There are people in this world who are seemingly put here to inspire others and the Los Angeles Dodgers were fortunate enough to meet one of those people today.
Anthony Robles, the much-heralded ASU wrestler who won a national championship this year despite being born with just one leg, had a room full of tough-guy big leaguers in awe this afternoon when he spoke to them before batting practice.
This came about after Ted Lilly saw Anthony’s story back in Spring Training. Anthony was not in town when we were here last month, but he was gracious enough to come by for the first game of the series and offer his inspiring words. His entire story was amazing, but you could hear a pin drop in the room when he finished his talk by reciting a poem he wrote and later read at the ESPYs.
“Every soul who comes to earth with a leg or two at birth, must wrestle his opponents knowing its not what is, but what can be that measures worth. Make it hard, just make it possible and through pain, I won’t complain. My spirit is unconquerable. Fearless I will face each foe for I know I am capable. I don’t care what’s probable, through blood, sweat and tears I am unstoppable.”
He finished his chat and nearly every player on the team came over to shake his hand or take a picture with him. It was a truly humbling moment for everyone in the room.
Given that he’s now seeking to make a career as a motivational speaker, I jokingly told him afterward that it would help his cause if the Dodgers came out and won, 15-0. If we lost, we’d have to tell people he spoke to the team on a different day.
Sure enough, in the third inning the Dodgers scored six runs, equaling their most on the season and had seven hits, their largest total in an inning in exactly two years.
Suffice to say, he’s welcome back any time.
For more info, visit his website anthonyrobles.com or follow him on Twitter @arobles125
He has just signed a three-year deal to pitch in Los Angeles…here’s the release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Public Relations
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
DODGERS SIGN TED LILLY
2010 trade acquisition and former Dodger farmhand returns to Los Angeles through 2013
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that they have signed left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly to a three-year contract. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
“Ted helped stabilize our rotation both in terms of his pitching ability and his leadership,” said Colletti. “He gave us everything we were looking for in a veteran pitcher down the stretch last season.”
Lilly, 34, went 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for the Dodgers after being acquired from the Cubs with Ryan Theriot in exchange for Blake DeWitt, Kyle Smit and Bret Wallach hours before the trade deadline. The left-hander won his first five starts with Los Angeles from Aug. 3-24, becoming the first Dodger pitcher to do so since Kazuhisa Ishii won his first six starts with the team in 2002. Lilly received the lowest run support in the Major Leagues at just 2.88 runs per game and allowed three runs or less in 22 of his 30 outings.
Overall, the southpaw finished 10-12 with a 3.62 ERA in 30 combined starts with the Dodgers and Cubs.
The Torrance native has reached double figures in victories in each of the past eight seasons, including 12 or more wins in six of the last eight, since 2003. The only other pitchers in the Major Leagues to have double figures in victories over the last eight consecutive seasons are C.C. Sabathia (2001-10), Johan Santana (2003-10), Derek Lowe (2002-10), Mark Buehrle (2001-10), Jon Garland (2002-10), John Lackey (2003-10) and Javier Vazquez (2000-10). He owns a 113-96 career record and a 4.18 ERA in 12 seasons with the Expos, Yankees, A’s, Blue Jays, Cubs and Dodgers.
Lilly’s .587 winning percentage (54-38) since 2007 ranks eighth among all big league left-handers and his 103 victories since 2003 are tied for 12th among all active pitchers.
At Dodger Stadium, Lilly tossed a two-hit shutout on Aug. 19 and went 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA (10 ER/43.0 IP) in six starts. While in a Dodger uniform, the opposition hit just .163 against him at home.
This season, Lilly tossed at least 6.0 innings in 24 of his 30 starts and went at least 7.0 frames in 15 of the 30 outings. He walked just 44 batters in 193.2 innings for an average of 2.04 walks per nine innings, the second-lowest mark in the National League behind Roy Halladay (1.08).
Lilly joined the Dodgers on July 31, 2010, 12 years to the day that he was traded as a minor league farmhand. On July 31, 1998, Los Angeles acquired Mark Grudzielanek, Carlos Perez and Hiram Bocachica from the Montreal Expos in exchange for Lilly, Peter Bergeron and Jonathon Tucker.
While with the Cubs on June 14 of this season, Lilly took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before the White Sox’ Juan Pierre came off the bench to break up the bid. On May 10, 1997, Lilly threw a no-hitter against Lake Elsinore for Single-A San Bernardino in the Dodgers’ farm system.
Lilly lives in Oakhurst, CA with his wife Natasha and their seven-month-old son, Ted Lilly, IV.
For all you Ethierholics, after tonight’s game on PRIME Ticket, stay tuned to see the premiere of “In My Own Words: Andre Ethier.”
Hosted by Steve Lyons, the half-hour show will take a look at Ethier’s breakout season in 2009, the mental approach he takes with each walk-off opportunity and what his first All-Star experience was like. The sit down interview will also feature Ethier’s passion for food and how the birth of his son Dreson has changed him.
Additional content beyond the sit-down interview includes Ethier back home in Arizona (attending his jersey retirement at Saint Mary’s High School), a mic’d up segment with the outfielder at this year’s All Star game, and two “Dining with ‘Dre” segments.
On a side note, Elias Sports Bureau sent us the following today…Ted Lilly, who allowed only two baserunners in seven innings in his Dodgers debut on Tuesday, is the only pitcher since 1900 to throw at least seven innings while allowing no more than two batters to reach safely (via hit, walk or hit by pitch) in his first game for the Dodgers.
Ted Lilly obviously has a big assignment his first night out and I’m looking forward to seeing him in Dodger blue…I remember following him in our minor leagues when I first started out in the front office and he was at San Bernardino (and he pitched a no-hitter back in 1997). As he told the media the other day in San Fran, he always dreamed about pitching for Los Angeles and it’s taken him 14 years, but he finally has that chance.
There’s not a whole lot more that can be said here…we’ve got three games left against the Padres this week and we need to start winning to put ourselves in a position to make a move over the next two months.
What a whirlwind morning. With a series of moves over the last few days, Ned was able to improve the team in four different spots – outfield, rotation, bullpen and second base (though some have said they feel it’s a wash with Theriot and DeWitt). Hopefully this is the shot in the arm the Dodgers need to go on a roll.
There’s no doubt Ned likes to make deals and at the deadline, he seems to do his best work. Obviously only time will tell how the various prospects turn out, but he’s acquired numerous likely HOFers (Manny, Maddux, Thome), and a ton of other valuable veterans that have helped enormously down the stretch (Sherrill, Belliard, Garland, Padilla, Podsednik, Dotel, Lilly and Theriot…well, we still have to see what the last four do down the stretch).
That said, it’s never easy to say goodbye to an indvidual as classy as Blake DeWitt. He’s gone through so much in the past few years and I’m not sure I can name anyone whose handled it with more grace. It’s a good opportunity for him to be closer to home, which is cool, though I’d imagine the fine folks in Sikeston, MO are going to have a hard time rooting for the Cubs in Cardinal-town. I wonder if they’ll start to carry Cubs’ games the way they carried ours!?
Chad did a great job today on short rest and as the team looks to hold on to a 1-0 lead, the team has got to be feeling pretty good about the moves that were made today. Should be a fun final two months!