Hey there! After weeks of graphic depictions of what is going on inside Chase Utley’s knee, why don’t we turn our horror masked by forced smiles in another direction! Why look, its Phillies closer Brad Lidge, overcoming his small, normal injury to play the game he loves!
"“As he attempted to describe the location of the newest pain in his oft-injured body, the worried look on Brad Lidge’s face said enough.”–Matt Gelb"
Whoops! What I meant was, “Its Phillies closer Brad Lidge, faltering under the weight of his own frail body, and able to only speak in a series of stifled, panicked whimpers while grimacing in disgust with himself.”
The point is, everything’s fine.
Death has scrawled both Chase and Brad’s name onto the disabled list, and both will remain there until well after the season has begun. Something is so wrong with Brad’s shoulder that throwing 35 pitches couldn’t cure it; and if there’s a doctor out there with any further advice, he doesn’t work for the Phillies.
But baseball is one of those fairy tale careers where poorly-timed injuries mean one thing: Promotions!!
Both deletions have created a mammoth suck-hole, as potential replacements quickly feign disappointment in the loss of a starter, and then instantly begin scrambling for the open roster spots. Our desperations at second have led us down several roads; some of which have ended in pleasant discoveries, like the solid Michael Martinez, and others that have ended with abominations that spit in the face of god, like Luis Castillo in a Phillies uniform.
In the closer role, Ruben probably got the news about Brad’s shoulder and counted down the appropriate number of minutes before knocking feverishly on Ryan Madson’s door. We’ve all been verbally and once in a while literally massaging Ryan into the role for years, anyway. As the set-up man, he’s the next logical choice, along with his unfair fastball and newfound persona.
"“In fact, he showed more of the assassin’s mentality that a closer must have. That intangible came to the fore after a conversation with his agent, Scott Boras.”—CSN Philly"
Who would have thought somebody could lose large, irreplaceable chunks of their humanity and become closer than ever to a soulless killing machine through a single conversation with Scott Boras?
But hey, if that’s what it takes for Ryan to close a game, then I am willing to lose him in the fog of late inning warfare. Just remember to keep Kyle Kendrick or a stable of folding chairs nearby so he can lash out without hurting anybody.
"“We’re gonna hide all the chairs this year.”–Rich Dubee"