Kris Bryant leaves Cubs-Dodgers finale with 'flu-like symptoms'


Kris Bryant leaves Cubs-Dodgers finale with 'flu-like symptoms'

Cubs fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

Kris Bryant left the Cubs-Dodgers game after the second inning Thursday, but the cause was nothing sinister, just "flu-like symptoms," as the team announced.

Bryant struck out on a check swing in the first and came out for defense in the top of the second before leaving with the Cubs down 4-0.

In the minutes in between Bryant's departure and the confirmed news from the Cubs that it was just the flu, Twitter was ablaze with conjecture from fans about if Bryant was traded, injured, whatever.

When told about the Twitter rumors postgame, Cubs manager Joe Maddon laughed.

[MORE: Lester struggles as Dodgers blank Cubs]

"Hysterical," Maddon said. "That's just the world [we live in]. For me, I kinda giggle at that stuff. I don't take any of that seriously, quite frankly.

"What's important to me is what our group thinks, what our team thinks, what our front office or ownership thinks. That's what matters to me. With all due respect to the fans, unless I was trying to run for mayor, I'd be worrying about what they have to say a little bit more."

At the same time, Maddon understood why fans would fall into such a practice.

"It's probably kinda fun if you're out there," he said. "If you're really into that, it probably grinds up your day a little bit with some controversy. But for me, I think if it accelerates interest in our game, I'll take it. Other than that, I really don't pay any attention to it."

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

This is the second time this season Bryant has had to be removed from the game for feeling under the weather. He also left May 17's Cubs-Pirates game at Wrigley Field in the fifth inning for the same reason.

Thursday, the Cubs inserted Matt Szczur into the lineup in Bryant's spot. Szczur took over center field, moving Chris Denorfia to left, which moved Chris Coghlan to second base and pushed Jonathan Herrera to third (catch all that?).

Bryant is hitting .278 with 10 homers and 42 RBI this season.

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Marlon Byrd discusses his suspensions for PED use and Ozzie Guillen offers a solution to the PED problem

NBC Sports Chicago

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Marlon Byrd discusses his suspensions for PED use and Ozzie Guillen offers a solution to the PED problem

Ozzie Guillen explains why he thinks Manny Machado is a better fit for the Cubs than the White Sox. Plus, Guillen and Marlon Byrd react to 19-year-old Juan Soto hitting a homer in his first at-bat with the Nationals.

Later in the show the guys debate who had the better rants in front of the media: Guillen or Byrd?

Finally, Byrd opens up about his PED suspensions, relates to the guys caught using PEDs now and Guillen offers up a solution to rid baseball of PEDs entirely.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Marlon Byrd on PED suspensions: 'You can make a mistake on purpose or on accident'

Marlon Byrd on PED suspensions: 'You can make a mistake on purpose or on accident'

Six players on Major League Baseball rosters have been suspended twice for the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Marlon Byrd, one of the players in that infamous group, has to live with that for the rest of his career. The 40-year-old talked about that on Baseball Night in Chicago on NBC Sports Chicago.

“Anybody that goes through this, it’s a part of their career,” Byrd said. “That’s it. This is a part of my career. Not testing positive once, but testing positive twice. I will always have to answer the question because it is a part of my 15-year major league career and always will. The easiest way to answer it is to tell the truth that way you can do it over and over and over again. Once you start telling fibs or telling lies you start holding onto something that’s not the truth.”

Byrd signed a 3-year deal with the Cubs ahead of the 2010 season. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox in April of 2012. Byrd’s first suspension came on June 25, 2012. He was suspended for 50 games. In 2016, he received his second suspension on June 1 and retired after the suspension.

Byrd was asked about his view on the recent Robinson Cano suspension, which will cost the Mariners’ second baseman 80 games. He spoke from personal experience when explaining what can happen with PED use.

“You can make a mistake on purpose or on accident,” Byrd said. “Some guys make it on accident. Some guys make it on purpose. There’s nobody up here that can talk about this better than I can because I’ve done it twice. One time on purpose, one time on accident. To speak for another man and what he went through is tough. Did Robinson do it or not? Only he knows. Nobody else is going to know, but what you have to do is take your suspension.”