The right ankle sprain sustained by Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant on Sunday has again hit a nerve with his agent, Scott Boras, who is excoriating Major League Baseball for not reducing the risk to players when bases get wet and slippery.
Bryant was injured Sunday as he slipped on first base while failing to beat out a double-play grounder. ESPN reported Monday night that the 2016 National League MVP is doubtful for the last week of the regular season after an MRI exam found a Grade 2 sprain. The Cubs did not immediately announce the MRI results.
It’s Boras’ second time decried such an injury among the players he represents.
Two seasons ago, Bryce Harper, then with the Washington Nationals, went down with a hyperextended left knee and bone bruise in mid-August when he slipped on first base. That play came after the game had been delayed by rain for several hours, and Harper, the 2015 NL MVP, didn’t return until the final week of the season.
Boras was direct in his criticism of what he called MLB’s lack of response to the problem.
“What have they done since Harper? The answer is, nothing,” Boras told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday. “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.”
Bryant’s injury came as the Cubs were getting swept by the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend. Chicago is four games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the second NL wild card with just six games remaining in the regular season.
Bryant, a three-time All-Star as well as the NL Rookie of the Year in 2015, is hitting .282 with a .382 on-base percentage, a .521 slugging percentage, 31 home runs and 77 RBIs in 147 games this season.