On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
October 13, 2006

Phillies broadcaster Scott Graham and Comcast SportsNet Phillies reporter Leslie Gudel are both in shock over the sudden death of former Phillies pitcher Cory Lidle.

Graham and Lidle played golf together dozens of times during Lidle's 2 1/2 seasons with the team.

“We had a shared common interest in golf,” Graham said. “This year, when the Phillies traveled to Los Angeles, Cory [a native Californian] invited me to stay at his home and to play at his club. That's the kind of guy he was — a gracious and generous man.”

“When we heard the news of a plane crashing into a building in New York City, of course the first thing I thought of was 9/11. Then I said to my wife, if this was a week ago, that could've been Cory, thinking that he returned to California after the Yankees' elimination from the American League playoffs. When I found out it was actually Cory, it was surreal.”

Graham knew about Lidle's love of planes.

“We had a running "schtick' where Lidle would invite me to fly with him, and I'd always say no,” Graham said. “He was meticulous about everything he did — pitching, golf, chess, poker, and flying. He was an outgoing, generous, fun man.”

Gudel seemed visibly shaken during Wednesday night's “SportsNite.”

“I had just talked to Cory Monday to try to get him to come on "Daily News Live' to discuss his comments about the Yankee-Tigers series,” she said “The entire thing didn't seem real. There was a sense of disconnect.”

Lidle also invited Gudel to fly in his plane during spring training. She declined, and a CSN producer and cameraman went up instead.

Gudel, a native of Southern California, said she and Lidle bonded over golf as well.

“He was a great guy,” she said. “He was very approachable and just a regular person who happened to be a major league pitcher. The media loved him. Cory always spoke his mind.”

October 13, 2006 7:51 AM