Cubs’ Wilson Contreras: ‘I Just Want It To End’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
SAN FRANCISCO – Wilson Contreras was dismissed in the ninth inning on Sunday, as a Cubs put his bat away for the last time and wandered to the other end of the dugout for the final minutes of the game.
On this the teammates used to shake hands alternately and hug him.
“That’s when I realized it was the last game before the deadline,” he said.
His last game with the Cubs followed seven big-league seasons that included three All-Star starts and the most famous championship in the history of the sport.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the emotional final game at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, he said after the Giants’ 4-0 loss, “It hit me a little there.” “Tomorrow and a holiday. We’ll see what happens.
“It’s going to be a long day,” he said. “It’s been a long, long week, a long, long month for me. But I’m ready for it to be over, to be honest.”
Contreras is the surest Cubs on this side of David Robertson who will be traded by the 5 p.m. deadline on Tuesday – teams from San Diego to New York are talking to the Cubs about one of the top two hitters in the trading market .
The Cubs’ next game, in St. Louis, would not begin until about two hours after that.
“It’s the first time in my career that I’ve been in this position. It’s not easy. I just want it to end,” he said, repeating that last part four times over the next two or three minutes of conversation Told.
“I have spoken to a few coaches about the situation,” he said. “It’s not easy to play with all these rumours. Yes, I’m ready for it to end.”
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The Cubs’ second deadline selloff in as many seasons began on Saturday with reliever Chris Martin’s Dodgers trading for utility infielder Zack McKinstry, who struck as a pinch-hitter on his Cubs debut on Sunday.
Contreras said he has not spoken to the Cubs front office about his status or business updates this week and plans to play video games or hang by the hotel pool on Monday while avoiding social media and other rumor mills.
All he knows is he can go from the only organization he knows to by the time the team’s charter lands in St. Louis before dawn, or last down 20 minutes before the deadline – like That Kris Bryant did last year before trading to the Giants.
“I’m really grateful for the time I’ve been here 14 years,” said Contreras, who signed as a Venezuelan amateur free agent when he was 17. But obviously this game shows you that it is not about feelings. It is about business. And that’s what I learned this year. Yes. It’s not about feelings.”
Feelings have defined Contreras’ career since breaking into a fiery rookie catcher during June of that 2016 championship run, eventually earning five World Series starts that fall – a final at Wrigley Field a few days earlier. Through the final two-game “Homestand”.
“We’re all going to miss Wilson,” said Cubs starter Marcus Strowman, who called Contreras a “cornerstone” of the franchise. “I think his career is just beginning to be honest. It certainly sucks to lose a guy like Wilson, a guy who comes in every day and competes at the absolute maximum. It’s hard to find.”
Contreras, who said the distraction of his short time position had begun to affect him since he last returned home a week ago, remained out of the media for much of the four-match series in San Francisco. Before circling back after Sunday’s final game, the Cubs are as much the biggest story of the season as anything.
“I know you guys are trying to do your job, and I’m fine with that,” he said. “It was more like, I think it was saying the same thing over and over. Because I don’t know what’s going to happen. And I didn’t want to say anything that I might regret later.”
That’s where Bhavana Strowman — and teammates — talk about.
After a breakout in the first half of this season, the reality of what comes next began to affect him on the field, as he slipped since his All-Star appearance.
“It’s hard just because any time you have a little time, a little free time, your mind is going to immediately go to rumors or business,” he said. “I wish it didn’t happen, but I won’t lie.”
Manager David Ross: “I don’t blame him. He’s an emotional player, in a great way. We’ve seen a lot of things that are important to him that he has to deal with. I think it would affect anyone.”
Contreras’ impending departure will leave two players from the 2016 Championship on the roster: Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hayward.
If JV Baez provided the “El Mago” power of that six-year victory and Anthony Rizzo was the face of that group, Contreras has certainly been the emotional center of it – and as recently as the rest of the championship, a mentor. Was also. Sold out under my own and teammates’ best efforts to win.
“I care, man. I care,” he said. Cares a lot.
“I know this team is not made to win this year – not even close,” he said. “But I learned a lot from this team too, from losing. I have learned a lot.”
There was nothing left to learn – there was nothing left to see here – as he said after Sunday’s game, having already taken off his Cubs uniform for the last time.
Waiting for a redeye flight. and an unknown destination.
“I just want it to end.”
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