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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Jose Contreras will be the Phillies' closer to start the season, Charlie Manuel said today.

In Spanish, Conteras told baseball writer reporter Will Gonzalez of Al Dia: "I feel more comfortable closing this year than last year. I tought closing would be no different than any other kind of pitching, but it is different. There is an adrenaline rush at the end of a game. The fans expect the last three outs. I am comfortable int hat role. I will do anything I can to help the team.
"I want Brad Lidge to come back. When we have our closer, we are a better team. And he is one of the best closers in the league."

That leaves Ryan Madson in his familiar eighth-inning setup role.

"If we had to pick somebody tonight, it will probably be Contreras," Manuel said.

Ruben Amaro said that Lidge will be out 3 to 6 weeks with posterior rotator cuff strain. No surgery will be required.

Also, though Charlie Manuel is resting Placido Polanco against the Pirates tonight, Amaro insists the veteran infielder is fine and ready to go despite an elbow injury suffered in spring training.

The Daily Times and will continue to provide full coverage.


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