I have made apologies for Brad Lidge in the past. This is not to say that I am an apologist but rather that I thought the guy deserved a little respect after what he did last year. And maybe he still does. But after blowing his 11th save of the season last night, he no longer gets that free pass from me.
Here’s the problem. Last year, as we all know, he was a perfect 100% in save opportunities. This year, he’s a little south of 75%. Now, .750 would be a great batting average and it wouldn’t even be a terrible completion percentage for a quarterback. But, at this point in the season, the Brad Lidge experiment (which is a great name for a band, by the way) is a miserable failure and the Phillies had better figure out what they’re doing before Lidge blows it for them in the playoffs.
However, I think I can demonstrate this much more convincingly by comparing it to other famous choices and showing what might have happened if they had followed the current Lidge tinged route.
When it turns out that Chamberlain is just a little bit off on the whole Hitler as a threat thing despite seizing Poland and annexing the Sudeten-land, the British decide to give him one more chance. As rockets rain down on London, he bravely stands up and proclaims once more, “C’mon guys, Hitler isn’t really trying to invade Britain. He just has to make a good show of it.” On the bright side, Oktoberfest in London becomes a world-renowned tradition.
Jimmy Carter’s Historic Second Term:
Although the rescue of the hostages in Iran doesn’t quite go as planned and despite the oil crisis, America just can’t enough of the Georgia peanut farmer and they send would-be president, Ronald Reagan, back to California to star in a sequel to Bedtime for Bonzo. Carter repays their faith with his famous speech in West Berlin where he kindly asks the Russians to “Please stop being so mean and if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, how about we slowly dismantle this wall.” He then returns home, considers invading Grenada but instead decides to kill them with kindness, sending thousands of jars of Georgia’s finest peanut butter.
George W. Bush’s Re-Election in 2004:
Despite using the pretense of a just war to entangle the US in a war of choice in Iraq and blowing the possibility of paying down the debt with the newly balanced budget handed him by former President Clinton and instead cutting taxes on the wealthy, Americans go to the polls in November of 2004 and send Mr. Bush back to the White House. He returns the favor by further relaxing regulations and sending Americans to the poorhouse in record numbers during the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Wait a minute, what? That really happened? I was sure it was just a bad dream. Hm, guess that means that whoever faces Philly in the first round has hope after all.
As a fan, one of the most difficult parts of spring training is watching your team show up and wondering who’s going to be disgustingly out of shape and how they’re possibly going to get ready in time for the season opener. If you had David Wells reporting, you didn’t worry so much because somehow that extra weight and general aura of deep-fryer fat that emanated from him was soothing. However, when you’re a Tigers fan and Miguel Cabrera is showing up soon, you worry.
It appears that worry is misplaced, though. Not only did Cabrera show up early, he apparently has dispatched that aura of mediocrity that shadowed him throughout the beginning of last season. Fantasy Baseball blogs are touting him as one of the top first basemen and despite his slow start last season and the lack of offensive output from the Tigers as a whole, he still ended up having a career year.
However, when it comes to crap-tastic auras, there is one man who surely takes the cake. That’s right, long-time friend of RSBS, Bud Selig, was back in the news today. See, Selig wants us to know that when the steroid snafu went down, he wasn’t playing Nero and fiddling while Rome burned like we all thought. No, he was trying to sniff out the problem, attempting to stomp out the fire before it exploded into the conflagration that now rages in front of us. And of course we know this is true because the story comes from a source on the inside, from a trustworthy someone named, uh, let me see here, Bud Selig. Huh. That seems kind of weird.
We here at RSBS have often called out Mr. Selig on his general ineptitude and obvious mismanagement of the great American pastime. His ham-fisted attempts at regulation, be it contract negotiation or drug-testing, have only served to intensify the disparities in baseball. But, I think it’s about time we took this to the next level. If Mr. Selig were a dirigible, he’d be the Hindenburg. If he were a world leader of the past century, he’d be Neville Chamberlain. If Mr. Selig were a song, he’d be sung by Carly Simon. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m sure he’d fire a manager for less. He’s an unapologetic and unmitigated disaster and it’s time for him to go.