UPDATE: So much for that. Lidge told Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News that the Phillies reached out to him about joining the broadcast team but he turned them down because “the timing right now is tough.”
CSN Philly cleared the Phillies’ broadcast booth by letting go of both play-by-play man Chris Wheeler and analyst Gary Matthews. No word yet on who might replace Wheeler, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the analyst job could go to Brad Lidge if he wants it.
Back in August the annual Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convention was in Philadelphia and I actually saw a panel discussion featuring both Lidge and Matthews (as shown in that picture). Lidge stole the show, telling a bunch of funny stories and generally just being very charming and interesting.
During the audience question part someone asked him about possibly joining the Phillies’ broadcast team and I remember thinking the exchange was kind of awkward with Matthews sitting right next to him. Turns out less than six months later Lidge might be replacing Matthews.
Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.
While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.
Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:
It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.
Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:
It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.