The Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals rivalry is one of the best and longest standing rivalries in baseball. It was decidedly one-sided in the Cardinals' favor for a long time -- a very long time -- up until the last few years, when the Cubs began to assert dominance in the NL Central.
The Cubs-Cardinals rivalry was ratcheted up a notch Friday night when, during a talk show-style discussion with Ryan Dempster at Cubs Convention, Kris Bryant called St. Louis boring. Those were his words: "It's so boring." Here's the video:
"Who would want to play in St. Louis? So boring. It's so boring," Bryant said. "I always get asked like, 'Where do you like to play? Where do you not like to play?' St. Louis is on the list where I don't like to play."
As you can imagine, the Cubs fans in attendance enjoyed Bryant's comments. Cardinals reliever John Brebbia? Not so much. He was asked about Bryant's comments at Cardinals Caravan in Peoria, Illinois on Saturday. Here's his response:
Oh damn. Brebbia didn't hold back, did he? Catcher Yadier Molina said something similar, writing "only stupid players and losers make comments like the ones made by (Bryant)" on Instagram. Check it out:
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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 .. #ceroRespectforthisstupidplayers #QuevivaStlouis #LOVESTL
Right-hander John Gant had a less colorful response when asked about Bryant's comments -- "Didn't see them, wouldn't care if I did," he said -- but clearly, Bryant struck a nerve with Molina and Brebbia. For what it's worth, Brebbia tried to walk back his remark a bit later.
For the record, Bryant is 0 for 4 with one strikeout in his career against Brebbia. They should see plenty more of each other going forward now that Brebbia has established himself as a key member of the St. Louis bullpen.
Personally, I am all for NBA-style pettiness spreading to baseball. A little trash talk never hurt anyone, especially in the dead of winter with free agency slowed to crawl. It's never too early to create some bulletin board material, especially not for a rivalry like this.