Phillies closer Brad Lidge has been on the disabled list since he was 14 years old. Reminders of his existence and rehab are often fed to the media to keep alive the hope of his inevitable return. As a battle-weary bullpen awaits him, Phillies trainers released some startling news:
“Yeah, I’m clueless,” said Doug Burns, assistant trainer. ”I’ve been telling him it’s all right and it will heal in time, but honestly, that’s the same thing I told my kid when our border collie got pulverized by a cement truck. At least this time I don’t have to worry about him watching me sneak back to the shed to get a shovel.”
The seemingly eternal stay on the DL for Lidge was beginning to raise a few question marks. Initially, his condition was described as “general soreness,” but eventually snowballed into a debilitating injury that kept him off the roster for months.
“Lies. Just a bunch of lies,” Burns reports. ”That first day, we were all in the clubhouse in Clearwater. [Phillies head trainer Scott Sheridan] had just taken a massive bong rip and was handing it to Dr. Culp and just started laughing like a maniac. We were like, ‘what the hell?’ And he said he didn’t have a fucking thread of an idea about what to do with Lidge. His arm just… stopped working. He said we were going to have to cook something up to feed the press for the next few months. So we did, right there.”
There’s no word yet on how Lidge feels about the news; the closer had entered the preseason with a hopeful aura about him, calling manager Charlie Manuel frequently to express his enthusiasm. This may have been a crushing blow to these sentiments.
“Oh, god, yeah. The dude’s probably ruined. It’s sad. He’s the nicest guy in the world. But at this point, its like his body is rejecting ‘health’ as a concept.” Burns paused to finish half of an enormous slurpee. ”I’ve been wrapping his hand in bandages for six weeks now. I don’t even know if his hand is the problem. But he hasn’t stopped me from doing it, so I guess something’s wrong with it. Or he just likes the attention.”
The revelation comes at this point because of the multitude of other injuries to the Phillies bullpen who require the focus of the medical staff.
“I look forward to actually pinpointing problems and then fixing them,” Burns confessed.