Pitchers Brad Lidge and Cliff Lee won the Comeback Player of the Year awards for their respective leagues today as voted on by a bunch of MLB.com beat writers. Lidge converted every single save opportunity he got on his plate, keeping the Phillies on track for a division title. Lee led the American League in wins, is favored to win the Cy Young award, and most improbably, he actually made Steve Phillips look smart. But Lee really earned this award because of his miserable season a year ago:
Lee won 46 games from 2004-06, but a strained abdominal muscle kept him on the sidelines during Spring Training last year, and he fought an uphill battle the rest of the way in a frustrating 2007 that also included a stint in the Minor Leagues.
Fella got hurt, worked his way back into the Major League rotation, and spent a season owning the Royals and Tigers. Sounds like a comeback to me. What about Lidge?
Lidge was traded by Houston to the Phillies last November after going 5-3 with 19 saves and a 3.36 ERA for the Astros in 2007.
OMIGOD WHAT A MASSIVE HUMAN INTEREST STORY. THAT GENTLEMAN OVERCAME TRUE EMOTIONAL HARDSHIPS TO SUCCEED. Please...Lidge went from saving 75% of his opportunities to saving 100%. That's not a comeback, that's a ridiculously great improvement in closing skills by an above-average closer. Wait, are the writers giving him this award because he gave that massive NLCS home run to Albert Pujols three years ago? C'mon guys! What about Gabe Kapler coming back from teaching high school to man the Brewers outfield?!?