When the Chicago Cubs traded Ted Lilly to the Los Angeles Dodgers last week, Ryan Dempster became the unquestioned number one in the Chicago Cubs’ rotation. But despite that nominal accolade, Ryan Dempster wishes Lilly was still around. He misses the bulldog.
”With Teddy, I always appreciated him every day for what a teammate he was and what a competitor he was, probably more than anything,” Dempster (9-8) said after six muggy innings without allowing an earned run to beat the Milwaukee Brewers and end the Cubs’ seven-game losing streak.
”I always thought I was the most competitive person out there. I never thought I’d find anybody more competitive until I met him.”
Lilly, who won his debut Tuesday for the Los Angeles Dodgers, famously ran over St.Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina to score a key run in the Cubs’ stretch drive in 2008, stole a base sliding head-first in a minor-league rehab start early this season and once attacked a pit bull barehanded to rescue his wife’s dog.
”I know they got somebody pretty special over there, and hopefully someday down the road, I’ll have the chance to play with him again,” Dempster said, ”because you don’t find too many guys like that out there.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
Once attacked a pit bull barehanded? For a second I thought they were describing Chuck Norris or the Dos Equis guy. Or, I thought perhaps the guys who run the Ted Lilly Fan Club had taken root with the Sun Times.
Ted Lilly will indeed be missed, but hopes that he’ll return to the Cubs after this year should probably be tempered. Given his age, likely cost, and exclusive Dodger negotiating window, a return to the Cubs is probably not in the cards.