I try very hard not to have favorite players in baseball because, as baseball is a business, people get traded or go free agent and sign with other teams or get released and it inevitably leads to heartbreak.
Try as I may to stop myself from picking favorites, it happened anyway. Against all odds, my heart picked Ted Lilly.
I love watching him pitch. I fretted for him when he had surgery last year. I agonized over his win-loss record and fumed that the Cubs didn’t give him more run support (they didn’t give much run support to any of their pitchers, but views are skewed when it comes to favorites). And I worried when his name kept coming up in July before the trade deadline.
Despite my pleading, Ted Lilly was traded to the Dodgers. I was crushed.
But unlike other players before him, I couldn’t simply wish him well and let him go. I continued to root for him even though he now wore Dodger blue. I never rooted so hard for a team that wasn’t the Cubs to win than I did when Teddy was pitching for the Dodgers.
There was a slim hope that after the season Ted would hit free agency and maybe come home to Chicago and I held onto that hope, but it wasn’t meant to be. He signed a three year deal with the Dodgers before he even hit the market.
It was the final blow and it put me in a tough position. I could either really let him go this time or I could continue to follow him with another team.
It took me all of two seconds to come to my decision.
I’m rooting for you Teddy. I’m rooting for the Dodgers to help you get wins.
Unless you’re pitching against the Cubs. Then I have to root for a no-decision.