In Unprecedented Move, Phillies Continue Assigning Roles to Players


Jose Contreras will be closing instead of Brad Lidge, who can’t be bothered to be available on opening day.  He can be bothered by bicep tendinitis, however, so we all hope those two are very happy together.

So, this is a surprise, but more like, “Oh, hey, the entire series of Spaced is up on Hulu,” surprise, not “Well, we all knew Whiskers had a killer instinct, but I always assumed it peaked with small birds.  I guess that’s what we get for naming our child ‘Whiskers,'” surprise.  What I mean to say is, it’s not what we expected, but it certainly is world-ending.  For now.

Ryan Madson has been dolled up for this chance for a while now.  Setting up for Brad Lidge in 2008 was probably more and more demoralizing everyday, if he was thinking in terms of the future.  But who of us was really thinking about “job security” as 2008 was unfolding?

But learning eventually that Brad Lidge is constantly a single misstep away from devastating injury probably at least put the scenario back in Ryan’s head.  And then, the fact that we let him close a couple of times probably put it in his head a little more permanently.  Clearly, he took the role very seriously, or he wouldn’t have gone and taken the boots to that folding chair.

Now, without having to wait until the middle of the season, Ryan had another chance as Brad went down, once again, with something they told us was “totally normal,” but become “3-6 weeks on the DL.”  Which for Brad is I guess what he means when he says “totally normal.”

And the Phillies once again did not give it to him.  Jose Contreras will be our opening day closer, and he’s more than primed for action, but the move leaves Ryan Madson out in the cold.  Or, in the eighth inning, where he’s always been.  To know the job was open, however, and that it went to the only other feasible option, might sting a bit.  And the last thing we want to do is scorn a man whom Scott Boras holds close to his chest.

Everything is, at the moment, totally fine.  Well, not for Brad Lidge.  But as far as contingency plans go, this is acceptable.

…for how long?  Do we wait until Ryan takes it as a slap in the face?  Eventually, it will be one.

I would say that Ryan being a career set-up guy might be an idea with some appeal to him, but with the forked tongue of Scott Boras wrapped around his ear, you can never be sure what emotion he’s going to be instructed to feel.