Lidge Falters….Again


This is getting annoying.

I’m sick and tired of dropping expletives at the bar and having people look at me like I am crazy. But as I watched the nightmare known as “Brad Lidge’s 2009 Wild Ride” unfold again, I indeed yelled, and people indeed looked over.

This is getting annoying.

I’m sick and tired of dropping expletives at the bar and having people look at me like I am crazy. But as I watched the nightmare known as “Brad Lidge’s 2009 Wild Ride” unfold again, I indeed yelled, and people indeed looked over.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Lidge probably will not improve this season. And for the people who think otherwise, you may be a little too optimistic. When Chris Wheeler even states that it doesn’t matter how many games the team is winning as long as Lidge is blowing games, you know it’s obvious. After the loss, which saw the Phillies valiently battle back to regain the lead at Pittsburgh 4-3 in the ninth inning on clutch hits by Carlos Ruiz, Ben Fransisco, and Shane Victorino, Charlie Manuel gave Lidge his vote of confidence. Again.

I hope this is a smokescreen for: “Don’t worry. We know we need to further reevaluate the closers role, and we are looking into it.” Ruben Amaro isn’t stupid. Right now, he HAS to have his crew in Reading scouting Brett Myers like a fine toothed comb. Truth be told, the Phillies gave Jamie Moyer a shorter leash than Lidge. If you are going to look into changing one or two of your starters, shouldn’t you consider making a change with the guy who has to get you the three most crucial outs in a baseball game? Especially when your closer leads the majors in failing to do just that this season?

It’s not unheard of to have a different closer at season’s end than at the beginning. When Tom Henke lost his consistency in Toronto in 1992,  Duane Ward was waiting in the wings. Adam Wainwright successfully closed the Cardinals to the championship in 2006 after Jason Isringhausen was unable to pitch. So injury or not, crazier scenarios have sometimes occurred with positive results. Every bright spot however, brings in some hovering clouds. The absence of closers Rollie Fingers and Troy Percival definitely crippled the Brewers in 1982 and Rays in 2008, respectively. In this scenario, both teams ended up losing the World Series.

When you think about it, being perfect in 2008 was the greatest thing to ever happen to Phillies fans, and at the same time probably the worst thing that could ever happen to someone like Brad Lidge. After the season, maybe we will find out that Lidge may be really hurt and isn’t telling anyone. I’m sick and tired of excuses on everyone’s behalf for his poor pitching this season, so I really hope that this is the situation.

If there has ever been a sadder case of the rise and fall of a Philadelphia athlete, please comment and stake your claim. There was the whole Terrell Owens saga, but that was off the field. The reputation that Lidge unfairly or fairly developed in Houston has quickly come back in less than a year. That stinks. For him, the team, and the fans. A bummer all around.

I can no longer write about this. The Phils will probably still make the playoffs, but is there really a reason to celebrate if this problem isn’t solved? I don’t think so. Let’s hope the Phils keep pounding teams into oblivion, or that their starters can go nine innings for every post season game…..

Only in Philadelphia can someone who helped bring a championship to town be one of the main reasons why you may not win again less than a year later. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about Cole Hamels, either.

I really thought stuff like this didn’t happen to us anymore…

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  1. ugh

    Yes, the excuses are what bothers me almost as much as the failures at this point. I don’t want to hear another word about how some balls are falling in when they wouldn’t last season or how the lucky breaks aren’t happening when he’s on the mound like they did in ’08.

    He has an era of 7.33 and a whip of 1.80!!! That’s the result of one thing, and one thing only…poor pitching. Poor performances like that do not equate to holding onto a job the last time I checked. I don’t know what the solution is, but the first thing that must be done is removing Lidge from the equation.


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