In case you didn't know, Ryan Theriot (that's where "The Riot" comes from...see, 'cause his last name is Theriot...and it spells...you should've gotten it by now) is a former LSU baseball player under Skip Bertman. Ryan was selected by my Cubbies in the third round of the MLB draft in 2000--the same draft that saw Mark Prior selected in the first round by the Cubs. Not a bad draft.
Anyhow, last year Theriot made it up to the bigs and in 134 at-bats, he hit .328, had an on-base percentage of .421 and slugged .522 with 3 HR, 16 RBI and 13 SB, walked 17 times to his 18 K's. Just to let you know, 134 AB's aren't a lot to garner you a starting job in the majors, but they are enough to raise some eyebrows. Granted, his time in the majors last year was on a pitiful 63-99 ballclub. However, those 134 AB's aren't where Ryan's success for the Cubs ends. This Spring Training, The Riot has appeared in 22 games hit an even better .358 AVG, had an on-base percentage of .413, slugged .552, hit 7 doubles and three triples with 8 RBI's and was 6 for 6 in stolen bases. He walked 6 times and only struck out 5 times. In short, he's continued his outsanding play and has made the Opening Day 25-man roster for the Chicago Cubs.
There's a catch...Ryan plays the middle infield positions (2B and SS), primarily, and has learned all three outfield positions during the Spring. He's been named the Cubs "super-sub." He's mostly been a 2B through his short MLB career, however if the Cubs knew what was good for them, they'd start The Riot at SS over "Little" Ceasar Izturis and keep Mark DeRosa at 2B in 2007.
To put it another way, I have a giant new man-crush...it's you, Ryan Theriot...you lucky son of a bitch. I mean, c'mon...look at him. He's handsome, he's fast, he's smart, he has twinkling pink moonbeams in his eyes, his farts smell like fresh honeydew mellon, his tears taste like Strawberry Harvest Lager, and he raises injured kittens and finches from certain death. Why would you not start him?
In reality, if Ryan keeps doing what he's been doing over the end of 2006 and the start of 2007, he could very well push Ceasar Izturis to the bench and warrant himself a starting gig on a MLB team...not just any team...but, the by-God Chicago titty-fucking Cubs.
If any of you know Jim Hendry or Lou Piniella, please tell them to please Start the Riot! I'm just sayin'...