CLEVELAND – Is this something new? Not really, from the game itself to the stadium which it’s played in.
After all, it was here at Progressive Field that the Cubs snapped their 108-year World Series drought with a Game 7 win over the Indians in November of 2016. The stakes won’t be that high tonight, but the attention will be, since Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Willson Contreras will each take part in the MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland.
It’s nothing new to these players, who each had a Midsummer Classic under their belts before 2019, and neither is their attitude heading towards this contest.
“Your gonna get the full effort, your going to get guys competing,” said Bryant, who is appearing in his third All-Star game of his career.
It’s a balance of enjoyment and competition that a few Cubs have learned about following a few appearances over the years in the game. Bryant is in his third Midsummer Classic, having also appeared in 2015 and 2016.
Javier Baez and Willson Contreras are in their second All-Star Games and once again are in the starting lineup. The only change is that Baez is at shortstop instead of second base as he was for the game in 2018, with his excitement on the field and production at the plate earning the vote from the fans yet again.
“It means a lot, it means a lot to me, it means a lot to have ‘KB’ and Javi by my side,” said Contreras of the All-Star selection. “We’ve been playing hard throughout the whole season, we put the right work in during the offseason, and we’ve applied it into the season.”
Especially Baez, who may find his way back into the MVP race if he continues his pace (.289, 22 HR, 62 RBI). The honor of starting back-to-back All-Star Game
“I know people have done it at different positions, but not back-to-back, so I’m excited to know that, and I’m looking forward to see how it’s going to be out there,” said Baez, and many will be looking forward to these Cubs’ latest All-Star appearance.