Interview with West Tenn's Ryan Theriot

West Tenn's Ryan Theriot talks to Inside The Ivy about the career year he's having at Double-A, his passion for LSU sports, the recent birth of his newborn son, and much more.

Inside The Ivy: With the season winding down, how satisfied are you with the year you've had?

Ryan Theriot: In terms of pro ball, this is definitely a career year. My first three years after the [2001] draft, I was trying my hand at switch-hitting. You take away those left-handed at-bats and I think my numbers would have been the same then as they have been this year. The surprising part is the intensity we've had all year on this team. To me, that's a direct correlation to our manager (Bobby Dickerson), who's done a great job.

Inside The Ivy: Were you surprised to be left off the All-Star roster?

Ryan Theriot: I'm not playing this game to get on all-star teams; I play to get to the big leagues. It would have been fun, but to tell you the honest truth, I needed to spend time with my newborn son. You don't get a bonus for making the all-star team anyway.

Inside The Ivy: That was one of the things we wanted to ask about--how much of an influence does your newborn have on you every night?

Ryan Theriot: The 0-for-10's and 0-for-20's suddenly don't mean as much. It really puts emphasis on what's important in life. My wife and I are healthy, and we have a healthy baby boy. If I'm having a bad game, it's real easy to look up in the stands and just see them there.

Inside The Ivy: What has been the biggest adjustment you've made from a season ago? The transition from switch-hitting has obviously gone well.

Ryan Theriot: That's the biggest thing. Basically, approaching every game with a "need to win" or a "must win" attitude will give you a direct correlation to where your numbers will be. Our manager stresses not to chase our numbers; let them chase you. If you look, everyone on this team is almost having a career year. Brandon Sing and Casey McGehee are a couple of fine examples.

Inside The Ivy: Your defense has also been a nice surprise this year with just seven errors. Has anything changed in your approach from last year in that respect?

Ryan Theriot: I've always prided myself on defense. There have been some changes. Bobby has really stressed slowing the game down and not trying to rush everything. That really hit home and made a lot of sense. There are times out there when I really feel what he's saying. It does help out a lot to slow it down.

Inside The Ivy: What do you have planned for the upcoming offseason?

Ryan Theriot: I'd like to go play winter ball somewhere, but I guess nothing has really come up. I was hoping to have a chance at the Fall League, but I don't think I'll get a chance there, either. I assume I'd definitely be able to get a job playing winter ball somewhere. If I can't, I'll come back and duplicate what I did this year.

Inside The Ivy: Lets look at a couple of splits. First, you've really hit the left-handers well this season (.326).

Ryan Theriot: I try to stay up the middle and go the other way at all times. They're all going to try to get you out, but if I keep that approach, I'll do pretty well.

Inside The Ivy: You've also hit really well at home (.338). How would you describe Pringles Park from your standpoint as a hitter?

Ryan Theriot: I see the ball pretty good there. They have a great back-drop. It's different with the way the balls are coming out of the pitcher's hand. The ball looks pretty big.

Inside The Ivy: We know you're an LSU alumnus. Any predictions on this year's football team?

Ryan Theriot: I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a great season. I love my Tigers and will say that time and time again. I'll be present at most every home game. My wife was a cheerleader there, so I was at all games, even most away games. My in-laws have season tickets, so we tailgate a lot. I think the home game against Tennessee will be a tough challenge. The main thing will be our quarterback situation. I knew Coach [Nick] Saban, and Skip Bertman (Athletic Director) and I are close as well. I still have my ear in all the conversations that go on there. The talent has always been there because the school and the city are always so inviting.

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