9/18 Lilly & DeRosa
On March 29 in a Cactus League game in Mesa, Ariz., Mark DeRosa went 3-for-4 for the Indians and all three hits came off his former Cubs teammate, Ted Lilly. DeRosa hit two homers, both on the first pitch of each at-bat.
“I wish it counted,” DeRosa said at the time.
“The thing that’s important from here on out is that he definitely had fun today,” Lilly said, “and I need to make sure when we play them, that he has a miserable time in Chicago.”
At the time, DeRosa and Lilly were looking ahead to an Interleague rematch, but it didn’t happen. DeRosa ran into the right field wall at Wrigley, and missed Lilly’s start.
Now, he’s with the Cardinals and in the starting lineup Friday vs. Lilly.
“I’d like to repeat the performance,” DeRosa said before Friday’s game. “We’ll see what happens. We talked yesterday. I told the guys yesterday that although I care about them as friends, we’ll have to keep fraternizing to the minimum.”
DeRosa has been bothered by a sore left wrist, and was batting .233 with eight homers and 20 RBIs for St. Louis. However, he’s headed to the postseason.
“This game’s funny,” he said. “It’s a business. [The Cubs] felt they needed to make some changes. Although disappointed, I ended up in a great position.”
“I’m excited,” DeRosa said. “I played behind Teddy for two years. I have the utmost respect for what he brings to the table. He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had the chance to share a clubhouse with and he knows that. It’s friendly competition.”
But it still hurts that he no longer is with the Cubs.
“Yeah, I don’t understand why they did it,” DeRosa said.
— Carrie Muskat