CHICAGO -- Ryan Theriot said Tuesday that he didn't have any expectations as to how he'd be received by Cubs fans, but he at least had some hopes.
Theriot, who played more than 600 games as a Cub over six seasons, returned to Wrigley Field as a visitor for the first time on Tuesday. He stood by earlier comments that he's now on the "right side" of the Cardinals-Cubs rivalry, though he also expressed bemusement at how big a deal that comment became. Mostly, though, he reminisced fondly about his time in Chicago.
"All that stuff comes back," he said. "You remember your first game here. 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. Two division titles."
As for the "right side" comment, which he made over the winter, Theriot made it clear he didn't think it was such a big deal.
"To me, man, that's just so incredibly blown out of proportion it's ridiculous," he said. "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."
Theriot was loudly but not viciously booed upon coming to bat in the first inning, not the outcome he was hoping for.
"I would hope that 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."