Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Brad Lidge Released by Nationals, Calls Ruben "Just To Say Hi"

Former Phils reliever Brad Lidge was designated for assignment by the Washington Nationals on Sunday. Lidge signed a $1 million, one-year deal during the off-season, but has struggled mightily in 2012, going 0-1 with two saves and a 9.64 ERA in 11 appearances. This, after starting the season on the disabled list with a sports hernia.

You might remember Lidge was very excited after signing his deal with the Nationals, calling the team “probably the most talented team I’ve ever been on. Very impressed with that. Very young and very exciting.”

Yeah, that 2008 bunch was a bunch of lucky overachievers. And really the only thing that stood between the 2009 team and a second straight championship was the reliever who had been perfect the year before.

Unfortunately, the Nats were so young and exciting they made Brad Lidge look old and busted. And now, Lidge is no longer a part of the most talented team he’s ever been on.

The final straw came on Saturday, when Lidge gave up two runs to the Yankees in the 14th inning, costing the Nats a chance to even their big weekend series at Nationals Park.

Hey Nats fans, it’s not so funny when Lidge is blowing saves at Nats Stadium for YOUR team, is it?

And, in a move that Ruben Amaro’s pals described as “weird” and “off-putting,” Brad called Amaro early Sunday morning, before the Phils general manager had even finished his first cup of coffee. Friends of Lidge described the call as “just reconnecting with old friends, you know? Just saying hi.”

It’s no secret the Phils’ bullpen has been decimated by injuries this season. And with Jonathan Papelbon’s refusal to pitch in tie games on the road (after all, that has to be the reason he hasn’t appeared in any of the Phils’ eight walk-off losses this season, right?) Lidge surely must be thinking it can’t hurt to touch base with Rube, just for old time’s sake.

Unfortunately, that .308 opponent’s batting average isn’t exactly a cure for what is ailing the Phils’ ‘pen.

In the meantime, Lidge and his agent are on the phone, madly calling other old friends and acquaintances, reconnecting, trying to camouflage his 2012 numbers and non-existent fastball.

Hopefully Brad will be able to find another club to play for, even if they aren’t the most talented team he’s ever been on.

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