Anyone ever see the movie "Vice Versa" besides me?
For those of you who haven't seen it, basically, it's a movie from 1988 where the guy from Beverly Hills cop (Judge Reinhold) and the kid from The Wonder Years (Fred Savage) play a father and son who wind up switching bodies when the two touch a mysterious Thai skull at the same time. That's the '80s for you.
Well, on my way to work this morning, that movie popped in my head for whatever reason and gave me an idea. See, outside of Eric Bruntlett and for a stretch there Jamie Moyer, Brad Lidge and Cole Hamels have been by far the worst players on the Philadelphia Phillies. The two men who were incredibly integral to last season's success have both done a complete 180, sucking more balls than John Amaechi. Hamels has a robust 6.75 ERA in the month of August, and his numbers on the season are pitiful: 7-8, 4.78 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 157 hits and 22 homers surrendered in 139.1 innings.
He has the fifth highest ERA in the NL, and opposing hitters are batting .285 against him. He blows.
And Hamels' numbers look good compared to Lidge's: 0-6, 7.33 ERA, 56 hits and 11 home runs surrendered in 46.2 innings, 1.80 WHIP, .299 batting average against and 9 blown saves in 34 chances. That's a 74 percent success rate in save situations … and that's rounding up!
Last night, after the Phillies battled back from a one-run deficit in the ninth to take a one-run lead, Brad Lidge not only blew the save, not only lost the game, but the guy failed to get a single PITTSBURGH PIRATE out. For the record, the Pirates are 52-71 this season and traded away every half-decent player they had from the start of the season. And Brad Lidge blew a save against those guys … without even getting a single out.
So what does this have to do with the movie Vice Versa? I'm glad you asked. Now, I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but Marshall Seymour and Charlie Seymour learn an awful lot about themselves and each other after switching bodies. In the end, they're both better off for it.
Well, I propose we try our own little social experiment, taking a page out Jeffrey Lurie's book. Let's find this magical skull and get Lidge and Hamels to touch it, effectively switching bodies. Brad can see what it's like being Cole, the pussy pretty boy who carries his puppy in a backpack.
Something tells me Lidge will never be more happy that he was born Brad Lidge, the badass closer with the shitty intro music, than that pussy-ass Cole Hamels. He'll realize what he has as the closer, bear down and get his shit together, because he doesn't want to show any weakness like Cole. He'll have to prove his manhood all over again. Maybe that will do the trick.
Meanwhile, Cole will be thrust into the high pressure cooker that is the closer role. He'll realize how good of a gig he has a starter, where one mistake won't necessarily kill you because the team has plenty of chances left to pick you up. Maybe he'll realize it would be a good idea to shut down the opposition early so there's not so much pressure on the bullpen late. And maybe he'll regain his form, because the closer role is a very pressure-packed one and we all saw just how well Colbert pitched last October when the pressure was never greater. Maybe that would do the trick. And maybe he'll toughen up a little bit and not bitch about chiropractors and resting his arm and whatever else bothers him.
If not, fuck it, just send Lidge out back and shoot him and replace Cole with Jamie. Anything is better than those two right now.
I don't care how loyal Charlie is. I don't care how piss-poor the other options are. The Phillies cannot go into the postseason with Brad Lidge as the closer and Cole Hamels as the No. 2 starter pitching like this. They just can't. Move Cole to the fourth spot. Put anyone — Madson, Chan Ho, Myers — in the closer spot. Or find that skull to set these two straight. Otherwise, nice knowing you.
What have Hamels and Lidge ever done for us anyway?