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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cubs Preview #3- 3/17/08

Roster Spot #14- SS- Ryan Theriot #2
Ht: 5'11'' Wt: 175 Bats: Right Throws: Right

Oh Ryan..if love for the game was a stat you'd be MVP

If I had to pick one players as the 2007 Cubs MVP, it would be Ryan Theriot. With his combination of Grit, Hustle, Sticktoitiveness, Exuberance, Scrappiness, and overall adorability, he was the key to the Cubs winning the division. I mean gosh, yeah, he didn't really hit THAT great, but he's just a "winning" type of ballplayer, I mean, and he's SOOO Cute.

F&%k That.

Look, I like Ryan Theriot. Most Cubs fans like him. He's a nice kid who has done more than was expected of him and plays hard every day. He's not a superstar as the teenage girls and the blue collar morons in the bleachers at Wrigley will tell you, he's not the Cubs key player, and hustle, despite the common myth, does not win ballgames. The people who argue for Ryan's greatness based on hustle are the same people who defended Neifi Perez. They're the ones who get on Aramis Ramirez every year for not running out every single groundball. Yeah, Aramis isn't a "hustler". All he does is average 31 homers and 106 rbis every year. I'll take it.

Ryan hit .266 last year. That's fairly mediocre. As was his play at shortstop where, while he was a huge upgrade from Cesar Izturis and Ronny Cedeno, he didn't exactly remind anyone of Ozzie Smith, given that his arm strength is somewhere between a 12 year old girl and Shane Matthews.

Ryan does have some great qualities, he has tendency to have long at bats, he had a great strikeout to walk ratio, having struck out only 50 times last year and walked 49, and he's an adequate base stealer after stealing 28 bags last year. But he's not the answer to the lead-off problem for the Cubs, and those people who've been clamoring for him to take over the spot from Soriano are ridiculous ( and don't try and point out that that's just what Lou has done the last week, because that move was made to get Soriano used to the two spot before the arrival of Roberts. If we don't get Roberts, Soriano will be back at #1 by opening day. I guarantee it). By what statistic does Theriot merit being the lead-off hitter over Soriano? Batting Average? Al hit .299, Theriot .266. On Base Percentage? Al's- .331, Theriot's- .326. In every measurable stat but stolen bases Soriano is better than Theriot, so get over it.

So quit freaking out about him and look at him for what he is- a decent fielding, decent hitting, decent running player. A DECENT player. He'll probably bat 7th this year if we acquire Brian Roberts, and Cubs fans shouldn't bemoan his fate. In the 7 spot he's a valuable hitter, in the lead-off spot or two hole he's a guy that's only giving Lee/Ramirez a chance to drive him in 32 percent of the time. There, I said it.

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