Ted Lilly's Cheatin' Foot

Watching some daytime MLB. Camera just zoomed in & didn't realize it caught a pitcher cheating. Don't ask me who/what. Tricks of the trade.

That was a tweet from @CJNitkowski at mid-afternoon Thursday, sent while the former Major Leaguer kicked back and watched sixth-inning action between the Dodgers and Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Bill Shaikin's story in the LA Times explains what caught the attention of Nitkowski and the Dodgers' Casey Blake, who had singled and was standing on first base.

Blake accused Ted Lilly of cheating...trying unsuccessfully to persuade the umpires that the Chicago Cubs pitcher should have been cited for starting his windup on some pitches from in front of the rubber. "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."

Ken Gurnick of mlb.com explains how first-base umpire John Hirschbeck received Blake's accusation.

Hirschbeck said he "couldn't tell" if Lilly was in contact with the rubber, but couldn't leave his position to get a better look. "It's a hard thing to see and you've got to know for sure [to issue a warning]," Hirschbeck said.

Eventually, Blake got pretty fired up, Dodgers first-base coach Mariano Duncan had to intervene, and...well, I'll let Rob Neyer describe the rest and offer his own moral to the story:

Duncan gets between Blake and Hirschbeck, and eventually Joe Torre saunters out for a bit of mid-afternoon entertainment... Torre didn't belabor the point, Reed Johnson made out on the next pitch, and Lilly cruised through the seventh inning. This is a small thing. Pitchers have been cheating in exactly this way since pitching rubbers were first installed, I'm absolutely sure. But you may, if you like, apportion extra credit this afternoon to Casey Blake, to C.J. Nitkowski, and to the InterWeb.

Oh, yeah—the Cubs wound up winning the game, 1-0, thus chalking up their second shutout in three days against what was the hottest team in Major League Baseball since May 1st.

(See the beginning of the fun for yourself, right here.)



good news: Cubs 5 out of first and 4 behind Cards and can make up ground this weekend.

bad news: Carpenter and Wainwright make 2 of the starts this weekend

The other Chris Carpenter is throwing in Montgomery tonight against the Biscuits. I'll be in the press box the whole night.

Cool, let us know how he looked. I saw him pitch a couple of weeks ago when Castro played his last in AA before the callup. Carpenter looked smooth but he had some opposite field hits off him and bad fielding by Thomas and Clevenger. I hope the Smokies keep it up and take home the first-half division crown.

Vitters is 1 for his last 21 and is getting made a fool of here in MTG. On another note, Greg Maddux is also traveling with the Smokies this week and looks priceless in the powder blue road jersey.

The Cubs should quit wasting roster space on Vitters and release him.

ya gotta love the 17 AA games without a BB
Who drafted this bust?

a 20-year old bust in AA?


Colvin was a bust the last 2 seasons as well.

Players develop at their own pace, not the rate that we need them to...

Vitters being ready by 2012 to take over Ramirez would be the ideal situation, at the ripe old age of 22.

And now Joe Torre and the Dodgers are the authority on playing clean and cheat-free baseball... what a strange season.

Still no update on the Baker situation (lost vision in right eye). Zambrano's non-appendicitis now being characterized by Sullivan in Trib as "basically...a stomach ache." He is "expected to be available" today.


Hello Chad Tracy.

From @CarrieMuskat:

Baker's problem diagosed as an "ocular migraine" and his vision is back to normal. Zambrano is "fine and taking grounders at short now."

Isn't Ocular Magrane one of the retired pitchers/commentator-analyst on mlb network?

Recent comments

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  • That's a hell of a first impression by Montgomery. Brian Cashman having a good laugh on that debut.

    Eric S 46 min 59 sec ago view
  • ...and it's a 3 run homer.

    hey, vogelbomb had a HR on his 1st game with SEA AAA, too!

    crunch 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • montgomery comes on with men on 1st/2nd, 2 out, in the 8th.

    crunch 1 hour 8 min ago view
  • from rotoworld...

    "Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports reports Chris Sale was sent home from U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday after cutting up throwback jerseys that he did not want to wear.

    crunch 1 hour 15 min ago view
  • I thought the same. It'd be great luck to face these non-contenders after the trade deadline.

    Charlie 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • ...why isn't j.lucroy playing for TEX yet?


    2r HR on a 12-pitch AB.

    crunch 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.

    crunch 4 hours 7 min ago view
  • Wow in deed.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 11 min ago view
  • FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
    Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game


    he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.

    crunch 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 21 min ago view
  • At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.

    johann 5 hours 24 min ago view
  • sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.

    he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.

    crunch 7 hours 19 min ago view
  • Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?

    "The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."

    John Beasley 7 hours 33 min ago view
  • Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.

    Charlie 8 hours 3 min ago view
  • seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.

    crunch 8 hours 19 min ago view
  • I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.

    Charlie 12 hours 13 min ago view