Madson, bullpen keep things loose

 Posted by at 6:59 pm
Oct 112010
The Phillies celebrate the NLDS clinch

The Phillies celebrate the NLDS clinch

October 11 Camden Courier-Post:

“The mask had been sitting inside a nearby empty locker in the Phillies‘ clubhouse for the past few days, but Ryan Madson decided Sunday would be the ideal time to unveil it publicly.

The Phillies’ set-up man strolled into a pregame news conference with the mask — a grizzled looking hobo with a red cap and cigar — pulled over his face. Madson compared the look to former Phillie and current Reds infielder Miguel Cairo.

“I went to a Halloween store a couple of days ago with the kids — and I couldn’t pass up that opportunity to get one of these,” Madson said. “I’ve been wearing it every day to the playoffs.”

It’s no surprise that the Philliesbullpen gets the credit for creating the 2010 postseason good-luck charm. Aside from shutting down the opposition late in games, keeping things loose is sort of their niche.

“We’re just eclectic,” Madson said. “We have some really smart guys. Like Lidge, we say he’s the smartest dumb guy we know.”

Or, Chad Durbin interrupted, perhaps they’re all a bunch of dumb smart guys. Either way, it helps explain the origin of the mask.

Madson debuted the mask in the hot tub in the Phillies‘ clubhouse last week. Charlie Manuel was the first to stumble upon the incognito reliever, and he had little trouble deciphering his identity.

Now Madson wears the mask in the shower and occasionally shares it with his teammates — although not all of them have been anxious to try it on.

“Not if (Madson) has been putting it on,” second baseman Chase Utley said.

It’s hardly the most ridiculous look the Phillies bullpen has been responsible for.

As the team departed for Washington in the final week of the regular season, their rookies all wore skimpy outfits — firemen, policemen, a sailor — all purchased and inappropriately modified by the Phillies’ relievers.

“We have a lot of extra free time in the bullpen,” closer Brad Lidge said.

Even on a team that takes pride in its clubhouse chemistry, the bullpen has an even greater sense of camaraderie that spills over onto the field.”

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