Bernstein: Weirdo Cardinals Overreacting To Bryant

Much hoopla has ensued after Kris Bryant called St. Louis "boring."

Dan Bernstein
January 22, 2019 - 3:10 pm

(670 The Score) In what's easily the dumbest sports story of 2019 so far, St. Louis Cardinals players are in high dudgeon over Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant telling a roomful of Cubs fans that he finds the city of St. Louis "boring."

It was an entirely offhanded and inoffensive remark made at the Cubs Convention on Friday night, part of Ryan Dempster's talk-show style interview session, a little good-natured red meat tossed to elicit a positive response from the assembly. Bryant didn't say anything at all about the Cardinals themselves or their fans, merely observing what's understood to be common knowledge about a smaller Midwestern city.  

So he's objectively correct in his assessment, and even if that weren't the case, it's merely his innocuous opinion. And so what?

But Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina apparently thinks Bryant struck too personal a blow, too close to the bone, crossing some imaginary line that demands he respond not merely in kind but in a way that betrays more than a little insecurity about ... something.

"St. Louis is home," Molina told reporters Monday. "If anybody says something bad about my home, I'm going to be there for us. I said to the guys, 'We are like a family. We have to stick together. We have to defend ourselves and we have to defend our ground.' Whoever says something about us, we are going to be there to defend us.

"It will carry (into the season)," he said.  "I can't wait to get on the field." 

Good lord, man. Lighten up.

I expect this from clownish and all-too-easily parodied Cardinals fans, that magnificent collection of goobers famous for their ironic self-congratulation, racism both thinly veiled and astonishingly overt, creepy farmland religiosity, NASCAR mustaches and misspelled signs. But this is from an iconic player, leaping to defend his fair maiden of a city from being identified correctly as relatively unexciting.

Cardinals reliever John Brebbia channeled their resentment perfectly, weighing in on Bryant with, "Cry me a river, loser."

He wasn't crying about anything. And Bryant the loser has only won awards as college player of the year, minor league player of the year, NL Rookie of the Year, NL MVP and a World Series. And I can guarantee that if Brebbia had sent his comment in the form of an email, the word would have been spelled "looser" in proper Cards-fan fashion.

So perhaps the real sting was from so mild a message being delivered by somebody so mild. Bryant calling something boring is hilarious in and of itself, the idea that a guy for whom a wild night is sitting on the couch watching Netflix with his wife would have a problem with a quiet town that doesn't have many options for wee-hours fun.

You have to be ponderously boring to inhabit a level at which Kris Bryant could find it boring, and that truth may have just touched a nerve.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​