Star prospect Bryant stars in commercial
PITTSBURGH -- Kris Bryant wasn't quite sure what to do when the goat he was paired with for a commercial wanted to run around, and he also needed some guidance on how to milk a cow.
"I had no clue what I was doing," Bryant said Monday. "They had an umbrella over [the goat] because it was raining. The goat wanted to run around. It was hard to keep him by my side. I've never been around them -- I'm not a farm boy, I'm a city boy."
He also was a poster boy even before he was promoted to the Cubs on Friday. On April 5, when the Cubs opened the regular season and Bryant was at Triple-A Iowa, there was a billboard outside Wrigley Field with a picture of him in a Cubs uniform, titled "Worth the Wait."
"I actually did not know about that," Bryant said of the adidas ad. "I had done some photos in Spring Training. They can use me the way they want, because I guess I'm employed by them. I had no clue about it. Anthony [Rizzo] texted me -- he sent me a selfie with him and the billboard. I thought, 'That's pretty cool.'"
The hype is unusual, although Bryant, ranked as the Cubs' top prospect, was the 2014 Minor League Player of the Year after belting 43 home runs and batting .325, and he didn't let up this spring when he led the Major Leagues with nine homers.
"I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like the anticipatory moment he had to go through, and I thought he dealt with it extremely well," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He couldn't have dealt with it any better."
Bryant had seen the script for the Red Bull "Down on the Farm" commercial, which includes a goat, a cow and some Chicago celebrities, including Mike Ditka, Ron Cey, Billy Corgan and Joakim Noah.
"I didn't want to be the center of attention," Bryant said. "I think they did a good job of barely showing me, because I don't want that attention being the young guy here."
However, the commercial does focus on Bryant's arrival.
"I think it was more about the excitement of where the [Cubs] organization is headed and the whole city of Chicago is excited," Bryant said. "I was happy about that."
The commercial was filmed April 14 when Bryant was playing for Iowa in New Orleans. Somehow, they found a farm with the right animals. Cubs fans are well versed in the importance of the goat; Bryant is still learning.
"I'm still sort of new, so I didn't know much of the history," Bryant said. "I thought it was pretty funny and I had to laugh about it, but I wanted to make sure it wasn't over the top or making it seem like I'm bigger than I actually am. I think it turned out well. It was different."
As far as he's concerned, the ads are just "special things that come along and are icing on the cake.
"I really am focused on what I have to do here," Bryant said. "Those are just things on the side."