The Chicago Cubs may be in the thick of the National League playoff race, but things haven't exactly gone according to plan.
Manager Joe Maddon's expiring contract has crept up whenever the club has hit a cold streak, and star players like third baseman Kris Bryant have seen their names pop up in trade rumors. These distractions have taken a toll.
"I’d say so 1,000 percent," Bryant said, according to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic. "Everybody in this clubhouse is human. When you start hearing things like that, when Joe starts hearing things like that, myself included, you start thinking a little bit. The past four years, none of that has happened and it’s just kind of been we’re cruising along.
"But personally, whatever happens for me happens. All I can do is really focus on these last (14) games and doing all I can to help the team win. And I think I’ve been doing that for five years here now. I’m willing to toot my own horn a little bit - I think I’ve done a pretty good job of it."