Maybe “reckonings,” managerial changes and narratives about fresh voices have their places in changing clubhouse dynamics.
But if the Cubs are going to return to the playoffs, these players are going to have to do it themselves. They know it, and so does their new manager, who was a teammate as recently as 2016.
“The last two years we’ve been talking and saying all these things that we need to change,” sixth-year veteran Kris Bryant said. “All we do is just talk. No one really acts on it. I think as a team we should act on it.”
He’s talking about players themselves, without influence from the front office, coaches or the manager.
Bryant, for one, is willing to put his money where his mouth is on this point. He has discussed with teammates a players-only system of meting out fines for gaffes and mental mistakes to incentivize focus on some of the little things that got away from the team in recent years.
“For me, it’s all about effort,” Bryant said. “Running hard to first, beating out a double play so the next guy can hit you in from first. That’s stuff that we all need to embrace.”
As teammate Anthony Rizzo said when camp opened, “Money talks.”