A League of Her Own

Cubs Sunday Headlines: The Return of Theriot

MLB 2009: Cubs Spring Training in AZ
Here's a photo of me at Spring Training last year



Ryan Theriot lost his arbitration hearing yesterday, then quickly proceeded to Cubs' camp to tell everyone that he's not upset. He's actually pretty convincing, and significantly less annoying than normal.

All in all, there seemed to be no hard feelings on either side.

"No doubt about it," Theriot said. "I never feel like I'm owed anything. That's not why you play the game. You're not owed anything. This is a privilege to be able to come in here and do this every day. There's millions of people who would love to it.

"From that point of view, whatever you get is great. You're happy with it, and you go out and play. You stay hungry and you continue to improve and continue to do better and try to win. Everything else kind of falls in place."


Theriot also is aware of his deficiencies at the plate last year, though it's not stated whether or not he knew of them before his arbitration hearing. Here's what he wants to work on this spring:


"Hitting first, on-base percentage, obviously," he said. "Hit zero homers, that's great. Be on base. Score runs. Be productive at the top. In the leadoff spot, there's a niche for guys in this game who do that and do it well. Every good team has one of those guys.

"If that's the role that I'm in, then great. I would love to do that."

Theriot's all set to be the best leadoff hitter he can be, but Kosuke Fukudome thinks he's got what it takes.

Three days after manager Lou Piniella said he preferred Ryan Theriot in the top spot, Kosuke Fukudome arrived in camp Saturday and said, ''If I can pick, I would like to bat first.''

Not that Fukudome's going to make a big deal out of it. But it's a reminder that in a camp without a perfect leadoff candidate, the guy who performed best in that spot last year also feels comfortable there and has his eye on the job.


What's that? You'd like some empirical data to help you decide your early favorite for the job? Gordo's got you covered:


Both have better career batting and on-base numbers from the leadoff spot than elsewhere (Theriot .300/.356 in 94 games; Fukudome .271/.395 in 49). But one big difference is the team's 29-19 record with Fukudome there the last two seasons (22-12 in '09), compared with 22-35 in the same span for Theriot (17-24).


And thanks to Gordo for providing me segue from Theriot to Fukudome, who seems happy to be back playing in right field.


"I'm OK with each position, either center field or right field," Fukudome said through his interpreter. "Whatever the position I'm going to be in, that's the position I'm going to play. If I think about the number of games that I've played, I've been playing right field a lot more. So in that case, I think right field is a lot better.

"I think there's definitely a possibility I can get a Gold Glove in right field better than playing in center."


New Cub Carlos Silva is in camp, and ready to start his career anew.


"To be honest, for me, my last two years have been very disappointing, and not for Seattle, but for myself," Silva said Friday. "It was disappointing because I worked very hard for my numbers and to have a good season.

"But here [with the Cubs], I'm coming with a clear mind. This is my first year in the big leagues, know what I mean? I don't care how long I've been in the big leagues."


Silva doesn't seem to be deterred by the fact that he's fighting for a starting job here:


"I like to have competition, I like to be fighting for my job, I like to own my spot," Silva said. "When I signed the contract with Seattle, my mind changed so much. I wanted to maybe impress everybody. I wanted to show people why they paid me so much money -- I don't know why, but I think that's how I felt.

"This year, I want to put everything out of my mind and have a new start, new players. Right now, what I have in my mind is that this is my first opportunity in the big leagues, like a rookie."


And he's going to make us love him:


"I'm going to work very hard to be the pitcher I was in Minnesota," Silva said. "I can do it. I have a lot of people behind me."


Step One: Get him on Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating Diet.

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6 Comments

gravedigger said:

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"Theriot also is aware of his deficiencies at the plate last year, though it's not stated whether or not he knew of them before his arbitration hearing."

Carl, you are one of the gems of the Cubs blog world.

JulieDiCaro said:

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he totally is. I lmao at that this morning.

all hail carl!

apropos of nothing, i'm watching skicross and it is awesome.

AndCounting said:

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I liked the part about Carlos Silva making us love him. It made me picture Dreamgirls featuring Carlos as Effie. "And you, and you, and you, you're gonna love meeeeeee." It so works.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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That's what was totally going through my head, I just couldn't quite figure out how to phrase it this morning.

"And I am telling you, I'm not pitching without you..."

baturkey said:

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It really bugs me when team W-L is used to rate individual player performance.

That is all.

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