Las Vegas massacre hits close to home for Cubs superstar Kris Bryant: 'It broke my heart'

Las Vegas massacre hits close to home for Cubs superstar Kris Bryant: 'It broke my heart'

WASHINGTON — The images from Las Vegas haunted Cubs superstar Kris Bryant, who couldn’t just stick to sports this October or feel numb to another mass shooting. This became personal for Bryant on Sunday night, trying to get information on the massacre at a country music festival that killed at least 59 people and wounded hundreds and hundreds more.  

“It broke my heart,” Bryant said. “It’s been scary, watching the news and watching the numbers rise. You never think it’s going to happen to anywhere you’re from, or where you live, and then it does.

“I was up all night. Thankfully, the people who were there that we knew got back to us really quick, so we weren’t waiting up. I couldn’t imagine some of those people and the fear they had and the parents waiting to hear from loved ones.”

The Las Vegas angle to this best-of-five series was supposed to be how that city produced the last two National League MVPs after Bryant grew up playing with and against Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper. But a horrific event like this puts playoff pressure in perspective for Bryant, who revealed that his wife’s brother’s fiancée was in the middle of the attack.

“My soon-to-be sister-in-law was there and running right with the crowd,” Bryant said. “A lot of friends (were there). I’ve heard a lot of stories about some friends who thankfully weren’t hurt. So many people were hurt, and it’s sad to think that some people’s kids and parents and uncles aren’t going to be there anymore. It’s just sad.”

Bryant fully accepts his role as an ambassador for Major League Baseball, standing in one corner of the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park on Thursday and answering waves of questions from reporters. He’s spoken with Harper and wants to do something more for Las Vegas after taping a public-service announcement and noticing the six-hour waits to donate blood. He understands there’s so much more to his hometown than just The Strip.

“We play baseball for a living, but there’s way more important things,” Bryant said. “It’s been really touching to see the community come together like that. The response from everybody — people want to help and they have way too much blood being donated. It’s unbelievable to see people come together when we need it.”

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for


What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

Families gather and people talk about things they are thankful for on Thanksgiving, but what are Chicago sports fans happy for now?

Raised expectations on the North Side

Got to be thankful that a “disappointing” season is winning the division and losing in the NLCS. The expectations have skyrocketed, and that’s thanks to a ridiculous nucleus of bats and a steady front office. Not many clubs can say that. Also, though, it’s important to be appreciative of the Wrigley bar stretch. They may charge $8 for a Miller Lite, but it’s always a damn good party.

Javy tags, too. Don't forget Javy tags.

Rebuild sparking hope in White Sox fans

Where to begin? Obviously, be thankful for the plethora of young talent that will soon take over the South Side. Be thankful for Avi Time (while you still can). Be thankful that taking your friends or family to a game won’t cause you to take out a second mortgage. Be thankful for the 2020 World Series and, of course, 2020 MVP Eloy Jimenez. But most importantly, be thankful that Rick Hahn’s phone stays buzzing.

Eddie O back in the booth for the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are having a rough start to the season, but at least Eddie Olczyk is back in the booth. The longtime Blackhawks broadcaster returned to the booth on Oct. 18 after missing time while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for colon cancer.

With some of the key names from the Blackhawks’ title runs either leaving or being unable to play this season (in the case of Marian Hossa), Blackhawks fans are probably thankful to see a familiar face and hear a familiar voice during games.

Lauri Markkanen leading the Bulls rebuild

OK, there’s not much to be thankful for about the current Bulls team. At 3-13, the Bulls are tied for the fewest wins in the NBA (maybe in the long-term that’s something to be thankful for as well). However, Zach LaVine’s pending debut after his eventual return from injury should help create some excitement.

The thing Bulls fans really should be thankful for this year is the play of rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 20-year-old leads the team in scoring (14.6 points per game) and rebounds (8.3 per game) while shooting at a high percentage (34.2 percent on threes and 50.6 percent on twos). It’s only the beginning of the Bulls’ rebuild, but Markkanen is a good start.


If a few things broke the Bears’ way, Chicagoans could have been grateful that the team was finally out of the cellar. Instead, we’ll settle for the fact that there seems to be some building blocks already in place. Mitchell Trubisky, Tarik Cohen, Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks seem to fit that category. Also, some may be thankful that this is likely John Fox’s last season at the helm.

Fire ending a playoff drought

After finishing dead last in MLS in 2015 and 2016, the Fire were one of the most improved teams in the league in 2017. After posting the third best record in the league, the Fire made a first playoff appearance since 2012.

The playoff run didn’t last long with the Fire losing a play-in game at home, but the arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger and the league’s leading goal-scorer, Nemanja Nikolic, helped fill the stadium with six sellouts and gave Fire fans something to cheer for.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Where do Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis?


Cubs Talk Podcast: Where do Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis?

In the latest CubsTalk Podcast, Kelly Crull and David Kaplan look ahead to Thanksgiving and discuss the official coaching hires for the Cubs.

They also talk about where the Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis, whether Alex Cobb could factor into the rotation plans and Kap goes off on the 11:30 a.m. Opening Day start time.

Check out the entire podcast here: