“I do not take anything for granted,” critics shout

Cubs’ Heyward accepts calls for release with “grain of salt” originally aired on NBC Sports Chicago

Is this the last game Jason Heyward is playing for the Cubs? Is tomorrow his last day on the roster?

Or next week? Next month? Sometime next year – the last year of this eight-year major competition he signed 11 months before the most famous rain delay in the history of the big league.

He is the only one who asks anyone on Cubs Twitter when his name appears in another lineup or when another outfielder leaves the roster (at least the non-obscene questions).

“I’m not wondering,” he told NBC Sports Chicago. “Because when it happens, it will happen, whatever it is. Either it’s my last day in life, or it’s my last day as a member of this team, or any team, or it’s my last day playing. whenever he gets here, he will get here.

“I’m here. To be where my feet are.”

Heyward knows like everyone on Twitter that he is the elephant in the lineup.

Team president Jed Hoyer knows better than Twitter that what is left of the right-back’s $ 184 million contract is the elephant on the roster.

In short, he is the most polarizing player on the roster by a wide margin due to angry fans.

And Heyward knows what they’m saying. Well, he knows what they are telling him.

“I do not care,” he said in the same tone that addresses most issues. “I’m just saying I’m not flipping through it [Twitter]. »

As for what he really hears, what people on the pitch say or those around the city who recognize him, “Thank you. They say, “Thank you.” “

The passionate gathering of the team during that famous meeting with a delay in the rain? The championship? Do the Gold Glove play abroad and document the influence of the clubs during this series of winning seasons and appearances in the playoffs, unprecedented in the history of the franchise?

What do people think of him now as the team’s fortunes have followed in Dodo’s footsteps – not to mention the way Kris Bryant, Javy Báez and Anthony Rizzo have been cleared?

“I can not control any of them. “I can never control that,” said Heyward. “From the first day I play [in the big leagues] in my 20s or playing now in my 32s, I realize I can not control that.

“They are people in leadership who make moves, who have to make decisions, who have to write checks, who have to cut people, whatever they are: They are the ones who lead what people think.”

Sunken costs, 40-man roster issues, contract status, injuries (IL or not) – most people do not know everything about the game’s many business decisions, he said.

“So I take it with a little salt,” he said.

They have every right and reason to be in the moment and say, “Oh, today that was your result.” That is what they know, what they understand. “So nice,” said Heyward.

Hoyer, the leading decision-maker, repeated on Wednesday morning on Kap & J. Hood on ESPN 1000 what he told reporters in New York when Heyward returned to the squad following the appointment of outfielder Clint Frazier.

Yes, it is a sunken cost, he agreed. Yes, Heyward has struggled all year (0.205 with a homer and a 0.558 OPS). Yes, Cubs need to play younger players to see what they have for the long term, competitive future. And, yes, with Ian Hap locked in on the left and rookie Chris Morel gaining a day job at the center that goes to the right.

“We’ve hit a lot, and as a result, he’s playing a lot,” Hoyer said, referring apparently to the $ 85 million newcomer Seiya Suzuki, who has been sidelined for a month with a finger injury.

But also this: “I will say about Jason, this guy could not be more important for the development of our young players, the guidance of our children”, said Hoyer, repeating the feeling, almost word for word from her per day in New York. “It is really rare to see players who are really willing and who need time to mentor these kids. There is value in that. “

At least that probably means Heyward is back in the squad (at best) when Suzuki returns.

Whether this change in status is more dramatic at that point – or how much later – is what the fans seem to be shouting the most as the team sinks deeper into a second straight losing season, towards a second consecutive selloff, without end. in the view.

“I’m here. I’m present,” Heyward said.

So he plays when his manager and former teammate — his friend David Ross puts him in the lineup, producing 5-for-36 and all (.351 OPS) in his last 12 games.

And he plays without having to say much to each other.

“There’s so much history and we just understand how it works, Rossy and I. This piece is very easy,” Heyward said.

“It’s happening day by day. That’s all we have. “Especially in a situation like this.”

A situation where Heyward has reached a point where the Cubs part of a career that was already below average offensively has reached the bottom since the beginning of last season.

It makes it an easy and obvious target for fans who are already angry with what they are getting for the cost of going to a game (or for the cost of the miserable TV network), now five years, seven months and three weeks have been deducted from the delay rain.

“You want to see results,” he said. “You want to win. You want to compete. These are all reasons why we work hard and show up every day.

“I’m here. I’m doing well. I do not take it for granted, I play the game, I enjoy what I can do with the people around me.”

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