If the Chicago Cubs are hoping to land a National League Wild Card playoff berth, they may have to do so without superstar Kris Bryant, who sprained his right ankle after landing awkwardly on a wet first-base bag while trying to beat out a double play during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Bryant received an MRI on Monday, and it revealed a Grade 2 sprain and casting a cloud of uncertainty over his availability for the final week of the regular season, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
Now, Bryant’s agent, Scott Boras, is taking aim at MLB who he blames for not properly addressing the issue of wet bases, and not doing enough to ensure player safety.
Boras also brought up an injury his other client, Philadelphia Phillies’ superstar Bryce Harper, suffered back in August 2017 while playing for the Washington Nationals.
Harper suffered a significant bone bruise and hyper-extended knee when he slipped on a wet base.
At the time, Boras called for MLB to take more steps to protect players, specifically pointing to the dangers of wet bases.
“What have they done since Harper? The answer is nothing,” Boras said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “They’re focused on other factors, economic factors, all things relating to how they can administer the game, and yet the safety of players and resolution of this issue has gone without any attention.
“The integrity of our game is going to [be] damaged when the safety of players is not at the forefront, and Major League Baseball has dropped the ball on the wet bag subject.”
“To date, no one has come up with a bag that has proven to be better safety-wise than the bag we use now,” an MLB spokesperson said.
“The issue for me is they’ve done nothing,” Boras continued. “They have completely skirted this issue. They had an MVP player having an MVP season dramatically get hurt and miss time. It affects playoff races and the entire safety of players and the integrity of the game. When they are very diligent to get umpires and teams to play during rain, during precipitation, trying to get the games played.
“There’s been no discussion, no resolution, absolutely nothing done in this area, except the player is to bear the burden of slippery and wet bags.”
For now, Bryant will be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time as the Cubs move forward with their hopes to lock up a playoff spot.