5/10 The Riot
Tuesday marked Ryan Theriot’s first game back at Wrigley Field as a member of the rival Cardinals. Earlier this year, Theriot said he was now on the “right side of the rivalry” as far as Cubs-Cardinals is concerned.
“To me, man, that’s just so incredibly blown out of proportion it’s ridiculous,” Theriot said Tuesday. “It’s the team you play for. I’m a Cardinal. I was a Cub and now I’m a Cardinal. I love St. Louis and I love the Cardinals.”
If Theriot can switch from the Cubs to the Cardinals, can Albert Pujols do likewise and go from the Cardinals to the Cubs next season?
“I never thought I’d leave Chicago,” Theriot said. “Like I’ve said before, it’s a business. Things happen. You see guys go and play for rival teams. I don’t know [about Pujols]. I would have to hope that he’ll be a Cardinal.”
Fans booed Theriot during his first at-bat.
“I would hope they would give a good reception,” he said before the game. “Blood, sweat and tears at this place for five years, and the Minor Leagues coming up, starting in ’01. I’ve said this a million times — these fans here understand baseball and they appreciate effort and all that stuff. And that’s one of the reasons I loved Chicago.”
Besides the chilly reception, Theriot also couldn’t find the visitor’s clubhouse Tuesday at Wrigley. He does have fond memories of playing with the Cubs.
“You remember your first game here,” he said. “I remember walking out of that dugout and looking up and seeing all the fans and everything, first Major League game. Oh, yeah, you remember all that stuff. A lot of great memories here for me.”
— Carrie Muskat