Charlie Manuel still sticking with Brad Lidge as closer

March 30, 2011 by  
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While team doctors have recommended that injured pitcher Brad Lidge rest for three-to-six weeks due to a strained right rotator cuff, Phillies manager announced Wednesday that he will stick with the righthander as his closer to start the season.

“Lidge is still our closer,” Manuel said.  “I’ve always looked at him as our closer. A significant injury ain’t gonna change that.”

Manuel would later say that if Lidge starts to struggle as the closer that he would consider using either Jose Contreras or Ryan Madson to help prop Lidge up on the mound while he tries to pitch.


Report: Ryan Howard healthy

March 25, 2011 by  
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While the Phillies continue to deal with injuries to Chase Utley, Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt, Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco and Domonic Brown, a report released on Friday claims that first baseman Ryan Howard remains in good health.

General manager Ruben Amaro responded to the report on Friday, but could not confirm if Howard was in fact healthy.

“I spoke with Ryan a few minutes ago and he said he felt great, but as of right now, I can’t confirm if he still feels great,” Amaro said. “But as soon as Ryan or any other players tell us they’re healthy, we’ll let you know.”

As of press time, as many as two more Phillies players were reported to be healthy and ready to start the season.

Brad Lidge Tasered after jogging onto field in 9th inning

May 4, 2010 by  
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A police officer used a Taser gun to apprehend Phillies pitcher Brad Lidge after he jogged onto the field in the ninth inning in an apparent attempt to participate in Monday night’s game.

Lidge, wearing a white pinstriped jersey and a red cap, opened the gate to the bullpen and proceeded to jog toward the pitching mound, eluding two security officers in the top of the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. One officer used a Taser and Lidge went down in a heap. Several Phillies placed gloves over their faces and appeared to be stifling laughter at the wild scene.

“This is the first time that a Taser gun has been used to apprehend Brad Lidge for entering the field of play,” a Phillies spokesman said in a statement. “The Phillies are currently discussing whether this was an appropriate use of force to keep Lidge from coming onto the field.”

The Phillies dealt with 67 separate instances of Lidge entering the field late in games last season and hope that the use of a Taser will cut down on similar outbursts in the future.

Phillies promise to ease Lidge into closer role, nice and slow

April 30, 2010 by  
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Brad Lidge will be activated from the disabled list in time for the Phillies’ series opener against the Mets on Friday, but Charlie Manuel stressed that there’s no need to rush Lidge into the closer role because “we’ve got all night, baby.”

“We’re just gonna take our time and do it right,” Manuel said in a baritone, filling two glasses with Dom Perignon. “I wanna make sure Brad is completely comfortable, then we’ll just ease him right up in there, nice and slow.”

Despite his gentile approach with Lidge, Manuel doesn’t plan on wasting any time sticking Jimmy Rollins all up in that sweet leadoff spot when he returns from the disabled list.

Manuel reports no pain after watching Lidge throw off mound

February 26, 2010 by  
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Charlie Manuel told reporters that he felt no pain while watching Brad Lidge throw 30 pitches off of a mound on Thursday.

“I really felt good out there today,” Manuel said of his Lidge-watching session. “A lot of people didn’t know this, but I watched in a good deal of pain for most of 2009 when Brad was on the mound. It’s one of those things you just have to fight through and keep watching though. Today’s outing was a good sign that I may be able to stay pain-free all year.”

Manuel also suffered through bouts of Jimmy and Cole last season in addition to the painful Lidge outings, but according to team doctors, being able to watch Roy Halladay every fifth day should help the manager stay healthy and pain-free.

Lidge out 4-6 weeks after doctor blows fifth surgery of season

January 15, 2010 by  
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Unable to successfully complete his one job in life, surgeon Fran Gargiulo botched a simple procedure on Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who will now likely be out for the next four to six weeks as a result.

“It was a pretty simple procedure and I’ve done it hundreds of times before, but things have been rough for me this year,” said Gargiulo after he failed to close the door on another surgery for the second time in his last three attempts. “This is just a part of the job. Some days we have it and some days we don’t. I just couldn’t cut it out there today.”

Physicians assistants were forced to bail Garguilo out and literally stop the bleeding as the 27-year veteran operated on the wrong knee to begin with and then used a toothbrush and a spork to perform the procedure.

“It’s almost like he completely forgot how to do his job all of the sudden,” said one nurse. “I just hope we can get whatever is wrong with him fixed soon because we really need him back out there as soon as possible.”

Gargiulo is scheduled to undergo surgery on his surgery hand as early as next week and may miss that breast implant procedure he was really looking forward to.

Comparing Phillies 2009 bullpen to the current bunch

January 4, 2010 by  
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Danys Baez is set to take a physical and finalize his two-year deal with the Phillies this week, which may be the last significant move the Phils make this offseason, according to Todd Zolecki. Apparently, Ruben Amaro may still sign a couple muppets and your uncle Jimbo, but the days of signing “significant” talent like Danys Baez and his 4.04 career ERA may over with. In other words, get ready for another ride on The Bullpen. Scares the bageezus outta me.

I thought I’d compare this year’s bullpen to last year to see if we’ve gained any ground at all so far, so here goes nothin’:

Closer: No change. Brad Lidge posted a 7.21 ERA and netted 20 saves (31 saves minus the 11 he blew) as the closer for the eventual National League champs. Let’s put it this way: I don’t think it’s possible to repeat the worst closer performance in the history of closers, so I’ll say we improved slightly no matter what happens. Charlie can’t throw him out there the way he did last year if the struggles continue, right? Anybody wanna back me up on that and make me feel better?

Setup: Ryan Madson stays. Scott Eyre and Clay Condrey combined for a 2.38 ERA over 72 innings for the Phils last year and as of right now, neither will not be back for 2010. J.C. Romero returns and it looks like Baez will join him and Madson as the go-to guys in the latter innings. Romero and Baez combined for a 3.77 ERA last season in 88.1 innings, with only 16.2 of those coming from Romero. J.C.’s coming off of an injury and a long layoff, so I wouldn’t expect him to be the shut-down reliever we’re used to. Baez is coming from the AL East, so it’s possible he could look better in a Phils uniform than what he did last year with the Orioles.

Overall, I’d say 2.38 is lower than 3.77, so it looks like we had a better crew setting things up for impending disaster (Lidge) in 2009 than we currently do.

The Rest: Chad Durbin stays. Chan Ho Park, Tyler Walker and Jack Taschner combined for a 3.30 ERA over 114.2 innings and if it wasn’t for “Take out the” Taschner, that ERA would be a lot lower. As of right now, that group is gone, and likely replaced with some combination of Antonio Bastardo (6.46 ERA in 6 games), Drew Carpenter (11.12 ERA in 3 games), Sergio Escalona (4.61 ERA in 14 games) and Mike Zagurski, who posted a 3.57 ERA in 45 games at Double-A Clearwater last year.

I’d say this year’s bunch might make us beg for the ’08 and ’09 versions that we took for granted.

Overall, this year’s bullpen is essentially the opposite of what you’d want from a team that is supposed to contend for a World Series championship: A closer coming off a miserable season and very little depth with inexperienced middle relievers.

One good sign is that last year’s horrible bullpen turned it around about when Cliff Lee came on board and consistently pitched deep into games, saving the pen. Halladay should do that even better than Lee, and this time, for a full season.

This World Series stuff is getting pretty old, says nobody

October 22, 2009 by  
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The Phillies will make their second trip to the World Series in as many years and while most fans are once again overjoyed and totally hung over with Phils Phever, one fan can’t seem to get into this most recent title run.

“I just can’t get excited this time around,” says nobody, a business manager from Doylestown. “It’s like it happens every year now where someone steps up big every night to completely obliterate the heart and soul of some opposing team that everyone outside of this area wanted to see win instead of the Phillies. How is that exciting?”

Nobody went on to say that if the Phillies end up topping the Yankees for their third World Championship in franchise history and second straight World Phuckin Championship, that he may stop watching the Phillies altogether and follow the Philadelphia Union or something.

Manuel: I trust my bullpen, just not around my wife or a baseball

October 10, 2009 by  
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Charlie Manuel answered questions on Friday about his decision to go with potential Game 3 starters Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ out of the bullpen after Cole Hamels — who apparently couldn’t wait until February to knock his wife up — left after five innings in the 5-4 loss to the Rockies.

Some have said Manuel brought in his starters because he no longer trusts anyone out of the bullpen.

“Everybody says I don’t trust my bullpen and that’s just not true,” Manuel said. “Just because I don’t want them anywhere near my wife or to pitch in a game ever again doesn’t mean I don’t trust them with other things…like driving to the ballpark and dressing themselves.”

Though Blanton and Happ’s use in Game 2 doesn’t prevent either from starting Game 4, it does mean that Pedro Martinez will start for the Phillies on Saturday for Game 3. It also means that Kyle Kendrick and/or Brad Lidge’s spot on the playoff roster could have been filled by John Mayberry Jr., who could have pinch run on Thursday instead of risking Cliff Lee with the game on the line.

Manuel also suffered a mild stroke in the seventh inning when he was forced to bring in Scott Eyre to replace Happ, who took a line drive off of the leg and had to leave the game.

“It’s not that I won’t use the guys from the ‘pen,” Manuel explained on Friday. “They’re just last on my list after I’ve used the starters and asked all 46,000 or so fans if they want to take a crack at it first.”

Procrastinating Phils finally get around to clinching division

October 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Headlines, Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies clinched their third straight NL East title after putting it off for the past week by spending entirely too much time on Failblog and Hulu-ing those old episodes of It’s Always Sunny they missed.

“It was rough, man,” Ryan Howard said of the Phillies’ late-season procrastination. “As much as we wanted to secure our spot and get it over with, someone would send out an email about a funny video and by the time you start looking at all the related videos, you look up and it’s the ninth inning and you’re down by like 10. At that point, you just try again the next day, but then Chase [Utley] starts talking about how Journey is the greatest band of all time, which starts a three-hour-long debate and you end up in the same place as yesterday.”

The Phils finally pulled it together on Wednesday to down the Astros 10-3, though technically the team clinched the division a few minutes before the game ended due to Atlanta losing on an epic Matt Diaz baserunning error to end the game against the Marlins.

In a moving gesture to once again prove his commitment and eternal love for Brad Lidge, Charlie Manuel called on the team’s pseudo-closer to record the final out of the 10-3 route in a non-save situation. Lidge warmed up for about five minutes and threw one pitch to Lance Berkman, who grounded out to Ryan Howard at first base to end the game.

“Any other guy would have left me by now, but Charlie isn’t just any other guy,” Lidge said after the game. “We pledged our lives to one another when I signed here and I’m blessed to be able to have him right by my side no matter how badly I screw up. I’m definitely one of the lucky ones.”

The Phillies also paid a fitting tribute to the late Harry Kalas by embracing the HK sign in left field after the game. Harry is still very much a part of this team and I personally hope the Phillies are able to pay the greatest tribute to him by rolling down Broad Street one more time, in his honor. Go Phils!

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