Welcome back — again

Mark DeRosa thought he’d made his lone Wrigley Field appearance back in June during an Interleague series between the Cubs and Indians, but he was back Friday, only this time, he was wearing Cardinal red.

“It kind of comes full circle today,” DeRosa said.

DeRosa is on the disabled list, so he won’t be playing in the series. He’s hoping to be back in action right after the All-Star break. Obviously, any player would be happy to go from a last place team (Indians) to a first-place team, although DeRosa did admit it was weird playing in the St. Louis-Chicago series on the visitor’s side.

“When you’re on the other side, it’s ingrained in your being to not like these guys,” DeRosa said, “but now, being on the same team and picking their brains, it’s a bunch of good guys who actually think the same way I do. I hate the fact I can’t be on the field, but I love the fact of being in the dugout and helping a young team out. Obviously there’s the best hitter in the game on this team [in Albert Pujols], which makes things a lot easier, so I’m asking him questions. But I think there’s some knowledge I can help these guys with.”

He plans on having dinner with some of his former Cubs teammates after the game. What about the fans? How will they react?

“I know it’s got to be a little odd, but I didn’t leave the Cubs to go to the Cardinals on my doing, so hopefully they give me a break,” he said.

Once again, he will miss a rematch against Ted Lilly. In Spring Training, DeRosa got the best of the left-hander.

“I think he should be ducking me,” DeRosa said. “I’d love to be out there competing, but [my wrist] just doesn’t feel right yet.”

— Carrie Muskat

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