Since I wrote this, Theriot has collected two hits, two RBIs and scored a run. I take full credit for these events...
And I still think he stinks.
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Since we aren't allowed to ask Tony La Russa questions about the offense that's putting up a little better than a run a game, I'd like to inquire with the manager about another subject.
How much longer, Mr. Skipper, are you going to pretent that Ryan Theriot is a legitimate major league shortstop?
It's one thing that the guy gets a hit about as often as Dexy's Midnight Runners. But my major beef is that the guy can't defend AT ALL.
Theriot plays with his feet on the outfield grass on a lot of plays because he apparently knows that he has the range of a Hummer with the low fuel light on. But the problem with that is the guy has no arm to speak of. Mix in the fact that he has lousy technique -- he likes to wait back on the ball instead of charging it -- and he is letting far too many outs turn into baserunners.
On balls hit right to him, runners get an extra step while Theriot waits for the ball to get to him. Then he soft tosses the ol' horsehide over to first base flat footed to give the runner another step. And then, for good measure, he usually makes sure the ball is off line.
The Cardinals won a World Series with under-talented David Eckstein at short. But Eckstein made up for his lack of range (which was much better than Theriot's range) and his poor throwing arm by using his brain and hustling. Theriot is making his difficiencies worse by, instead of playing the game, letting the game play him.
Right now it looks like Theriot is a stretch as a major league utility man. But there is no way he's a starting shortstop at the plate or in the field. No wonder the Dodgers were thrilled to get Blake Hawksworth for Theriot before they released him.