Theodore Roosevelt “Ted” Lilly 29
Born January 4, 1976 in Torrance, California
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’1″ Weight: 195
Awards: 2004 & 2009 All-Star
The first signing of the 2009 offseason was announced to be starting pitcher Ted Lilly. He was acquired at the trade deadline from the Chicago Cubs along with Ryan Theriot for Blake DeWitt and two minor league pitchers Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit. Lilly signed a $33 million contract, including a $3.5 million signing bonus, $500,000 on April 1st and $1.5 million on each following April 1st. He gets salaries of $7 million in 2010, $10.5 million in 2011, $12 million in 2012, and $13.5 million in 2013. There’s a full no-trade clause through the 2012 season. After the initial signing I looked at the negatives. This is a long contract and a lot of money for a almost 36-year old pitcher. He also gives up a lot of homeruns. I was hoping we weren’t going to be regretting this come 2012 and 2013. There are some positives. Ted is a veteran who can balance out the rotation since Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley are still young. It’s always good to have another lefty in the rotation. I can’t help to cringe at the past notorious multi-year signings of Kevin Brown, Darren Dreifort, and Jason Schmidt. Let’s hope Lilly can transcend that ugly list. What also surprised me is that the Dodgers actually offered Lilly this deal. They rebuffed the idea of signing Randy Wolf in 2009 who is basically the same caliber as Lilly.
Ted will be entering the second year of his three year deal. The crafty lefty went 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for the Dodgers in 2010, and was 10-12 with a 3.62 ERA overall during the season. Last season in his first full year with the Dodgers, Ted was 12-14 with a 3.97 ERA in 33 starts. Lilly’s second half of 2011 was much improved. He only allowed 9 homeruns (his weakness along with allowing stolen bases) compared to 19 dingers in the first half.
Lilly was born January 4, 1976 in Torrance, California, and actually was drafted by the Dodgers in 1996. He was traded to Montreal in the minors, and has bounced between 6 different ball clubs before landing back with the Dodgers this year including Montreal, the New York Yankees, Oakland, Toronto, and the Chicago Cubs.
Lilly made his MLB debut for the Montreal Expos on May 14, 1999 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He pitched 1 inning in relief. His first start came on September 19th vs. the Braves. He only pitched in 9 games with the Expos, including 3 starts.
The next year, in 2000, he was traded to the New York Yankees. After two years with the Yanks he was traded in a 3 team deal to the Oakland Athletics which sent future Dodger pitcher Jeff Weaver to New York and Jeremy Bonderman to Detroit. Lilly pitched in the ALDS in 2002 & 2003 for Oakland as a starter. Lilly was then traded to the Blue Jays for Bobby Kielty. In 2004 Lilly was named to the All-Star team representing Toronto. The highlight of his career as a Blue Jay was a start on August 23, 2004 against the Red Sox. He pitched a complete-game shutout and struck out 13 batters in a three-hit 3–0 victory.
On August 21, 2006 Lilly and Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had a little bruhaha. The Athletics were up 8-0 in the 3rd inning. When Gibbons decided to get the hook, Lilly refused to leave the mound. He finally gave Gibbons the ball, and they fought later in the locker room. This fueled Lilly to reject a 4 year $40 million contract offered by the Blue Jays thus becoming a free agent. He later signed a equally lucrative deal with the Chicago Cubs instead.
In 2009, Lilly was named to the All-Star team for the second time representing the Cubs. Lilly became a Dodger after a July 31st trade. He won his first 5 starts as a Dodger. His best outing was on August 19th against the Colorado Rockies when he pitched a complete game shutout.
In his career Lilly has pitched 5 complete games and 3 shut-outs in his 343 games. He’s pitched 1,911 innings striking out 1,632 batters.
Earlier in the 2009 season, an interesting controversy surrounding Ted Lilly was abuzz. In May, Casey Blake got fired up after he accused Ted Lilly of pitching in front of the rubber rather than having his foot on it during a 1-0 loss to Chicago. Blake tried to get the umpires to call him on it unsuccessfully. The umpires ignored the issue. “I know he doesn’t have an overpowering fastball,” Blake said. “I know he’s trying to get as much of an edge as he can. But he moved in. That’s cheating. You’ve got to stay on the rubber.” Lilly responded by saying, “Sometimes a batter will get in the box and he’ll step out, and behind the box, and on the lines. I don’t think he’s trying to cheat. It might not be intentional. I might have done it a couple times, just trying to gain my footing,” he said.
Here are two photos of Lilly during the game in question. You be the judge.
I thought it would be interesting to see how Lilly’s temperament is since there are a few videos of him grabbing a bat in anger and retreating to the dugout in a hissy fit and another of him slamming his glove down in frustration during a game. So far Ted has been mostly calm and collect as a Dodger.
Ted Lilly and his wife Natasha have one young son appropriately named Theodore Roosevelt Lilly IV.
If Lilly continues to keep balls in the park, and perhaps works on not allowing so many stolen bases, he will find continued success in the Dodgers rotation.
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