Hey, Lidge might be the only ballplayer in history to pursue an advanced degree in biblical archaeology. Think he and Brett Myers are sitting around discussing that?
Anyway, I have Lidge fatigue because I’m tired of writing about closers, the ninth inning and saves. Lately, it seems like that’s all we do. Charlie Manuel is tired of being asked about it, too, but frankly it’s the news. In the news business, one tends to focus on those types of things.
And apropos of that, I asked Charlie if he’d consider allowing a pitcher to go more than one inning to nail down a save because he labeled himself a “throwback guy.” The answer, of course, was no because with a bullpen thinned out by injuries and Lidge’s struggles. Remember the stretch run in September of 2007 when Manuel rode J.C. Romero, Tom Gordon and Brett Myers? If it seemed as if those guys pitched every game in the rush to take the NL East from the Mets it was because they did… practically.
Myers pitched 16 games that September, Gordon pitched 18, and Romero got into 20 games.
Fortunately for Manuel, he has a better starting staff this year so he won’t have to reprise that tact with Myers, Ryan Madson and perhaps Chan Ho Park until Lidge gets it together.
Regardless, the closer/Lidge issues are just filling the time until we start diving the fight for home-field advantage in the NLDS. As it stands now, the Phillies would go to Los Angeles for the first two games of the opening playoffs series while St. Louis would host Colorado. If the Phillies survive that scenario, they would host Colorado but travel to St. Louis for the NLCS opener.
Of course there are still 24 games to go and the Dodgers’ starting pitchers are struggling. Undoubtedly the Phillies would not want to trade their Lidge problems for ones with a starter.
Anyway, to put the Lidge (and playoff seeding) chatter on hold for a bit, I picked up a funny little blog post sent from a friend about the Dodgers, Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome.
Apparently, according to the post, Manny has no idea who Jim Thome is. Never mind the fact that Thome and Manny were teammates for 10 years in Cleveland.
Conjuring the famous and debunked story about Rickey Henderson and John Olerud in which Rickey was said to explain to Olerud when both players were on the Mariners that he once was teammates with a guy who wore a helmet in the field with the Mets.
“Yeah, that was me, Rickey,” Olerud said in the myth.
So now we have Manny, who according to the author of Diamond Hoggers, just couldn’t figure out who the hell some guy named Jim Thome was.
This comes from a guy we know who works in the Dodgers organization. He wrote us an e-mail because he thought the story would please us. He was right.
Hey fellas,Hope all is well. Had a story for you that you might find kind of funny and that might go well on your site. Just leave my name out of it. So here goes:Alright so we all know that Jim Thome was traded to the Dodgers at the end of August, reuniting him with Ramirez after all those years in Cleveland. That's all fine and dandy and all, but get this..... hours before the trade is made official news to the media one of the clubhouse coaches goes over to Manny and says "hey we're bringing Jim Thome back here to play with you". Ramirez looks at him, stares off into the distance for a few minutes. Our coach starts to realize that either Manny isn't happy or he's got no fucking clue what is going on. Our coach couldn't believe it was that though, since they played together for almost 10 years in Cleveland. Finally our coach says "Manny aren't you happy about Jim coming to LA?"Ramirez looks him dead in the eye and says "I've never played with anyone named Jim." Gets up, and walks away. No [bleep]. Our coach left it at that.
Nevertheless, add this to the absent-minded legend that is Manny Ramirez. Or add it to the pile of Manny stories that Manuel likes to tell from their days in the Indians’ organization. Apparently, it wasn’t uncommon for Manny to show up at the ballpark with no money to pay for a taxi, no suitcase for a road trip or equipment.
Call him Manny Gump – the baseball hitting savant.
Or just call this episode a case of Manny being Rickey.