With a few questions still swirling around like stale toilet water before the 2011 Phillies season begins, why not take the healthy approach and ignore them entirely. In fact, let’s turn a blind eye to all of our problems, personal and otherwise, and think solely about the future. Things like “Chase Utley’s surgery,” “student loans,” and “being investigated for defrauding an orphanage” don’t seem that bad when we pretend they don’t exist.
After this year, the Phillies will have more decisions to make about the bullpen. They will probably include whether or not to spring J.C. Romero out of prison for punching a car thief’s teeth out the back of his skull. But they will definitely include what to do about Brad Lidge and/or Ryan Madson.
Our two back end relievers wanting to stay here isn’t the problem, because everyone wants to come/stay here. Except toddlers. But remember, the Phillies are all sad old men far, far past their most competent eras, so we can be sure there are no toddlers in this lineup.
Sadly, in the case of Madson and Lidge, they both cannot. Brad needs to have a season worth $12.5 million. He is not going to do that. Logically, that makes our flameballing set-up man the best candidate for the job, who is also going to be unleashed into free agency. But the problem is that when given the chance to give us a preview of his future legendary greatness in the closer’s role, Ryan has performed toe-shatteringly bad. The question on everyone’s minds in the future–in regards to the Phillies bullpen, not actual, global problems–is what will Ryan do to combat his issues that only surface when he moves one inning to the right?
[Madson said], “Last year, what I learned, I would say, ‘Focus,’ on every pitch before I started the inning.”
The lanky reliever leaned back in his chair and kept saying “focus.”
There are more reasons for verbal repetition than trying to make something explode with your brain or top secret marketing experiments. I wouldn’t have assumed repeating the word ‘focus’ would have necessarily given Ryan focus, but I know very little about setting up ninth innings and even less about telekinetic mind-splosions, so I’m willing to accept this as fact.
“I would love the opportunity to stay and finish my career here.”
And if the past is any indication, the things Ryan Madson says are the things that come to fruition, as long as he sits down, massages his temples, and repeats that phrase anytime he has down time during 2011. Does this make our set-up man a warlock? Yes, possibly. But a friendly warlock who uses his powers for good.
This blog post is over. Good bye.