The flying? I'm not worried about it. I'm safe up there. I feel very comfortable with my abilities flying an airplane.
Yep, that was Cory Lidle, back in June when he still played for the Phillies. Lidle said that in response to a Philadelphia Inquirer article about the Phillies' detailed contract penalties that forbade players from engaging in "high-risk" activities that might lead to injury and time off the field. Getting hurt while doing any of these — including, specifically, flying — meant a portion of the total contract could be withheld. Of course, that's a whole different scenario from being killed while flying, so time will tell if actually dying while engaged in a high-risk activity means that some penalty clause will activate in Lidle's contract with the Yankees. The Philly Inquirer article is behind a pay wall in the archives, so we've dumped it after the jump, for your consideration.
Lidle the pilot well-aware of conditions in contract
Todd Zolecki INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Phillies pitcher Cory Lidle likes to fly planes in his spare time. It's a risk, but then so is walking on freshly buffed hardwood floors near a flight of stairs.
However, there is specific language in Lidle's contract that states that he risks the guaranteed portion of his deal - he signed a guaranteed two-year, $6.3 million contract before the 2005 season - if he is injured while flying.
"I think riding a motorcycle without a helmet is a lot more dangerous than being a low-time private pilot," Lidle said yesterday at Citizens Bank Park.
Lidle referred to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was seriously hurt Monday in a motorcycle crash. The Phillies told Lidle in spring training of the risks he is taking in regard to his contract. But Lidle is not about to stop flying.
"You're obviously protecting the investment, but you're protecting the player," said Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies' assistant general manager. ". . . When we sign the guys, we sign them to have them on the field."
The Phillies are specific in their contract language - and it is a long, detailed list. The areas of concern typically include riding or driving in any kind of race, flying, parachuting, skydiving, gliding or hang gliding, hot-air ballooning, snow skiing, jet skiing, waterskiing, surfing, hunting, mountain climbing and kayaking.
It is not clear if motorcycle riding is a violation.
But then there are more unusual banned activities such as fencing, rodeo participation, bobsledding, luge, polo, jai alai, spelunking, and participating in a TV show or movie that involves physical activities.
Players are forbidden in contracts from using machinery such as motorized drills, saws or mowers. They also cannot play racquetball, squash, softball, tennis, badminton, football (touch or tackle), basketball, soccer, ice hockey and volleyball.
There's even more.
"The flying?" Lidle said. "I'm not worried about it. I'm safe up there. I feel very comfortable with my abilities flying an airplane."