Ryan Theriot, "The Riot".
Most people say "spunky".
Like he doesn't really have the talent to be here, but rather got to where he is by trying harder than anyone else.
I used to think that too.
2 Springs ago, Lou Piniella showed up as the new Cubs manager, watched this kid play and told him not to worry about his spring training.
Told him he was gonna make the team no matter.
Couple months later Lou traded starting shortstop Cezar Izturis, and Ryan became the starter.
Another reason why I'm not the manager.
Lou sees stuff you and I don't, and 2 years ago he saw a rock on the sidewalk, picked it up and gave it a little polish.
So 2007 was pretty much his first full season, and Ryan ran out of gas towards the end.
His numbers fell.
All anybody could talk about at the beginning of 2008 were his numbers, and he could only defend himself by saying that stats aren't everything.
But that's a hard place to hang your hat with the loud opinions around Chicago.
There was a game at the beginning of the year, back when statistics had to be a giant concern of his.
The Cubs were up by about 10, and it was maybe the 8th inning.
Ryan hits a sharp grounder deep in the hole and flat out beat the throw, but the ump called him out.
Ryan heard the call, put his head down and ran back to the dugout without a word.
Woulda been pretty selfish to argue about a hit that meant nothing to anything but Ryan's average.
And right there I thought well, he really doesn't play for stats.
He's just a team player.
Who happens to lead the best team in the National League with his .307 average.
The official height and weight of Mike Fontenot is five feet eight inches and one hundred and seventy pounds.
He walked right by me at the Cubs Convention this last year, and I think those numbers are about right.
He's one of the reasons I believe baseball is the perfect sport - you don't have to be some kind of eccentric physical type to play.
This year he's played in 119 games, had 243 at-bats, walked 34 times and had 74 hits.
9 of them have gone out of the park, he's slugging .514 and his average is .305.
Those are pretty good numbers for a guy five eight.
It's cliche, but I think if you're Mike Fontenot you play with a little bigger chip on your shoulder.
He's the back up 2nd baseman, and a lefty bat off the bench.
Fontenot and Theriot started at second and short for the 2000 National Champion Louisiana State Tigers.
How weird and cool is it that they ended up together here and now?