Dearest Bradley Thomas Lidge,
You know what I want to discuss.
Let me preface this. I always have the Phaith. I believe we can battle back from 10-0 deficits. I believe Ryan Howard can avoid striking out for the 16th time in five innings. We can do it, always. What? Donovan McNabb won't throw that pass 15 yards short and straight into the grass, nor will he vomit on-field, on-screen in key situations. Randy Jones will have a good game, and if the heavens smile on us, maybe he'll make a few good hits, too! I am the definition of Phaith. If you didn't stay perfect last year, a few blown saves last and this wouldn't seem like the Apocalypse. Unfortunately, you've decided to lump all your failure into key moments of this season, and have blown games in the true Philadelphia way - ridiculous, comical, unfathomable ways. I almost never boo a player.
This was just a matter of time. Tonight, your team, the Phillies kicked off a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates in da 'Burgh. (Pittsburgh seems to be a recurring theme on here, eh?) I live and breathe baseball, but 99% of the time I forget the Pirates even exist. It's as simple as that. Some team in Pittsburgh needs to suck, and it's not the Penguins or the Steelers, so the Buccos need to carry the suck for all three teams. As fantastic as he was, the Roberto Clemente days are long gone.
Tonight, after early scoring including two first-pitch homers from Jimmy Rollins, we looked like we were in good shape. Now, as any Philadelphia fan will tell you, no lead is ever safe. Nothing. Ever. No matter what sport. We expect to piss away leads, and when we don't, we're shocked. Soon the game was evened up, then the Pirates took the lead 3-2. After blowing some prime scoring opportunities, Carlos Ruiz doubled, followed by an RBI pinch double from former Cleveland Indian Ben Francisco, and that was followed by a strikeout from J-Roll (that's fine, he did enough tonight), and an RBI triple from Shane Victorino. If you're keeping score at home, kids, that's a 4-3 lead.
Which brings us to every Phillies fan's new current worst nightmare - YOU.
Brad, after tonight's diarrhea of a performance, I am happy I saved that $200 and didn't buy your jersey.
I understand you cannot win all 162 games. There will be insane finishes, good and bad. Every pitch is a turning point. That's what I love about this game. I can handle losses - there are always ups and downs. In the end, despite how much anyone loves it, it's just a game. The players go home, eat dinner, scratch their butts, and lay around like any normal person. (Except Cliff Lee. I believe he merely floats around, angelic.)
I do not love when men who are paid ridiculous sums of money to pitch one inning - three people! - do absolute shit. I hate even more that Cholly trots you out there like a show pony who is clearly past their prime, shitty job about shitty job, and expects Brad Lidge of 2008. I know Cholly has to have the Phaith, but there's a line between Phaith and Ridiculousity. (I know. I make words up sometimes.)
I cannot remember the last time I felt so angry over the ending of a game. I want to tackle you like a sled tackle used in football practice.
I'm sorry. I can't even bring myself to recap the inning, it was that horrific. It was a monstrosity, but who am I telling - you made it happen! It would have been horrendous no matter what team, but the PIRATES?! REALLY?! This has to be some cruel, cruel joke.
There's hundreds of thousands of people who probably could pitch better than you right now. In part, I believe they are: my sister's cat; Sidney Crosby's playoff beard; Anne Boelyn; my twin 1-year-old nephews; the druggie two streets over; the 7-year-old on NBC10's evening news who turned a triple play in little league; Rick Allen, the one-armed drummer of Def Leppard; Bob Barker; Mariah Carey; Zdeno Chara; the Assistant Dean of my college; Bloody Mary the I of England; me with the medical boot I've got on; my 78-year-old grandmother; her 94-year-old husband; any member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (I heart Mounties); the list goes on.
Brad, you know that little video they show between innings, asking what you'd be doing if you weren't in the MLB, or when you retire? You always tell us you want to be a religious archaeologist. I say, go for it! Follow your dreams. You've already won a World Series, now put us out of our misery. At this rate, none of us will ever miss you. Please. I beg of you. Just go. Don't even bother to send us a postcard.
Thanks for the memories