Imagine If He'd Been Any Good

Click here to see Lidge's AlmostMySpace page.

The Houston Astros announced Wednesday that they'd re-signed "closer" Brad Lidge, who actually didn't do much in the way of closing last year.

Six horrendously ugly blown saves, a 5.28 ERA — what kind of pay cut does that get you these days? None: It gets you a $1.4 million raise.

We like Lidge — he seems like a stand-up guy; he went to Notre Dame, after all — but he had a seriously bad season in 2006. Astro fans cringed in fear and despair when he walked in from the bullpen.

Giving him a $1.4 million raise is like giving former CIA head George "Slam Dunk" Tenet a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Who'd be dumb enough to do that?

Maybe Jeff Bagwell should have stuck around instead of retiring. Even with only one working arm, he definitely would have qualified for a bump from his $17 million-per-year contract. -- Richard Connelly

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