same way the Cubs are, on TV).
Via Reddit, the New York Daily News weighed in with a back cover headline:
BCB’s Sara Sanchez will have her take on the Javy incident later today.
Here’s what some other former Cubs were up to over the last week.
After a hot start for the Yankees, Rizzo has cooled off. This should not surprise you, as Rizzo was always a streaky hitter in his time with the Cubs. Over the last week, he hit just .174/.208/.217 (4-for-23) with seven strikeouts, and overall with New York he is now batting .219/.316/.375 (14-for-64).
He did have quite the at-bat Sunday night against the A’s in Oakland. With the Cubs, Rizzo almost never pinch-hit. He was just 3-for-16 in his career as a PH before Sunday night, but Yankees manager Aaron Boone sent Rizzo up to pinch hit for Tyler Wade with Gary Sanchez on first base and two out in the seventh with New York trailing 1-0.
First, a wild pitch advanced Sanchez to second. Then Rizzo hit a foul popup that should have ended the inning, but A’s catcher Yan Gomes dropped it and was charged with an error. Two pitches later, Rizzo sliced a ground ball to the left side that ate up A’s third baseman Matt Chapman for another error and a run scored, tying the game.
The Yankees wound up losing the game anyway, 3-1.
Bryant left Friday’s Giants game against the Braves with tightness in his right side, but an MRI showed “no serious damage,” per this San Francisco Chronicle article posted Saturday.
But KB did not play Saturday or Sunday. He played in just three games this past week and went 2-for-9 — but both hits were home runs. As a Giant, Bryant is hitting .268/.318/.549 (22-for-82) with six home runs. Those numbers are pretty close to his 2021 Cubs numbers of .267/.358/.503.
Kyle played first base for the first time in his career this past week, part of a game at Minnesota and a full game at Cleveland, and from all reports handled it well. He had a very good week at the plate, hitting .333/.471/.593 (9-for-27) with two home runs and seven walks. Overall for Boston he’s hitting .349/.500/.581 (15-for-43).
Marisnick isn’t hitting much for the Padres, just 3-for-23, but Saturday night he made this outstanding diving catch [VIDEO].
I wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs bring Marisnick back for 2022.
You’ve probably seen these already, but Friday night Kimbrel served up two more home runs to Cubs hitters.
Craig Kimbrel for the Cubs this year: 0.49 ERA in 36⅔ innings, one HR allowed.
Craig Kimbrel against the Cubs this year: 20.25 ERA in 2⅔ innings, three HR allowed.
I’m guessing Kimbrel is happy he doesn’t have to face his former teammates again in 2021.
I’ll have another update on Cubs players traded away this summer next Monday.