Ted Lilly made more than $80 million during his 15-year MLB career. Nevertheless, rather than reach into petty cash to repair his damaged RV last year, the former Cubbie left-hander allegedly tried to scam Progressive Insurance Co. out of $4,600.
As detailed here, Lilly has been charged in California with three felonies: filing a false insurance claim, filing a false statement in connection with an insurance claim, and concealing a material fact in connection with an insurance claim. He faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison -- which would be even worse than his 3 1/2-year sentence in Cubbieland.
No matter how the case turns out, however, Theodore Roosevelt Lilly will not be remembered for this. Not by me, anyway.
On Oct. 4, 2007, in the second inning of Game 2 of the NLDS, Lilly gave up a three-run homer to Arizona's Chris Young. As the ball cleared the fence, Lilly ripped off his glove, spun around on the mound and whipped his mitt to the ground. It was a classic Tanner move from The Bad News Bears.
Sitting in the press box on that warm Phoenix night, I laughed my arse off. And every time they showed the replay, I laughed harder.
It was funny and goofy and dopey and oh-so-Cubbie.
The Cubs went on to lose that game and get swept in the series. They won the division the following season but got swept out of the playoffs again, this time by the Dodgers. They haven't been to the postseason since, and Lilly was traded midway through the 2010 season.
And now, Ted Lilly is accused of being a felon.
Apparently, it isn't any easier to sneak a bogus claim past the folks at Progressive than it was to sneak a mediocre fastball past Chris Young.