Re: Lights Out for Lidge?

John Royal responds to Jason Friedman's comments about Royal's remarks about Brad Lidge. Try to keep up.

Jason, welcome aboard. It was nice to hear from you. And it's nice to know that someone out there is more cynical about the Houston sports scene than I am. It's also nice to be called sane. My own family won't even do that. Thank you.

Now, on to your Brad Lidge comments. Yes, I agree, it's normally better to wait into the season to do anything about Lidge. If he comes out great, then the team is in good hands. That also ups his trade value. And the longer the Astros wait to trade him, the better the offers as the more desperate teams become. Lidge doesn't even have to become "Lights out Lidge" again for the offers to improve. He just has to be competent.

But, here's the deal. Games 4, 5, and 6 of the Astros regular season are against the St. Louis Cardinals. That means an early meeting between Lidge and Albert Pujols. Lidge is already having a poor spring, and compounding things by having him deal with Pujols this early in the season could really harm his trade value.

Plus, there's an added factor. There is one team out there that is already desperate. The Boston Red Sox were looking at starting the season with Mike Timlin as closer, but he's injured, then they were going to use Julian Tavarez as closer — Astros fans might remember Mr. Taravez for fighting with the walls of the St. Louis Cardinals' Minute Maid Park dugout in 2004. The Red Sox are now moving stud pitcher Jonathan from the starting rotation back to the closer role, a spot in which he excelled last season, but where the team does not want him because of injury concerns. This is a desperate team. And the Red Sox are interested in Lidge. If the Astros wait too long, not only may Lidge's value be decreased, the BoSox may already be out the race and not be amenable to any type of trade. Or the Red Sox might get another closer. Let's not let this opportunity pass.

The time to strike is now. The iron is hot. This is a really desperate team. Let's go for it. — John Royal

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