Perfectly-timed in tandem with Michael’s longer piece on the bogus rumors going around about Jake Arrieta and PEDs, Arrieta just let ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith know what’s up.

By way of background, in case you are fortunate enough not to know, Smith has become one of the modern masters of opining aggressively on things about which he seems to have very little actual information. Today, he did it again with respect to Arrieta, playing the “I’m not going to accuse him of being a duck, but there’s a lot of quacking going on around here” card in ESPN’s hot take especial ‘First Take’. You can watch the video here if you must, but the gist really is “he wasn’t good before, now he’s historically good, so it makes people suspicious”:



Arrieta, never the one to shy away from that kind of affront – remember when he told Pirates fans they could boo him all they wanted in the Wild Card Game, because it wouldn’t matter? (and it didn’t) – had the perfect response for Smith:



That’s impressive restraint from Arrieta, who got his point across without stooping to any of the levels I suspect Cubs fandom will.

And also, Arrieta’s right about one big part of this: everyone who cocks an eyebrow at his performance is insulting the hard work – insanely hard work! – that he’s put into getting there. Arrieta didn’t take some magic pill and become elite overnight. He put in years of work, every single day, in order to be in this position.

Don’t take that away from him with I’m-not-sayin’-I’m-just-sayin’-type stuff.



For his part, Smith backed away in his response:




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