CLEARWATER, Fla. (CBS) — World Series champion Brad Lidge is excited about this young Phillies team.
The Phillies hired him as a special assistant so he can impart his wisdom to some of the younger players.
Lidge was the ultimate closer for the Phillies, but he’s not quite ready to close out his baseball career, as he’s back with the team as a guest instructor.
“Look, there’s a lot of good arms in this system, in this organization. They’ve done a really good job through the draft and trades the past couple of years,” Lidge said about the team’s young pitching. “So if I can make the learning curve happen faster for these young arms, then I think I’ll feel pretty good for my reason being down here.”
Lidge said he thinks about the last out of the 2008 World Series often when he struck out Eric Hinske of the Tampa Bay Rays as the Phillies captured their second championship.
“I think about it a lot, walking through the halls and remembering every spring training. It actually comes up quite a bit, and whether I sign some autographs or something like that, it’s something I couldn’t be more proud of,” Lidge said. “Couldn’t feel more fortunate to be a part of that team, to be a part of Philadelphia at that time. Everything was just kind of a perfect recipe and it’s one of the most amazing moments of my life.”
Lidge also touched on the fact that no members of the 2008 team are left on the current squad.
“This is the first spring training where everyone from the team is officially gone. Chooch [Carlos Ruiz] being the last guy, we have the memories on the wall that a lot of these guys who have been around, who were watching that in 2008, but it is a new group of guys, but the goals are still the same,” Lidge said. “They want to be the next group of guys to get that world championship, and I’ll tell you if work ethic means anything these guys are going to do it quick.”