Monday, May 25, 2009

Still Lights Out???

So, as is typical for Philly fans to do, there is a good bit of concern around whether or not Brad Lidge has IT. I tend to be a little more patient then the average Philly fan (perhaps it was the sort of southern upbringing that took place in my home in Delaware -- by the way my Mom still is NOT a follower of this blog, talk about patience).

Here's the deal. Am I concerned about Lidge -- maybe, a little. But what people have to understand is that this guy converted an unheard of 41 of 41 save opportunities during last year's World Series run. That is completely ridiculous. There's no way he could continue at that pace and judging him by that is foolish.

My friend who we'll call Derrick, is a very knowledgeable, passionate yet often impatient fan (who proclaimed the Phils season to be "over" last year -- in July) thinks Uncle Charlie is doing Lidge a disservice by continually putting him out there. Yeah he's blown 4 saves already, but its still MAY and the Phils are still in first place, fresh off a trip to the Bronx and taking 2 out of 3 from the "all world" Yanks, who some believe to be the greatest thing since the arrival of DVR.

Keep in mind, the guy has been largely dominant throughout his career with the exception of one season in Houston, where he still managed to save 32 games. He's never blown more than 8 saves in a season. Physically, the guy is still hitting 95-96 on his fastball. His slider has been a bit erratic, but that's the nature of the pitch. You cannot remove Lidge from the closers role. I'd much rather him struggle in April-June, than in September and October. Now is the time to keep putting him out there and letting him work through this stuff. I believe we absolutely need Brad Lidge if we want to compete for another World Series. However, if Uncle Charlie panics (which has not been his nature) and removes him from the closers role, that would be send the wrong message and could mess up his head for the rest of the season.

I like John Mayberry Jr. and hope he is able to stay in the majors. He was crushing the ball in spring training and his right-handed power could fit nicely into our all-lefty line-up. Nice to see him HR in his first at bat too.

The Sixers search for their next coach is a joke right now (The aforementioned Derrick is dead-on about this, actually). The names being mentioned are about as exciting as watching competitive badmitton. The one guy I am in slightly intrigued by is Kurt Rambis. He had a winning record, albeit as an interim coach with the Lakers before Phil Jackson came along. Further, could you imagine if the Sixers ran a throw-back night and Coach Rambis wore his goggles (pictured above). That might be worth the price of admission alone.

In other news...
  • Took my first late night road-trip back from the beach last night in a LONG time and forgot how much fun they are. Of course having a pretty girl in the passenger seat, caravaning w/two of my best friends, hearing everything from Al Green to Metallica on the radio, and somehow taking a wrong turn and ending up at a high security military base near Columbus made the 2 AM journey that much more memorable.
  • In my opinion there is no greater place on earth, then the beach; However, throw in a couple days of rain and I can't get out of there fast enough. Don't worry loyal SFC devotees (that's the new acronym for southernfriedcheesesteak). I still managed to get a wicked tan thanks to some crisco and my leopard print speedos.
  • Anyone ever notice that BBQ is a verb in the north, but a noun in the south (more like a way of life); Speaking of which there's few things I enjoy more then grilling out.
  • Does anyone appreciate the miracle that is Rice Krispies? I mean this cereal miraculously pops on its own, once sed user adds milk. Are you serious? How is this not a greater phenomenon? No other food makes noise like this, with the exception of Pop Rocks. I might not be a marketing genius (though I play one Monday-Friday) but I really think food manufacturers are missing the boat here. I'm more captivated by this popping sensation now, then I was 25 years ago.


  1. It's about time you gave me credit for being right about some things. ha ha. I hear what you're saying about Lidge and I agree that we need him, but I think he just needs a break. He's done more than just blow 4 saves, he's all over the place these days. He's walking a ton of guys and even in game's he has saved he has put runners in scoring position. I don't advocate getting rid of him or a permanent demotion, but something needs to change. He is costing us too many games right now.

  2. As for Anquan, I'd be stunned if the Eagles made a move for him, but yes, I'd give up a 2nd round pick, sheldon and something like a 5th rounder for him. I'd even toss in Reggie Brown, but only if they gave us back another player or something like a 4th rounder.

  3. Wait a minute. How does pulling Lidge from the closer's role temporarily send the wrong message? To me, the message is that you are struggling and we need to do something to change up the situation. I don't see it as all that different from when Charlie yanked JRoll out of the leadoff spot for a couple of games. You're not producing. Your'e hurting the team. Time to change something up to help you get your ryhthm back.

  4. Because closers (Lidge included) tend to be head cases more often then not. Think about their role - come in to a super-tight game and don't screw up. So you have to be a bit more lenient w/them, in terms of catering to their mental make-up. You bench J-Roll in a slump, its not a big deal. He will have at-bats in 1-0 games and in 12-2 games (and multiple at-bats in a game). Lidge gets 1 inning or less, usually with his team up a run or two in a pressure type of situation. Gotta keep sticking w/Lidge, otherwise you risk losing him for the rest of the season, and that is something I'm not ready to do.

  5. I hear you, but sometimes a break is just what the dr. ordered no matter what position you play. I think we both disagreed with Reid benching DMac, and especially the way he handled it, but guess what? DMac was pretty solid the rest of the season. So it turned out to be the right move.

  6. I felt badly for you having only one commenter on this thread. Georgia is having a tough run through an extremely put together Florida team. Not sure you can blame the location for that. Some games we just got schooled, other games we came very close but missed it by an inch (yet other games were coached by Ray Goff, and therefore considered lost the second they were scheduled). My point is we've underperformed in all our big games recently, even the ones we win. That needs to change.UF is usually the biggest game we have every year, and we focus on it as fans in a rivalry.

    We do not need to focus on changing the location, we need to focus on showing up.