Ryan Theriot is Either on Steroids, or Doesn't Have a Sense of Irony

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Ryan Theriot is Either on Steroids, or Doesn’t Have a Sense of Irony

Chicago Cubs

We’ve all said it.

When Ryan Theriot started hitting bombs this year, we all made the same joke: he’s on the juice!

Naturally, we didn’t actually believe it, but it was of course the first thing that popped into everyone’s head during these days of the steroid culture. And it’s made its way into the headlines, as the Sun Times recently comment that Ryan Theriot is now under a cloud of suspicion, which blew up into the hottest story around town yesterday and today.

Theriot, of course, did not take too kindly to the insinuation. But was there really an insinuation at all?

Responding to the article titled, “Small hitter, big problem,” Theriot had a lot to say.

“I kind of laugh a little bit,” Theriot said. “I guess everybody is entitled to their own opinion. It’s unfortunate, like I said the other day, that it’s come to this. But I guess you can write whatever you want to write, and it’s up to the readers to forumlate their own opinion.”

Theriot said he stopped drinking protein shakes in 2005, and stopped using supplements as well, because he feared having some wrong ingredient show up in a test.

“For me, the risk-reward was never worth it to even take that chance on a protein shake,” he said. “My supplements for the last 4-5 years have been Gatorade and water.”

Theriot found is insulting to think he was a suspect just because he hit a few home runs.

“Last time I checked, I was a professional athlete who’s put up some decent numbers,” he said. “I guess anybody can do anything if you set your mind to it. I’ve always been under that belief. To be honest with you, I feel like I can go out there and pitch if I wanted to, so a few homers here and there…And remember, it’s only a few. It’s not like I’ve got 30.” Hardball.

Wow. Awfully defensive.

Of course, I do not say this in the methinks-thou-doth-protest-too-much way. I say it in the wow-whatever-the-Sun-Times-wrote-must-have-been-pretty-bad kind of way.

Except, the article was obviously written to make a larger point – not to inculpate Theriot for using substances. The writer was being ironic. Judge for yourself; emphasis added.

Sorry, Ryan Theriot, you’re a suspect. Forget Manny Ramirez and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi and Mark McGwire and all the other hulking, accused performance-enhancing drug users.

You, sir, all 5-11, 175 pounds of you, are doing devious things.

To wit, Theriot — no disrespect, but if he’s 5-11, I’m 6-12 — hit two home runs Wednesday night at Wrigley Field against the Padres, giving him five times more home runs in 33 games this year than he hit all last season.

Brrinnnng! Eee — ah! Eee-ah! Zzzt! Zzzzt!

That rings the steroid/HGH/ whatever-designer-drug-is-in bell, doesn’t it?

Well, yes, ”The Riot” hit only one dinger in 2008 and only five so far this year.

But if he were, say, Manny Ramirez (37 home runs in 2008), he would have just hit his 185th homer of 2009.

OK, the math is ludicrous. The whole proposition may be ludicrous. In fact, I’m pretty sure it [is].

But this is what baseball has wrought.

Rick Telander proceeds to indict MLB for its lax testing/caring/whatevering in the past 20 years. He’s saying that because of what MLB has allowed to happen, we are now forced to be suspicious of everyone.

And aren’t we?

The point being made was no more about Ryan Theriot as it was about Derrek Lee’s absurdly huge 2005 season, and subsequent falling off the map, for example.

So before you jump on the bandwagon, it might be worth reading articles with a critical eye. The headline – though intended to be eye-grabbing – does not tell the whole story. The article is actually a well-written, thoughtful piece that was thrown under the bus in the name of a scoop by rival publications. Lame.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.