Charlie Manuel addressed the media an hour ago. As expected, the topic of conversation centered around Brad Lidge, whom Manuel removed from the game with the bases loaded and the ninth inning last night.
Is Lidge still the Phillies' closer?
"I'm going to sit down somewhere along the way and talk to him and whatever," Manuel said. "I'm getting kind of tired of it if you want to know the truth, really. I am. And the reason is, I figure I can put him in the game when I want to. I've been very loyal to him and stuck with him and I've done everything I think possible to get him going. There's no way I ever want to lie to him. Like I told you last night, I don't do that, and I don't have a history of doing that. But at the same time, we're going to win the game. And the best way to win the game, and that includes Brad is not out there to close, then I guess that's going to be my decision. Now, we are going to play to win the game. Our team is definitely not about the one guy. And I'm sure he feels that way. It's very important that we get him straight and right, but at the same time we're going to play to win the game."
It's pretty easy to read in between the lines there. But keep in mind that there is no rule that requires Manuel to designate a "closer." It isn't a quarterback or a starting pitcher. In the end, the Phillies' closer is whoever Manuel calls upon in the ninth inning of a tight game. Last night, Lidge got the first whack at it, but Madson ended up being the closer.