If you’re any kind of baseball fan, you will probably remember Brad Lidge as the cog at the back end of the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen when they won the World Series in 2008. Lidge cashed in on his big season with an even bigger three-year contract (3 years/$36 M) … and then imploded, sporting a hefty 7.21 ERA in 2009 and eventually losing his closer role. Today, he signed a new free agent deal, jumping over to the Washington Nationals for $1M to be a setup man and wily old vet for the Nats’ young guns to consult when needed.
Now, Lidge is nowhere near the stature of Peyton Manning, of course, but there are parallels between their situations. Like Lidge, Manning established himself as arguably the best at his position. Like Lidge, Manning suffered a complete falloff in performance and fan/organization confidence, even if the two took vastly different paths.
Also like Lidge, Manning is going to have to prove himself again and will likely end up making a lot less money while he tries to do so. Based on Internet and pundit scuttlebutt, there is also a decent chance that the two of them will end up playing in the same town. Funny ol’ world, isn’t it?