Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Astros need to cut ties with Lidge

Let me start this blog by saying Brad Lidge has been a stand-up guy throughout his 3-plus seasons in the big leagues. By all accounts, he is a perfect fit for the Astros clubhouse -- professional, accountable, humble.

That being said, it's time for Lidge to leave Houston on the next Continental Airlines flight. Lidge, whose spring training ERA was awful, got off on the wrong foot Monday, giving up a two-out, game-tying home run in Houston's 4-2 10-inning loss to Pittsburgh. So much for a clean slate.

Manager Phil Garner has vigorously defended Lidge as his closer and owner Drayton McClane loves his "brand" guys -- players who can be easily recognized as Astros. Guys like Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman. Lidge seemed to be on that track in 2005 when his crisp fastball and devastating slider made life miserable for opposing batters and pushed the Astros to their first World Series. That fall, though, Albert Pujols and Scott Podsednik delivered psyche-crushing homers off Lidge. He hasn't been the same since.

Now it's time for Houston to cut ties with its once unhittable closer and do the honorable thing by both parties. The Astros have been burned too many times by Lidge and it's clear the former first-round pick needs a change of scenery. At this point, the smart business decision is to trade Lidge, feelings be darned.


Blogger Joel Anderson said...

Jason, I couldn't agree more but if only for one thing ... as a native Houstonian, we just don't give up on our sports heroes.

Then again, I can't remember such a sudden, dramatic slide for one of Houston's top sports stars that was related only to performance.

I mean, John Lucas, for instance, was brought under by drugs.

But Lidge ... geez, he's never been the same since that 2005 NLCS.

I was there, when he took over for Octavio Dotel in 2004, and he was shaping up to be one of baseball's most dominating closers. In fact, Lidge was! He was a huge cog for those teams that went to the NLCS and World Series in '04 and '05.

I'd like to think he could find his groove in an Astros uniform but I'm beginning to think he might be better off somewhere else.

And it's a shame - he's a class guy and has the potential to turn it around. You just wonder if it'll ever happen for him.

April 4, 2007 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Jason Pugh said...

I think he can turn it around. He'll just need a change of scenery -- either geographically or from a timing standpoint. Maybe he needs to pitch the 7th inning. Of course, given the rest of the Astros' pen, that may not be the best option either.

Anyone for cloning Roy Oswalt?

April 4, 2007 at 2:44 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home