Remembering Cory Lidle

I had another entry written about the plane crash into an apartment building in New York today, but I’m not going to post it now. Critiquing a few government terrorism quotes can wait.

Cory Lidle, the plane’s pilot, played for the Phillies until July 30th. As a phan I watched him pitch during the last couple of years, and grew to appreciate his game. He was never flashy or overwhelming on the mound, but every time he pitched, everyone knew the outcome before the game. He’d inevitably make a quality start, which is six innings or more with three or fewer earned runs. Generally that meant exactly six innings and three runs. He’d win some and lose some that way, as it’s not dominant, but he almost always kept his team in the game. He was a solid pitcher.

I last saw him pitch against the Blue Jays in Toronto on July 1st. I joked ahead of time that he’d give up three runs in six innings. Through five, he’d pitched a shutout, and I was “worried” that I wouldn’t be prophetic. Lidle didn’t disappoint. With one out, he gave up two quick home runs to plate three runs. He took care of the final two batters with ease. Six innings, three runs. He was automatic. It might seem like I’m putting him down, but I intend that as a compliment. Baseball is a game of uncertainty. That little extra certainty lets his teammates know what they need to accomplish.

He didn’t leave Philadelphia on the best terms, but I never cared about the politics of his team dynamic with the Phillies. That was for those directly involved to worry about. As a phan, I could only value what happened on the field. I liked him enough given his performance that I’d hoped the Phillies could keep him. (He would’ve been a free agent after the World Series.) Brian Cashman, General Manager of the Yankees, demanded Lidle to complete the trade for Bobby Abreu with the Phillies. Needing to trade Abreu for salary reasons, the Phillies agreed. That, I think, speaks most about his abilities.

More thoughts at Beer Leaguer and Balls, Sticks, & Stuff