Chris Bryant, 32, a former MVP who was once the “face” of the Major League Baseball, is now a disaster for the Colorado Rockies. He continued to struggle after signing as a free agent, and it is no longer surprising that he is booed at his home stadium.

Bryant appeared as the fourth designated hitter in a 2024 Major League home game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on the 8th (Korea time), but gave up no hits and one walk in three times at bat. His batting average for this season fell to 17.7 percent (three hits in 28 times at bat).

The moment Bryant took his first at-bat in the first inning, he booed. The Colorado home crowd booed even more when Bryant was out with three strikeouts. Bryant, who got on base with a walk in the seventh inning after stepping down with an infield fly ball in the fourth inning, only hit a grounder to the shortstop with one out in the ninth inning.

The inning ended with a 6-4-3 double play. The Colorado home crowd booed the stadium as if it was about to leave. Colorado scored a run in the ninth inning, but lost 2-3 and lost its second straight game. With 2-8 losses in their opening 10 games, they are fifth and last in the NL West.

For Bryant, booing has become a part of his daily routine. He hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning in the opening game at home on Saturday, but failed to avoid booing as he struck out swinging with the bases loaded with one out in the ninth inning. The next batter Ryan McMahon’s walk-off home run won the game 10-7, but Bryant couldn’t shake off the bitterness.

After the game, Bryant confessed in an interview with a local media that he experienced all the madness baseball can bring, including death threats and messages to death. “You’ll still see that when you look at social media messages. I don’t use social media during the season, but that happened.”

Bryant, who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs as the second-round pick in the first round of the 2013 draft, made a spectacular debut as the NL Rookie of the Year in 2015, hitting 26 home runs in his first year. In 2016, he played 155 games, batting 292 percent (176 hits in 603 at-bats) with 39 home runs, 102 RBIs, and a 399 percent OPS, and was named MVP by putting the Cubs on top of the World Series for the first time in 108 years.

Not only did he excel in the game, but he also rose to the top of the league’s reputation as a star with his good looks and star quality. In 2017, he was the top seller in all league uniforms. Although he continued his success with four All-Star selections, his performance gradually declined afterwards. After being traded to the San Francisco Giants at the end of July 2021, he became a free agent and signed a seven-year, $182 million contract with Colorado in March 2022. It was the largest contract in Colorado’s history.

After signing as a free agent, Bryant completely went up in smoke. Starting with his first year in 2022, he suffered back injuries in April and May, and played 42 games in July after being forced to leave due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Last year, he had a left heel injury, making only 80 appearances. Despite having batter-friendly Coors Field as his home, his batting average has declined. While he recorded a batting average of 0.207.8 and an OPS of 0.880 in the seven years before coming to Colorado, he showed a noticeable decline with a batting average of 0.205 and an OPS of 0.724 in the three years after coming to Colorado.

Last year, he hit his career low with a batting average of 233 percent (70 hits in 300 times at bat) with 10 homers and 31 RBIs with an OPS of 6.88 percent, but this year, he is going below ground through the floor. He has a batting average of 17 percent (three hits in 28 times at bat) with one homer and three RBIs with an OPS of 479 percent in eight games. It is hard to believe that he is earning 28 million dollars a year, about 38 billion won (31 million dollars) in annual salary this year. Fans even made death threats, but his performance is outrageous even when he booed him every day.

Including this year, there is a huge free agent salary of $131 million left over the next five years. Colorado has to somehow save Bryant. “I think I’ll be a better person at the end of my career,” Bryant said. “Through adversity like this, we can teach kids how to deal with it,” he said. “It takes courage to keep playing. I really want to do well,” he said.


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