MLB World Series Game 5 Debate: A-Rod As Hero Vs. Lidge As Goat

November 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

A-Rod delivered the big blow last night—but, was he more the hero or Lidge more the goat?

Let’s build the case for each…

A-Rod as the hero

A-Rod hammered a fastball to left that was just one mile-per-hour and about three inches different then the pitch he’d just taken for strike one.

(Technically the pitch seemed to A-Rod about two to three miles-per-hour different given the three inches higher, but that’s easy pickins for a decent three-spot hitter.)

As a professional hitter in the three-spot of the biggest pay-rolled line-up in baseball, that’s not much to pony up in a bid to be a World Series hero.

Lidge as the goat

Let’s see, Lidge threw the same pitch twice in a row to the three-spot hitter of the biggest pay-rolled line-up in baseball—after failing to cover third base on Johnny Damon’s steal.


Not a tough call.

Lidge wears the goatee for this one…through “shear” loss of control…of himself.

Yes, he hadn’t pitched for a long time, so I’ll grant him that. 

But to get caught grazing on the in-field grass after the throw buzzed over his head is a mental error.

(More accurately an emotional error.  I’m certain they’ve discussed who covers third base, so mentally he knows it—but most likely the stampede of emotions pumping through Lidge’s body got his goat.)

The even bigger offense was throwing the same pitch to A-Rod twice.

By far, the most well hit balls in baseball are hit when the current pitch occurs to the hitter to be very similar to the last pitch.

This is why guys throwing 100 can get hit and a Glavine can make the Hall-of-Fame with much less.

Many more home runs are the result of pitching mistakes than hitting excellence.

Anatomy of a Goat

Like last night, most goatees are not shorn by the situations themselves, but by the loss of emotional control.

And, lack of confidence.

Lack of trust. 

With Damon on third base, Lidge was too scared to throw the obvious pitch (slider) that would have stacked the odds in his favor—A-Rod might still have hit it, but then he would be the hero for hitting a good pitch.

Fascinating, isn’t it? 

Someone with as much success as Lidge has had in his career still loses it.

But, most players lose it.  Look at the chokes and goats throughout all sports history.

(I lose it myself sometimes.  It’s easier to be a writer than a player.)

So the poor strategy of the pitch selection, precipitated by the lack of trust and flood of emotions, goated Lidge.

One anti-dote is to look inside Derek Jeter’s mind .

Another is to train yourself emotionally as effectively as you train yourself physically.

The Phillies have a mountain to climb to win this series, but I believe they have the goats to do it.

Dr. Tom Hanson offers more insight on the mental and emotional aspects of baseball—including a free mental training program—at .

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...