Dear friends, relatives, strangers, Phillies fans, Albert Pujols, and people who only got here by googling Pericles for a high school history paper,
We gather here today to signify the passing into oblivion of a man. Not a great man. Not even really a decent man. Not the worst man, probably, but certainly not that far above the bottom of the man-barrel. You know the man as “Brad Lidge,” but to his closest friends and teammates he was known as…also “Brad Lidge.”
His closest friends and teammates were the only people who didn’t actively walk away when he moved near them.
As I’m sure you are all aware, Brad was designated for assignment by the Nationals on Sunday. Assignment to where? Maybe a prison. Maybe a black hole. Maybe a time machine to the Ice Age. No one cares.
It doesn’t even matter anymore, because Brad Lidge took matters into his own hands. As I’m sure none of you are aware, Brad was a very pious man. He believed deeply that if he could only please the deity Poseidon, he would have success on the baseball field and happiness in his life. But he was never able to find the right offering to give to his master. He tried ugly livestock, his sculpted fecal droppings, plague-ridden rodents, a mug supporting sea-ruiners, and even his own rookie card. Brad never understood why Poseidon hated all his disgusting, offensive and worthless gifts.
In despair, after being released by the Nationals, Brad Lidge sacrificed to Poseidon the most disgusting, offensive and worthless thing of all: himself. I guess Brad hoped that this would be some kind of God/Abraham/Isaac situation, where at the last minute his lord would stop him from ending his existence after seeing how devoted he was. But as was so often the case, Brad Lidge was wrong.
As his soul crossed the river Styx (after paying the ferryman with his 2008 World Series ring, hopefully), Brad must have heard the repulsed snort and derisive laughter of Poseidon upon receiving his sacrifice. In religion as in baseball, in life as in death, Brad Lidge was and will for eternity remain a failure.
We are not here to celebrate Brad’s life, because it was not a life worth celebrating, nor to mourn his departure, because it is not really sad. We are not even here to smile at his death, for that would be to allow him to make us happy. Instead, let us simply recognize that Brad Lidge is gone from our lives (barring an ill-advised reincarnation and comeback with the Padres), and make sure that no one ever does the things that he did again.
May his memory soon be forgotten.