Ted Lilly Wishes People Would Endlessly Debate Where He Should Bat in the Lineup
February 20, 2009
(Mesa, AZ) – Heated discussions about the Chicago Cubs batting order have become a regular part of the spring, and this year is proving to be no exception. As it was last year, the key matter of debate is whether or not Alfonso Soriano should be batting leadoff for the Cubs.
The players and coaches, for the most part appear to be growing weary of the endless discussion. But one player feels like the lineup hasn’t been debated enough.
“Look, I get that people are tired of hearing about the Alfonso Soriano leadoff debate,” Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly said. “I think it’s an important discussion to have, though. And to be honest, the only problem I have with it is that it takes the focus off some other very important lineup questions.”
When pressed as to what other questions he meant, Lilly mentioned questions about how to best take advantage of Milton Bradley’s high on-base percentage, and whether to purely alternate right-handed hitters and left-handed hitters.
“And also, people should really be wondering where I should hit.”
Lilly, a career .139 hitter, said he’s been surprised at the lack of discussion as to where he should bat on days that he starts.
“It’s like it’s just assumed that I’m going to hit ninth. But that just seems like such a waste. Ninth is a secondary leadoff spot, and I’m just not a high on-base guy. I haven’t done the optimal lineup calculations, but I figure I should probably be hitting somewhere in the heart of the order.”
After hearing Lilly’s thoughts on the lineup, several other Cubs openly pondered where they should hit in the lineup. Aramis Ramirez wondered if he could fill the ninth spot vacated by Lilly, closer Carlos Marmol said he should be the designated hitter in interleague games, and spring training fodder So Taguchi said he should get to actually ever be in the Cubs lineup instead of being shit-canned in a few weeks.