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The Dip: Doomsday Scenario #483 – Brad Lidge

Posted by The Dipsy, Tue, April 06, 2010 08:29 PM | Comments: 53
Posts, The Dip

There is good possibility that Brad Lidge will never be an effective closer in the majors leagues again. Throughout an inconsistent career he has had one shining season. Now on the north side of 30, he has spent the better part of the last 18 months battling through injuries – including two surgeries and just recently a cortisone shot in that right elbow. While I hope for the best, I am expecting the worst. My only request: Please do not bring him back until he’s as close to 100% as he going to be. I don’t really want to see Charlie having to walk the Lidge tightrope like he did last year. If Brad doesn’t have it when he comes back, I hope Charlie makes the swift and decisive move to option #2: Ryan Madson.

Okay, in the past Ryan has not been a good closer. Maybe we haven’t seen enough of his body of work in that role to pass judgment. Let’s give the guy a chance and see what he can do for a month. Maybe he can harness all that talent and be the closer some feel he can be. Not working come July? Move right to option #3: Danys Baez.

Baez has pedigree – he has been a successful closer in the past. If his arm is all the way back from surgery and he is pitching well the first couple months, please move him in if Madson falters. In the event Baez is a bust, then Ruben can step in to handle option #4: Trade for a closer.

I imagine this would happen, if needed, anywhere between the all star break and the trade deadline. There will be names out there (I don’t know why Trevor Hoffman’s name keeps ringing in my ears) and Ruben will surely know who he can and can’t trade by that point. And it might hurt. Perhaps it will be some variation of a Jayson Werth trade. I do know that a “closer-by-committee” situation is generally a bad idea; and that this team deserves a true closer to shut down the game. Anything less cheats everyone.

In summation: Assess what very well may be a cluster(bleep) of a bullpen in thorough but timely fashion. If the answer is not here, let there be no hemming and hawing about going out to find it somewhere else. Let Ruben bear in mind the words of a great mind from years gone by who once said, “He who hesitates is lost”. He’ll be doing everyone a great service.

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About The Dipsy

The Dipsy has written 29 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Scotch Man

    More Brad Lidge fear mongering on the off day. What a suprise!

    I invite you all to track how Scott Mathieson does in AAA. I caught the exhibition game today and he was throwing flames! Wouldn’t suprise me any to see him in the back end of the bullpen this year if he keeps that up.

    Back to my Cutty. Peace!

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    His fastball doesn’t move. Its ramrod straight. Always has been.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Evan

    Brad Lidge has had several shining seasons. Check Fangraphs. His slider is nasty, Pujols be damned.

    That said his past means little if he’s not healthy, he may never be the same again.

     
  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    Right on point about Lidge and the bullpen. Let’s not shy away from this potential disaster. Don’t bring Lidge back too soon. Let him work some in the minors so he can regain confidence and control. Also, I have a hunch that this David Herndon will be a god’s send and outstanding find. Just a hunch. Stranger things have happended. Our bullpen holds a great share of our Phuture.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Dipsy’s Over/Under on Lidge Saves: 23 1/2
    Howard BA: .283
    Hamels Wins: 14 1/2
    Rollins Runs scored: 114 1/2
    John Mayberry HRs: 5 1/2

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Evan

    Over
    Under
    Over
    Under
    Under

     
  • Posts: 0 Sean

    Can anyone wite columns for this blog?

     
  • Posts: 0 Ben

    I’ve gotta say, this column didn’t say much. “I hope Brad Lidge does well, but if he doesn’t we should put in the next best guy, and if he doesn’t do well we will put in the next best guy, and if none of those guys do well then we will have to find someone else.” Duh

     
  • Posts: 0 beta sigma delta shag

    Dipsy showing his true negative self again. How can you count Lidge out when he hasn’t even pitch this year. He has had more then on good year, more like two years that were poor to mediocore. If they let him get totaly healthy before they bring him up to pitch I think he will do fine, perfect again, no but better then last year. I love Madson’s stuff, but he has proven more than once that he does not handle the closer role well and it has screwed him up mentally when he went back to set up guy. I say you should never called him your closer this year. Bull pen by comitee can work for a short time, why not throw different guys out there early and see who can hanlde it than IF a BIG IF, Lidge faulters you have a group of guys that mmay have proven that they can do it. I really thought you had turned a corner with your last few post Dippy, but I see you can not stay away from the doom and gloom that you love so much

     
  • Posts: 0 Jamie

    Sean: The answer is “Yes.” It’s definitely a different staff than the past few years.

     
  • Posts: 0 beta sigma delta shag

    Also I really like seeing PP getting the Ashburn Award, I thought for sure Doc was going to get it, put PP really did deserve it

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I think Dipsy made some very good points, and like him I hope that Charlie/Ruben are quicker to pull the plug on him this year if he ends up struggling again anywhere NEAR how he did last year.

    Give Madson and Baez shots, but I think Ruben isn’t going to eff around this year, and I could see him being quite willing to trade for another closer if needed.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    483 “doomsday scenarios” is a lot. But knowing the Dipsy, he can probably come up with another 687 or so.

    Lidge, in fact, will be hit by a meteor while a volcano is erupting underneath him. Then Ryan Madson will be abducted by aliens and Danys Baez will be exposed as a Cuban spy and executed.

     
  • Posts: 0 Joseph

    Disagree about Mathieson’s fastball. Was in Reading last year behind home plate and his ball was dancing. A scout was commenting on the movement and how he changed his grip. His era was miniscule last year with lots of swings and misses so I think he is an exciting prospect for the Phillies.

     
  • Posts: 0 neil

    There is no question that Lidge can have a bust season just like last year, but if the phils are in win now situation (which they are) it would be a mistake to trade werth for a closer.

    To put it simply—
    In no way is our closing situation worse now than it was last year, no matter how bad Lidge potentially is. Hell, we probably would have won at least 5 more games if Lidge was on the DL the entire time.

    In spite of this, we made it to the WS and put up a decent fight, with brad lidge and jayson werth. Although its tough to come to grips with Werth leaving after this season, this team is as good as it is now largely due to his presence. Getting rid of him would make us weaker and would be a mistake.

     
  • Posts: 0 philaphan

    saw matheison in some minor league spring training games this year and over heard a few guys talking about how he moves his fingers on the ball to get more movement. they were saying something like you have your fingers on one side and it cuts and the other side sinks. so i asked the one kid if matheison throws 2 seamers now and he said no he throws 4 seamers still just gets a little movement with out losing velo. not really sure what he was talking about but maybe that helps?

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I have said it many times before, but I could see Matheison being our closer within the near future. We also have some other prospect guys who could potentially be good closers such as Rosenberg, but Matheison is the only one of the bunch that I could see being the closer sometime THIS season in an emergency situation.

    Hopefully Lidge will rebound, and we’ll all be worrying for nothing…but he’s probably the one guy on the whole team that i’m the most concerned about being able to rebound or not.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lewisauce

    I don’t think Lidge is coming back at all. But I don’t see the need for Dipsy’s armageddon vibe. We have other options. And I like the Mathieson idea. Remember the guy was supposed to be a sure-fire stud before his two surgeries. But maybe one inning every third night or so will not tax his arm too much? Just thoughts.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I actually think Dipsy’s points are pretty spot-on. Lidge needs to come back when he’s 100%….whether it’s two weeks from now, two months from now or in August. “Whatever it takes to get him completely healthy” should be the Phillies mantra.

    Madson…yeah….maybe one more shot in that role. He has it now….to start the season….let’s see how he does. He may surprise us all. And it’s not like he’s gone through the winter not realizing that that role would be his to start the season anyway. He’s had time to prepare for it.

    And, yeah, there are other options. Baez may be one. Mathieson this year is a stretch. Herndon could definitely be the key to that pen this year though.

    _______

    To those that don’t like this blog anymore because there are different writers….feel free to go somewhere else to moan and groan. This site has evolved over the years and good things are happening. Enjoy it.

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Lidge started out 2008 on the DL, had a pretty decent season. I wouldn’t count him out yet. I agree that it’d be better to wait until/if he’s healthy to bring him up. This year, we do have better options with Baez, Mathieson, and Madson has another year experience under his belt. Even if Lidge never throws another pitch, I have a hard time thinking it will be a doomsday situation (see 2009). We can live with a bullpen by committee until things flush out.

    I wouldn’t trade for Hoffman for anyone currently on the roster (including Dobbs, Herndon,…). Most of his numbers are compiled for a bad team when the division was terrible, in a pitcher’s park. He’s getting by on fumes and rep at this point.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I remember when Mathieson was up before he got hurt a couple years ago and his ball being very fast but with absolutely no movement. If he’s changed his grip to get the movement then he is a helluva prospect I would imagine. But closer for a WS contender? Thats a stretch. My point is: Trade for a closer instead of jerking around to find one on your roster. Decisiveness, please. To me, cortisone shot = trouble. Nobody wants to see a mosh pit of Lidge Madson, and Baez, with one being thrown out in the ninth, willy nilly, game to game, because Charlie’s not sure who can do it. That would truly suck. It would be a veritable “melange of misery” if you will. Copywrite

    The Dipsy

    #483 is a Bob Dylan thing.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    When I heard about the cortisone shot….I cringed.

    ——

    Bob Dylan for President!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Trevor

    Hard to say at this point, but I don’t see the Phillies trading for a closer. They can’t trade Lidge with his contract and I don’t think they’re going to throw him under the bus unless he can’t recover and ends up spending the season on the DL. Call me optimistic but I think the bullpen worries are getting a little ridiculous. Our bullpen isn’t great, but it’s not as terrible as everyone seems to think. Also, it seems at this point that any bullpen issues are going to be dealt with internally given the amount of arms we have in AAA. Also let’s not forget that the bullpen should get more rest this year with Halladay throwing 7-9 innings consistently.

    I’ve said this before, but I still feel that there’s way too much emphasis put on bullpen roles. I wanted to scream at my TV during the last exhibition game postgame show where Mike Missanelli was going on about how you need to get everyone’s role in the bullpen defined or they’ll “get all confused.” What? Confused about what? What the hell are you talking about? I mean I can see where it can be beneficial if I guy knows that he’s always coming in the 8th or 9th and I realize this is the accepted wisdom of bullpen management these days, but there’s really no reason why the inning should make a difference in performance and only serves to limit the manager’s options.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    Dipsy,

    I have always been a huge Mathieson supporter have watched him closely, one thing about him prior to his surgeries is that he was a starter, different mentality. His stuff is solid not electric that is why he is in AAA not the club and they want him to test his arm more. Have you sat behind home and watched his movement on the ball? I love how many here talk about some of these pitchers as if they are scouts. 95+ mph is getting towards electric, I am pretty confident in the coaches that if they think he needs more movement they will get him on it.

    I think he is our future closer, I think the FO is looking for that as well.

    The FO I think is not making another trade. They are looking to rebuild our system we have lost so many prospects the last 2 years we need to go with our group. I am pulling for Lidge but I think Baez is your insurance if Madson does not work. That is obvious.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    In my opinion, you need a shut down closer to win the World Series. This bullpen for a middling to wild card contending team would be fine. Thats not us. We’re in the middle of a dynasty (aren’t we)?

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Lidge needs time to get to work but I fear the pressure of Philly being a results only city, there is a vibe that comes from the city’s mood that seems to greatly affect its sports teams.

    The Phils know they fumbled the ball with Lidge last year, they had such a good plan in place the year before and I’m glad to see them return to it even if it was forced. For a pitcher particularly being healthy isn’t just having to body in near 100% shape and hoping the confidence is there, you can see how important the synergy is between body and mind at whatever point it is in the season and Lidge (and Hamels) last year was evidence of how easily a the pitches that worked the year before just tend to hang and opposing teams can get a quick read on a guy when his body and mind are on two different pages. Lidge will have the chance he didn’t have last year to start in sync and hopefully people will get off his back rather than just looking at the boxscores to decide on his future. For example a few of those blown saves for Lidge (and others last year) were the consequence of putting your best guy in a bad situation be it days rest or runners on etc, there are some games you have to do a Tony La Russa and put a lesser guy in to sink or swim because better him to protect the guys your gonna need, we just didn’t see Charlie do that and although I do believe he’s moved into the upper tier of managers his bullpen management can be very shortsighted at times.

    If Lidge isn’t getting immediate results but the pitches show their going in the right direction he has to be given the time but right now the effectiveness of the bullpen relies on Madson’s ability to prove he is a viable alternative.

    Personally I’d rather leave the bullpen in flux creeping towards July 31st than make a deal for someone who is a legitimate closer because the George Sherrill deal for one showed what kind of a player you have to give in a package and that will be someone like a Trevor May at the very least.

    Picking up on something were not trading Jayson Werth, I’ll admit I’ve been wrong in the past on a couple of deals like the Phils parting with Lee after trading for Halladay but trading Jayson Werth mid-season makes no sense. You see so often teams make ‘bad deals’ to address a short-term need in the starting line-up and contract up or not, your not sending your number 5 hitter anywhere unless your expecting to be golfing in October with no hope of re-signing him. Trading Werth wont even be in the organsations mind and if the need for closer is that great you still don’t address a lesser hole by creating a bigger one in the heart of your line-up.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    You don’t need a shut down closer at any point, it’s a complete myth that panders to the fantasy-playing, we know more type fans who scruitinize every performance every night like it was the last supper. An effective elite closer is important yes but talking he we so often very selectively pick our battles instead of accepting that ‘that guy’ who blows the game is really just covering up a bigger problem. Thinking back to the World Series last year it wasn’t Lidge or Pedro that gifted the Yanks the championship, other big name players were far under-par and that was obvious because most of the Yanks stars started the series that way.

    When the closers your problem you have bigger problems because teams that expect offense usually have had a hole somewhere else be it earlier in the bullpen, defensively or at the plate. You put any elite closer in bad situations 3 of 4 nights in a week and your gonna get blown saves.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I could see a trade scenario for Werth if he’s not having a particularly good season. If we are having a closer problem around the deadline than a trade of Werth, not just for prospects, but a closer + could make sense. Of course, all bets are off if the Phils feel they can sign Jayson long term. That is my hope. NJ – Lidge has to produce. He’s a closer. If the Phils are in a divisional race, the Phils may not have the luxury of wet nursing him.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Trevor..

    Defined bullpen roles are very important. Certain guys are mop-up pitchers, guys that can go 3-5 innings and maybe stop the bleeding so their team has a chance to get back into it.

    Other guys are strictly middle relief for maybe an inning or two…Chad Durbin fits that role.

    Then you have your set-up guys….Madson (before right now)

    Some guys, like Scott Eyre before he retired, might only pitch to one or two batters. They are brought into a game with the inning or the game on the line and they know how to pitch in that situation.

    And your closers.

    It’s important for these guys to know what role they have. Otherwise, it is confusing for them. As much as possible you want to follow some sort of regimen and plan.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I am on record as saying that Jayson Werth WILL have “a particularly good season.”

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Dipsy I get the move to trade Werth for a closer but it makes no sense, you trade Werth and there’s an immediate bigger need. Plus who’s going to give up a top closer worth a desperation trade? SD no, KC no, Oakland won’t be trading for a big bat in July. I may be missing one or two but the only possible scenario I can see is Tampa for Soriano who’s contracts up at the end of the year.

    The Phils do have the luxury of taking it easy with Lidge through April/May. The difference is going to be something like winning 92 games and 97 and if the Phils are at a point they aren’t going to win 90 then Lidge really isn’t going to be the real problem…

    Given the contracts up at the end of the following year I really do think the Phils have a good shot at bringing Werth back unless he gets a stupid offer like Rowand got from the Giants. If it’s in the region of Jason Bay territory you’d have to question the Phillies if they couldn’t find a solution.

     
  • Posts: 0 RashGordon18

    Dipsy –

    I’m not sure I get the Jayson Werth trade either??? Even if the Phil’s were willing to part with Werth during the stretch run (which I don’t believe they could afford to lose their only RH power bat) it still wouldn’t make any sense from the other teams perspective.

    Any team that is willing to part with it’s closer is probably not in contention. Why would they possibly want half a season of Jayson Werth if they are already out of contention and not able to sign him after the season anyway? They are going to want prospects.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    The ONLY way Jayson Werth gets traded this year is if the Phillies are so totally out of it by July 31st and they feel they can’t re-sign him and want to get something in return instead of just letting him walk at the end of the season.

    And I would say the chances of the Phillies being out of it by the trade deadline are slim to none.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    It would make sense from the other teams perspective if they were willing to give Werth and extension. It would make sense from our perspective if Werth is NOT having a good year. You could trade Werth and take back the closer +. You need the outfielder to replace Werth. You could get him back in the trade or you could move Francisc into center and Shane back to right.

    If Werth is not having a good year. If he’s Jayson, you would need to think of something else.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    NO.. What makes sense from our perspective is if Werth IS having a good year. Without him doing well, the Phillies chances for winning the most games in the division goes down.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    A rigid closer role is a misappropriation of bullpen talent most of the time, but if the Phillies are going to have one, it might as well be Ryan Madson. He is, quite simply, the best reliever in this year’s relatively talent-starved bullpen.

    His 2009 was ridiculously good: 9.08 K/9, 2.56 BB/9, 0.81 HR/9. A 3.26 ERA in 77 and 1/3 innings pitched. People knock him for the blown saves, but saves don’t tell you much of anything as a statistic. You can come into the 9th with nobody on base and a 3 run lead, and get a save by recording just 3 outs. You can also face plenty of high leverage, key situations that aren’t save situations, which Madson did in 2009. In fact, if you look at his 10 highest leverage situations, per leverage index, this is what he did: 1 earned run in 10 innings with 9 strikeouts, 5 walks, and no home runs allowed. I’m tired of this “closer makeup” stuff, Madson is your best reliever. If you want a closer, use him.

    Or we could be a rational team and use whatever arm makes the most sense in the context of the game. In the aforementioned 3 run lead with 3 outs to get I’d be fine with a lesser arm out there, as opposed to a one run lead with men on, which would warrant Madson.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    I don’t think we need to recreate 2008. But a pitcher (in any role) with an ERA over 6 is simply a liability. The real issue is can Lidge pitch – if not the Phillies will have to move on. Dipsy offers some reasonable, if obvious, options. I would agree that in the right situation a trade of Werth to a team with a good closer is a definitely possibility. If we are not keeping Werth than we need to get something for him.

    For those of you who doubted Amaro, however, the only option is to trade some of those prospects he garnered from Seattle.

    Time will tell.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Yeah, yeah……leverage index. Whatever. Closers are closers, in large part, due to the fact that they can handle the pressure. Plain and simple. You wanna play mix and match? Might get you through a couple of weeks of the season but in the end it doesn’t work. Never has.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I think Lidge will rebound strongly.

    3.00 ERA, 38 saves.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Closers are closers because GMs shell out millions of dollars based on a faulty statistic — saves. Madson has more “pressure” on him in the eighth inning of a tie game with a man on first than any closer does entering the ninth with a two run lead and 3 outs to get, or any number of other comparable situations, but for some reason the “closer” is always the only one that can handle the “pressure.” If Jim Tracy had had the sense to mix and match in Game 4 of the NLDS and put in a lefty against Howard instead of sticking with his precious closer, they might have extended that series to a fifth game.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Great point, Phylan. I feel good with Madson as our closer while Lidge is recovering… even if that takes a month or so. Madson has been our been reliever in the past 3 years, and it’s not even close. He can deal with the pressure and his experience last year can only help.

    (Actually, just picked up Mad Dog for my fantasy team…)

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Like I said earlier….this year is different for Madson. He knows right from the beginning that he’s the closer…at least until Lidge gets back. Knowing and preparing for that…plus the experience of last year will definitely help.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    The Manager and GM will NOT go through this again. If Lidge doesn’t have it anymore when he comes back they will go to Madson. If that works, they will trade for bullpen depth or help nearer the deadline. If it DOESNT work, they will trade for a closer.

    But Jayson Werth will NOT be traded. Again, if you trade him during the season, your chances of winning the WS are over! They nave no RH power left in their system. Domonic Brown is LEFT-handed – as in…they would rather trade Ibanez.

    Werth will not be going anywhere…forget about it!

     
  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    The whole “right-handed power” thing never worried me that much considering Utley hits just about as well against lefties as he does righties. In fact, last year he was better against lefties.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Haha. So, after 35 years we now know that the closer’s spot in the game is overrated and overvalued. Ryan Madson can give up a run in the eighth, and sure, it hurts. But his team gets another at bat. In half of the closing situations, if you blow the lead, you lose the game. And in the other half you merely probably lose the game. So please stop. If Phylans premise were true, the best bullpen guy would come in in the 7th, 8th, or 9th inning as the situation dictates. But that doesn’t happen. Do major league managers know about this “leverage index” thing? Someone should clue them in on it, while at the same time, letting them know that they are using their closers improperly.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    I really hope the Phils don’t go to the market and give up a Trevor May or a Gose or Gillies which is what will happen if they go after a closer. We’re not going to get a Heath Bell so unless we can pry away a Soria at a decent cost there really aren’t many options likely to be on the market- Bobby Jenks, Kerry Wood, Trevor Hoffman… George Sherrill showed how ugly the cost can be for a 2nd tier guy and I hope that’s not a street the Phillies go down. A 40+ save campaign with peripheral numbers is just bragging rights.

    Brad Lidge gave up runs in 1 of 6 games last off-season… He affected one World Series game and before that his abysmal season saw the Phils finish 2nd in wins in the NL. It really is just bragging rights!

    The last decade has shown you can win a World Series with a Troy Percival or a Keith Foulke, problem is EVERY blown save of Brad Lidge will be scrutinised as the guy has less room for error than Obama addresssing a room of far-right wing Republicans.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    ^last post-season… MAJOR typo

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Wait a second, those guys were good closers. How many WS winners can you name that had a closer by committee. I don’t know of any but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I don’t want to have to trade for a closer. I want Lidge to be great. But if you’re up on the Braves by 2 games on Jul 31 and there have been a lot of blown saves contributing do it and there is a deal to be made, you DO sacrifice some tomorrow for today (I’m assuming that the trade is reasonable and the closer we get is better than what we have).

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Those guys weren’t good closers, they were Bob Wickman-esque with no great stuff but an ability to close games to the point they could keep the role.

    It’s a nice thought to let Lidge go and after the next great closer but it’s just not practical cause the Phils won’t hand over the keys to a guy who hasn’t closed on a permanent basis before so your down to at best Bobby Jenks, Frank Fransisco… Unless your giving up minor talent for Octavio Dotel or Trevor Hoffman then it’s ugly.

    If the Phils are only 2 games up on the Braves at the deadline it means the Braves are having a hell of a season OR the Phils have greater problems than the closer.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Check out some of the Orioles teams of the late 60s and early 70s. Earl Weaver was a master at mixing and matching. He meticulously kept index cards on every pitcher he had vs. every hitter. Was it clearly closer by committee? Not exactly, but he made A LOT of pitching changes in his career. It worked. Three straight AL pennants and a title.

     
 
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