The Other Fifteen

Eighty-five percent of the f---in' world is working. The other fifteen come out here.


The bloom is off the rose

As Harry Pavlidis notes, many Cubs fans seem to be giving up on Ryan Theriot only a week into the season.

Now, Ryan Theriot has a lot of qualities that lend toward being likable, but he's also not very good at baseball. I think that what's happening here is that a lot of fans remember how poor he was last September, are combining it with his slow start and coming to the conclusion that whatever magic Theriot once possessed, he no longer has. It's not necessarily the correct conclusion, even if it agrees with the correct conclusion - Theriot never had any magic to begin with.

So I'm torn - part of me agrees with T.S. Eliot: "The last temptation is the greatest treason; to do the right thing, for the wrong reason." On the other hand, there's much to like in what Winston Churchill said: "If Hitler invaded hell, I would make at least a favorable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons."

But the only opinion that really matters is that of the Cubs braintrust, specifically Lou Piniella and Jim Hendry. And I've seen no indication that they're souring on Theriot just yet. That makes sense - they're more likely to try and sort through these things rationally than fans, who by-and-large tend to experience these things emotionally first and foremost. And obviously the Cubs organization thinks they know something about Ryan Theriot's true talent level that I don't. But this bears watching nonetheless.

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1 Responses to “The bloom is off the rose”

  1. # Anonymous DeRoMyHero

    Colin,

    The torture is this: Lou tried to make DeRo look bad early last year (look at all of the unnecessary double-switches and times DeRo was benched or moved so that Riot could play 2B in April and early May). When that failed, he tried to make Izturis look bad (admittedly an easier task) by benching him several games in a row until he lost his swing. He then gave Riot Izzy's job and never gave Izzy a chance to win it back -- even though Riot had a poor June. Izzy isn't a world-beater, but he's better defensively and has more pop than Riot (fewer SBs) -- yet Lou unceremoniously dumped him like trash (and like Michael Barrett), just to "prove" that Riot was "for real".

    He never gave Ronny half a chance last September when Riot's average went south. (Contrast that with the way he gave Kendall's job to Soto very quickly even though Kendall had a great August.) He is loathe to play DeRo at SS (except during the one "Fontenot emergency") even during ST, because he doesn't want anyone to know that DeRo has as good a SS glove as Riot (though neither will win a GG) and could easily move to SS to accomodate EPat with no loss of D (if EPat is OK at 2B) and a great gain in O.

    Get my drift? Lou has betrothed himself to Riot. He essentially stuck his neck out by trashing Izzy. He can't bench him now, or he will look like a poor evaluator of talent. (He is, but that's another subject.) Hence, we're stuck -- Lou's ego trumps Alan Trammell's eyes or your stats.

    The worst part of it is that the victim (other than Cubs pitchers) is Pie. It's pretty easy to hide one weak stick in the #8 hole, but it's much harder to hide two. So, we may be fed a steady diet of Riot and RJ while the Pie gets stale.  

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