Monday, February 27, 2012

Lidge and Ibanez: The Enemies


The above images feature Brad Lidge sporting the uniform of division rival Washington, while outfielder Raul Ibanez is seen rocking a different color pin stripes than folks might be used to, the New York Yankees' blue. Both pictures seem a bit odd and force me to wonder which one would bother Phillies fans more.

The 35-year-old Lidge is best known for his "perfect" 2008 season, when he led the Phillies to their second ever World Series title by successfully converting all 48 saves chances in the regular and postseason. Ibanez, who will turn 40 years old in June, left the Phillies as a free agent after becoming an All-Star and patrolling leftfield for Philadelphia over the past 3 years.

What is fairly stunning is that this pair that earned an estimated combined total of $24 million in 2011, will now earn a measly total of $2.1 million in base salary with their new organizations in the coming season. Such is the professional life of a pair of aging stars as they move beyond the prime years of their careers.

Last season Lidge seemed to know this type of drop in salary and status was coming. While rehabbing an injury with the Class Double-A Reading team at the same time as outfielder Shane Victorino last July, it was pointed out that Lidge was paying for the minor leaguers' post-game dinner spread because he made more money than Victorino. Lidge's reply to that statement was, "Not for long."

As for Ibanez, it won't be long before his old teammates see him, as the Phillies and Yankees meet on each of the first three days of the Grapefruit League exhibition schedule beginning this coming Saturday, March 3rd.

With these formerly beloved players now wearing enemy colors, it'll be interesting to see the type of adoration the Philadelphia fan base holds onto for each man.
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