Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta laughs off PED allegations, Stephen A. Smith
Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has gone from a talented but “failed” prospect in Baltimore to a Cy Young winner in Chicago. It didn’t take long before hints of PED use were brought up, but Arrieta laughs it all off.
If there are guys still on it, I hope they get caught. I care about the integrity of the game. ~Arrieta on those who still use PED’s
In the days followingChicago Cubs
starter Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, some people in the media began tossing around the idea that he couldn’t have gotten this good without the benefit of performance-enhancing drugs. When talking to USA Today, Arrieta went as far as to call those who question if he’s using them “idiots”, and I frankly don’t blame him. But apparently laughing it off isn’t acceptable, especially to the Stephen A. Smith, the mouth of ESPN’s “First Take”.
If you’ve ever sat and watched the show, you’ll know that often times it’s nothing but ridiculousness. Often times the topics are hotly centered around racism, unfound allegations or just outright lies. Smith and Skip Bayless get paid to do this and they do it well…whatever that means. So with it fresh in people’s minds, Smith couldn’t help himself.
Without “accusing” Arrieta, that is exactly what they did. They put all of his accomplishments out in the open and questioned if they could be done by someone who isn’t cheating. While Ryan Braun stayed relatively mum while the team stuck up for him before being busted, Arrieta, on the other hand, was not silent.
Which garnered this response:
It’s hard for me to tell if I’m reading more into that Tweet than I should, but I digress. If you feel like stomaching the video in which Smith makes his “no accusation” accusation, you can do so here. Trust me, as a Cubs fan, he’ll piss you off.
After rolling through the remarkable numbers Arrieta has posted, Smith says it’s not about the numbers as much as the innings he’s now pitching. After not pitching more than 120 innings prior to 2014, he posted 156 2/3 in 2014 and 229 last season. Clearly he has to be juicing. Or, another theory, he’s throwing his cut fastball for strikes and has better control than he did before. He’s not suddenly an unstoppable force, he’s simply harnessed the talent many knew he had with the Orioles and puts it on display every outing.
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“If there are guys still on it, I hope they get caught. I care about the integrity of the game. I wouldn’t want to disappoint my family, my friends, my fans. That’s a huge motivating factor in doing it the right way.
“There are so many people that are counting on you, and leaning on all of us in this clubhouse to do some special things for the city of Chicago. To jeopardize that by taking banned substances, would be a ridiculous mistake.’’
Whether or not Arrieta gets his due from the Cubs or another team when the time comes, I have no doubt that he’s doing it the right way, and it’ll make it that much sweeter to make guys like Smith eat their words.