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Ryan Theriot’s ego is quite healthy

Sep 19, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Ryan Theriot Getty Images

There’s a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today about Ryan Theriot, his changing role on the Cardinals since the Rafael Furcal trade and the fact that he got a rare start at shortstop yesterday. This quote from Theriot sticks out more than a little bit:

The Cardinals led the division until July 27, four days before the Furcal acquisition. Speaking only about his own role, Theriot noted, “When I was playing shortstop we were in first place. I know that. It is what it is.”

Never mind that Furcal is better hitter than Theriot and has played far better defense. If you’re Theriot, correlation = causation and there’s no escaping that kind of geometric logic.

Not that a lot of people won’t buy this. There are people convinced that the Cardinals have been in the crapper for the past few years because David Eckstein isn’t their shortstop anymore. Hey, they won the World Series when he was there, and that speaks for itself, right?

  1. kopy - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    So what you’re saying is Ryan Theriot should be the NL MVP. With him, the Cardinals make the playoffs, and without him they’re doomed. This is the criterion we must use, right?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      David Eckstein was SS and they won the WS with him (and he got the MVP of the WS!). Clearly they should re-sign him.

      /sarcasm

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    correlation = causation

    Hmm which link to choose?

    http://xkcd.com/552/

    or

  3. purnellmeagrejr - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    It was because of Dwight Eisenhower’s laid back governing style that cars grew large fins in the 50s; everybody knows that.

  4. wlschneider09 - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    Furcal is a better hitter? .225/.297/.631? You don’t need to stretch things to make your point.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:49 AM

      Furcal is hitting .250/.317/.405 since he got to St. Louis.

      • wlschneider09 - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        And that’s still not better than Theriot.

      • paperlions - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:16 PM

        Yes, it is.

      • paperlions - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM

        Note: Falcon listed AVG/OBP/SLG, not AVG/OBP/OPS

      • wlschneider09 - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:06 PM

        Gosh paper, even I’m not that stupid.

        Furcal is hitting worse than Theriot for the year.

        Theriot for the year: .272/322/.336/.657
        Furcal for the year: .226/.297/.334/.631

        Furcal’s performance in St. Louis (a small sample size) is really not any better than Theriot.

        Theriot: .272/.322/.336/.657
        Furcal (StL): .250/.317/.405/.722

        The only advantage Furcal has is a three day three home run stretch at the beginning of September. Take that away (or even average it out to the end of the year I predict) and they are near identical, or Furcal is a little worse.

        Doesn’t change the point of the column at all. Furcal is the far superior shortstop. Just use the evidence as it is, equal at the plate better in the field.

      • thefalcon123 - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        But Furcal’s performance *for the Cardinals* has been better than Theriot’s peroformance *for the Cardinals*. Since we are commented about Theriot’s statements about the Cardinals being in first when he was starting, we’re only compairing their performances with the team in question. Furcal’s performance to the Dodgers is irrelevant in this conversation, since it had no bearing on the Cardinals place in the standings.

        Also, Furcal’s performance has been notably better offensively and infinitely better defensively.

      • wlschneider09 - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:57 PM

        Um, no it hasn’t. Unless notably means “marginally in one category that’s been heavily influenced by a three day hot streak”.

        The hitting data isn’t even necessary to support the conclusion. Why do you want to stretch the stats to “support” the argument? It just makes the original point look watered down.

    • paperlions - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

      With the Cardinals he has hit .248/.313/.755…not great, but still better than what Theriot gives you offensively…and Theriot is 12 kinds of horrible defensively at SS.

  5. thefalcon123 - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    “What I was playing shortstop, I was so terrible they replaced me with a guy who was hitting .197!”- Ryan Theriot, making a much more accurate statement

  6. bullsfan93 - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    ryans had a big ego since the days of playing at the friendly confines.

  7. spudchukar - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    The Facts: Theriot got off to a very good start with the bat and helped the Cards get off to the good start. But as the season progressed it was apparent he could no longer handle the job defensively. When his offense sputtered mid-season his poor SS play could not be overlooked. Descalso filled in nicely, but occasionally his lack of experienced showed and the Red Birds choose Furcal to fill the void. He has played well, and St. Louis would not be in the wildcard hunt without him.

    Theriot has handled the demotion with class. Plus, he has chipped in when needed and aided our late-season charge. Why he chose to vocalize his views at this time is a mystery, but reading the entire interview, he was prodded somewhat. Not many successful professional athletes are egoless. Thank God, he retains his confidence, cause the oft injured Furcal could relapse, and Theriot might just find himself manning the SS position down the stretch or in the playoffs. Keep Believin’ Ryan.

    • paperlions - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      I would just assume see Allen Craig at SS than Theriot. Craig may have never played it before, but at least he hasn’t already proven that he can’t.

      I am all for pro players have an ego….but that has to be tempered with knowledge of strengths and weaknesses. Going along blissfully and willfully ignorant of one’s shortcomings doesn’t help the team.

      • spudchukar - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

        Big difference between “blissfully and willfully ignorant” and believing you can still contribute. Reading the entire article it becomes clear that Theriot knows he played poorly, criticized his play, but still believes he can handle the SS job. I do not agree. But entering the stretch, I sure want him to believe he can. He just might be called on to play there in a key situation.

      • paperlions - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:45 PM

        Don’t get me wrong, I want him to play great…I don’t root against any Cardinal player (except maybe Cory Patterson, but that is just because I want him to be so obviously bad that he is DFAed so that LaRussa will not be able to keep using him, Edwin Jackson is a more viable pinch hitter candidate than Patterson)…so I do want Theriot to do well when he is called upon, I just don’t want him to be put in situations that are designed for him to fail…like playing SS.

      • thefalcon123 - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        Corey Patterson with the Cards: .157/.173/.325
        Edwin Jackson with the Cards: .304/.333/.304

        Edward Jackson *is* a more viable pinch hitter!

  8. hoopmatch - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    Trade him to Washington where he can compare egos with Jason Werth.

  9. baseballisboring - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    And then someone better took over for him, and now they’re not getting in the playoffs. Wow, imagine if he HAD still been playing short.

  10. salvomania - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Cardinals record before Furcal’s arrival: 57-51, .528
    Cardinals record since Furcals’s arrival: 26-18, .591

    Brewers record since Furcal’s arrival in StL: 30-14, .682

    • salvomania - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

      And for what it’s worth, the Cardinals had already fallen behind the Brewers into 2nd place when Theriot made his last start at SS (7/28) before Furcal was acquired…. which essentially negates his entire point…

      unless he was suggesting that when he was the starting SS, the Cardinals had been, at some point during the season, in 1st place ….

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      So…you’re saying at Theriot at shortstop intimidated the Brewers into playing worse baseball?

  11. drbnorce - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Theriot has no range….Furcal is old and tired and cant hit either. The cards have the worst Gm in baseball! they are luck carpenter took a pay cut. they lost a great defenive ss who now plays in seattle. they lost Rasmus…..Shu is not a 2b, and the city will riot is Albert isnt resinged.

    • paperlions - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:41 PM

      Um….yeah….those moves were not GM driven….but done because the GM was told to make such moves by someone with more power in the organization.

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:20 PM

        I think Mr.Pujols and Mr. Carpenter probably had some (in)direct influence on Ryan and Rasmus’ banishment to 2 of baseball’s Siberia’s as well..

        As for The Riot, I cringed everytime he took the field at short, although not much more than when Ryan would throw one of those goofy side arm tailers that would invariably almost get Albert killed.

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