ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Philadelphia Phillies star closer Brad Lidge will miss the rest of the World Series after recent test results showed a minor yeast infection in the area of his Lidgina, team officials revealed this afternoon.
“I’m a little surprised and bummed that I won't be playing anymore this season, but this has actually happened a few times before,” Lidge said. “But I trust the club’s OB/GYN.”
The announcement came on the heels of the Phillies 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays here in game one of the World Series, in which Lidge recorded the save. The Phillies now lead the series 1-0 with game two being played tonight at 8 p.m. at Tropicana Field here.
The diagnosis was a result of the Phillies routine annual team-wide fall pap smears, which the public was previously not made aware of.
It's unclear how many Phillies in the past have needed treatment after the fall round of tests because the results don’t tend to come in until mid to late October – not a time when the Phillies are usually still playing ball and in the spotlight.
"I guess if I had known we were going to be in the playoffs I could have postponed the tests, but I honestly didn’t expect the Mets to have such a spectacular collapse to end the season – especially for a second straight year in a row,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “Heck, some of my players were in elementary school the last time we made it this deep into October, you know?”
Philadelphia’s young ace pitcher Cole Hamels balked at the idea that Lidge’s infection might cause him any trouble, but wasn’t too certain about the rest of the team.
“I think I’m good shape since back in spring training the guys gave me a free cootie shot, though I was the only one on the team that got one,” Hamels said. “Plus, I don’t go over to any of the sleepover parties Lidge has.”
Phillies spokesman Larry Shenk wouldn’t comment on the possibility of other team members being in any danger from being around Lidge, or Lidge’s “sleepover parties,” but did say Hamels would be no safer than the rest of the team since his “free cooties shot” was actually a twisted joke planned by Lidge and the team’s resident practical joker Brett Myers.
“It was great,” Myers said. “Hamels actually let us inject him with a syringe filled with nasty water from the bottom of the SEPTA station near the ballpark. He kept asking if we might know why he got real sick.”
When the joke was mentioned, Hamels later claimed he knew of the fakeness of his "cootie shot" all along at a mid-day World Series press junket that seemed to continue to get stranger and stranger by the minute.
“Uh, yeah, of course I knew it wasn’t a real vaccine,” Hamels said defiantly. “Don’t worry I’ll get back at them. I’m not saying I had anything to do with Lidge’s current situation since I wouldn’t want to hurt our World Series hopes, but I’ll definitely get them back. I know where there families are. It’s all good. Judgment day comes for all,” he said trailing off.
More pressing to the Phillies clubhouse than practical jokes, vengeance and alleged sleepover parties at the moment is their bullpen, and Manuel knows it.
As for who Manuel says will be in the closer spot for the rest of the series?
“In a perfect world? David Price. Did you see him in game seven of the ALCS?” Manuel said of the Rays rookie pitching phenom. “Unfortunately he’s on the other team, so I put a lot of thought into it and I’m going to give the ball to the one true Phillie when it’s all on the line.”
Phillie Phanatic has only one mound appearance, which came in 1999, and his stats from that game don’t seem to support Manuel’s decision. He has spent most of his 30-year career with the Phillies performing his mascot duties.
Phanatic brings with him an infinite ERA, as he has allowed 74 runs and has never actually gotten a batter out.
“The last time I remember seein’ him take the mound was like a decade ago,” said longtime Philadelphian Paulie Pennino, 68. “He couldn’t get anyone out and the little kids at the camp just kept getting hit after hit. He got killed out there. He was a crumb bum.”
Rays batters sounded caught off guard when asked how they felt about possibly batting against Phanatic for the rest of the World Series.
“What the hell are you talking about?” asked Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. "How did you get in my house?"
I basically wrote that up on the train ride into work this morning. I'm sure if anyone was reading over my shoulder as I scribbled the draft they probably would have thought I was crazy... and of course been right.
Maybe I should submit this to CNN's iReport, since apparently they'll throw their name behind anything...
Also... Ironically, the St. Petersburg Times posted a thing today about The Onion stories involving the Rays, many of which are of course hilarious.