The Phanatic Magazine
Something’s wrong with his leg. Naaah…something wrong with his head…
Uncle Charlie isn’t telling us something important.. He’s gotta stop hiding it…
He sucks. He’s spooked again like after Albert Pujols got to him…
They’ve gotta stop putting him in these situations. It’s going to cost us now, which is definitely gonna cost us later…
Put in Ryan Madson. He’s done.
No. I’m done.
I’m finished hearing all the negative suppositional pseudo-babble which passes for concern regarding the Phillies’ closer not even two months into the season.
He’s only human. Got it? Of flesh and blood, he’s made. Not of fancy stardust and pure brilliant light and titanium and the indestructible hopes and dreams of a million sycophantic reactionaries.
To think that Brad Lidge would be off on the same superhuman trip he took us all on a year ago is total, unadulterated nonsense.
But we’re spoiled and a discerning bunch, us hard-core Philadelphians. We get to observe perfection once, we naturally foresee and demand it each successive time, driving up the price of expectation until nobody in their right mind can pay the cost.
Remember our sainted Mitchie-Poo? The one who actually LOST us a World Series? He went just 3-7 but saved 43 games in 1993, and cost the club a shot at 100-or-more wins by blowing seven more. In some quarters, he’s been forgiven faster than our current “anti-hero”, and Wild Thing prevented Philly from tasting the ultimate victory.
Even after the revelation on Sunday that Lidge does indeed have “something” wrong with his surgically-repaired knee, I had to hear the same old disparaging phrases with the game 3-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
And then, I had to see the anger, frustration and blank stares once that one-run lead evaporated into a tie ballgame heading into extras as the Yankees simply did what they always do, joke of a stadium or not.
His line in 2009: 0-2, 9.15 ERA. Eight saves. Four blown. Oh, the Humanity! He’s gonna be a liability come the dog days…
It’s not gonna be because the torrid and timely hitting might dry up, or if the starters continue to serve up runs and homers like Mister Softee serves up ice cream, or that our suddenly untouchable manager continues to botch in-game decisions as usual.
It’ll happen because our closer turned into a bum.
Hurt or not, the Phillies are succeeding in spite of him. Under normal circumstances that can crush a man’s spirit. Lidge, though, is tough enough that he should turn that into a great psychological edge, one that can only boost his confidence when he gets rolling better than the stats indicate.
But I guess he doesn’t deserve a mulligan. Or at least a concession to common knowledge of most knee surgeries, in which the repaired tissue/joint/cartilage muscle is just never the same again.
Forty-one-for-41 and 48-for-48 ain’t ever gonna happen again folks. Deal with it. Nobody ever has to be dead solid perfect in perpetuity to be effective. And nobody who isn’t close to perfection is ready for the glue factory, either.
Imperfection is a fact of life. Doesn’t matter whether it’s not putting the covers on those TPS reports, buying a halogen lamp that slightly leans backward on level carpet, or having a closer not do his job every so often. It’s a rare and beautiful thing in baseball that those mistakes can be erased in a quick turnaround.
I’m not saying Brad Lidge still deserves to have garlands strewn at his feet, but he can’t be the subject of garment tearing and verbal abuse only this far removed from glory.
Give it a rest, people. At least wait until he does give up that three-run homer to Carlos Delgado in mid-September at the Bank which puts the Mets in first place by percentage points before the haterade flows like summer wine.
Until then, keep the crying and whining and invective to yourselves.