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Cubs Need To Quiet The Riot

By bullpenbrian at 10.30.2012 11 comments.

I could have done without Ryan Theriot winning one World Series ring, let alone two. And the second ring is only slightly more tolerable because it didn’t happen with the Cardinals.

Theriot does seem to have knack for finding himself on the right side of a rivalry, whether it’s Cubs-Cards or Giants-Dodgers. Maybe it’s because he’s the devil or maybe he’s simply lucky?

Whatever the case, he’ll always remain a whipping boy for Cubs fans after ripping the organization once he was out the door in Chicago.

Hardly a day had passed after Theriot signed with the Cardinals before he felt the need to air his dirty laundry on St. Louis sports radio questioning the Cubs commitment to winning a championship and the team’s loyalty towards him.

“I’m finally on the right side of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.” -Theriot.

Neither was an accurate assessment. Although the Cubs could have spent its money more wisely after a disastrous 2006 season, it’s a stretch to say Jim Hendry wasn’t committed to winning, especially after the Cubs won back-to-back division titles with Theriot on the team in 2007-08.

And as far as loyalty, well, what do you make of the Cubs fostering Theriot for the better part of a decade, grooming him for the majors, giving him his first shot in the bigs and sticking with him while better options at his position were available?

I always speculated Theriot’s arbitration case with the Cubs in the winter of 2010 was the undoing of the relationship. The Cubs had not gone to arbitration with any of its players since 1993 when Mark Grace lost his case. Theriot lost his case as well.

Looking back it appeared when Theriot missed out the raise he was seeking he fingered Jim Hendry as disloyal despite the fact the Cubs had a young, up-and-coming shortstop named Starlin Castro who was a far better version of the weak-armed, light-hitting, bad base-running Theriot. It just took Theriot a few months before saying so.

Anyway it’s no wonder why Hendry didn’t want to overpay to keep Theriot’s services–and why Hendry traded him to the Dodgers later that summer.

The irritating part of course is Theriot has won two championships in his two seasons post-Cubs. And given the slow turnaround we’re seeing on the North Side, Theriot may find himself with a third ring before the Cubs even reach the postseason.

It doesn’t seem fair the Cubs former Southern charmer turned outcast is enjoying so much success while the Cubs are busy muddling around in a lengthy rebuilding process.

But there’s no denying Theriot has a nose for winning. He won in college at LSU and he’s won with the both the Cardinals and Giants in addition to the success he had with the Cubs. That, however, doesn’t make Theriot any more likeable or give credit to his gutless jabs at the Cubs.

Unfortunately we’re stuck watching this joker leech his way to the postseason for the next several seasons while the Cubs climb out of the mud, which won’t be any more fun than it is already.

The good news is Theriot was exposed as a fraud and ousted from Chicago before going down in Cubs lore as a member of the first world championship team in 100-plus seasons.

Of course it came at the coast of allowing Theriot to reach the top for now, but that eventual Cubs championship will be the ultimate elixir for all the heartbreak and what-could-have-been from years past, including Theriot’s rightful place as just another Cub who failed to win a ring.

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11 Comments

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Good article, Steve. Thanks for sharing.

      No question there was some truth to Theriot’s comments about the Cubs…a painful truth at that.

      In particular we’ve seen first hand the Cubs old regime stunt the growth of some of its better prospects…the handling of Jeff Samardizja being a recent example that jumps to mind.

      But whether Theriot’s upbringing with Chicago was more wrong than right or more unfair than fair, it wasn’t grounds for Theriot to get cute with his comments and rip the Cubs.

      The Cubs organization may not have been perfect through Theriot’s upbringing…but let me remind everyone Theriot wasn’t a perfect player, either.

      The failures of the Cubs during Theriot’s tenure in Chicago is a shared responsibility among the front office, players, coaches and staff.

      No organization in baseball is perfect. No organization is without flaws in its minor league systems.

      That doesn’t absolve the Cubs from all sins with Theriot, but let’s not pretend the organization was trying to impede his development into a big league player.

      Theriot, after all, has never possessed the God given talents to be a consistent everyday major league player (as evidence by the Giants replacing him mid-season with its acquisition of Marco Scutaro) and that’s fine by me. In fact, I give Theriot credit for fancying himself as a role player, which every championship team needs, obviously including the last two he’s been on.

      That said, it’s no surprise the Cubs, or what could have been any organization for that matter, tried to find different ways to develop Theriot.

      But for a guy who said, and later reiterated after this year’s World Series win, that he wanted to finish his career as a Cub, makes me question how terrible Theriot’s time within the Cubs entire system could have been.

      When human beings get hurt personally it makes us angry. And when we allow that anger to boil over it provokes us to say stupid things, stuff we don’t necessarily even believe. You, me, Theriot…we’re all guilty of it.

      But part of growing up is learning not to point blame at others, throw fits and cry foul when life doesn’t go our way. And that’s where I lost respect for Theriot.

      No one ever pointed and directly placed blame on him for the Cubs misfortunes. Instead, all Cubs fans ever did was love the guy–even if we picked his game apart at times…but no different than we do any other Cubs player.

      So with all due respect, that’s where you and I differ. I never believed Theriot was merely speaking a truth. I believe he was intentionally trying to be hurtful, which he was.

      One of the many beauties of sports is our own interpretations of the players and the game. We won’t always agree with one another, but it wouldn’t be any fun that way either. :)

      • Steve Rhodes says:

        The Cardinals – and Giants – know how to win, in part by knowing how to develop players and build rosters with complementary talents. The Cubs (pre-Theo; too early to judge current management) know how to lose, in part by not having a clue as to how to develop players and build rosters with complementary talents. It’s just that simple; the record speaks for itself. What I don’t understand is getting all bent out of shape for Theriot making a comment like he did; it strikes me as childish. I’m sure every player who has worn both uniforms would say that – in a baseball sense – the Cardinals are the right side of that rivalry. And as far as timing and luck, there’s always a bit of that, but the fact remains that the Cards and Giants wanted Theriot on their rosters – and not only that, but Tony LaRussa chose to start Game 1 of the World Series last year with Theriot leading off, and Bruce Bochy chose to slot him as DH (!) in the clinching Game 4 . . . and he scored the winning run. Give him his due, he’s a gamer, which we haven’t seen much of in . . . forever on the North Side.

        • bullpenbrian says:

          Steve, couldn’t agree more about Cards and Giants. They grow from within, develop and win. I’m just glad the Cubs have finally fallen in line with their thinking.

          However, we’re going to have to agree to disagree about Theriot.

          I find Theriot’s comments towards the Cubs childish, not the other way around.

          It was never a ‘baseball conversation’ he was having the day of his on-air interview. It was a pointed insult at the Cubs organization.

          If Theriot was specifically talking about player development or the Cubs losing culture he would have clarified his comments to say so without being disrespectful.

          Even more so, Theriot could’ve been a man about it, a professional, and just come out and said Jim Hendry was wrong for letting him go–but he took the gutless way out and threw the entire organization under the bus.

          Sure Theriot’s comments held some truth, but that doesn’t entitle him to be an ass. Who does this clown think he is?

          Respect is earned, and a scrub player like Theriot should understand that better than most in his profession.

          I don’t care how many rings he wins or where his manager bats him in the lineup…I don’t like the guy.

          If I give Theriot credit for anything it’s being just good enough to be a role player on some really good teams. Good for him.

          Now I can’t wait for him to find himself on the wrong side of a rivalry ;)

  1. Ryan Grzynkowicz says:

    I hope that he is just a forgotten trivia question, rather than remembered at all. Theriot will always be a Cardinal to me. I’ll miss Ronny Cedeño way more than him.

  2. The Riot did not win those championships. He rode in and the tails of the better players on the team. I’m sure when he’s done with a lackluster career he will not mention he was not an intricate part of either team, specifically the Giants. Many professional players are not nice guys. They have been spoiled since their parents discovered the talent that they have. The best thing we can do is to keep calling attention to the fact that Theriot is not a great man, nor a great ball player he just merely was in t he right place at the right time and will have to stand in line to the hall of fame like the rest of us.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Merril: How true life is so much about good timing. Theriot’s found the right place at the right time the past two years. Big shrug.

      As you mentioned, he’s bar stool trivia…an afterthought to one of the least watched and cared about World Series of all time.

      I don’t, however, know Theriot personally to speak of to what kind of a man he is. But I do hold him responsible for his comments about the Cubs, which appeared to be intentionally hurtful.

      It was uncalled for, unprofessional and unnecessary.

      Theriot wanted to stay with Chicago. It didn’t work out. Such is life.

      There’s a reason it’s called good timing…because sometimes you’re not at the right place t the right time.

      Here’s hoping Theriot’s good timing has run out.

  3. Dean says:

    He was displaced on the Giants and will probably not be on their roster next year. He lost his position and playing time on an injury depleted roster. It was happenstance he found himnself in the last game. lets see wht he says when he is on the Royals or the Pirates trying to hang on to a job

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Dean: I agree. Although, maybe Theriot has been that missing piece in Pittsburgh preventing the Pirates from reaching the postseason! SMH!

      • Steve Rhodes says:

        Forgot about his stats with the Dodgers: “In 132 plate appearances as Los Angeles’ everyday second baseman, The Riot has hit .307/.380/.377, drawing nearly as many unintentional walks (13) as he did with the Cubs (16) in 280 fewer plate appearances.”

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