Now, this could have turned out to be just one of those offhand comments people make that evaporate more quickly than a New Year's resolution.
Instead, it might have been the quote of the year.
Billmeyer wasn't sure, but thought he detected something more than empty bravado in this simple declarative sentence.
"This was different, because he had, like, a mad look on his face. Like, 'I'm sick of getting my ass handed to me.' That's what he looked like. I thought he might be full of crap, but he had that look on his face."
If nothing else, it was certainly an audacious proposition. At the time, Lidge showed few outward signs of being prepared to get on a roll. After his perfect 2008 season, he led the majors with 11 blown saves the following year, while spending time on the disabled list with a sprained right knee and finishing with a 7.21 earned run average.
For the first 4 months of 2010, he had failed to convert four of 14 chances and had a 5.57 ERA. The night before, he had given up a three-run bomb to Ryan Zimmerman that turned a Phillies win into a loss.
Then July turned to August and everything was different. Turning points are visible only in retrospect, of course. Remarkably enough, though, Lidge turned out to be prescient.
From then until the end of the season he appeared in 26 games. He earned 17 saves in 18 tries. His ERA was 0.73. He held opposing batters to a .131 average. It doesn't get much more dramatic than that.
"It's one thing to say it. It's another thing to do it," Lidge acknowledged. "But I was just, I felt like my game plan was just wrong. I wasn't hurt. Sometimes you're not throwing well, you're not feeling good about it. But I just didn't have that feeling. I had a feeling that this season was meant to be good, so it's going to be good.
"Sometimes you say that and people are like, 'Yeah, whatever.' But I really did. It was more of a matter of, I just needed to get a bunch of outings in a row, so I can get out there and do what I know I can do.
"Whether you say it out loud or say it to yourself is different. I had said it to myself and I knew that was going to be the case. I didn't really want to make a big statement about it, because talk is cheap in this game. I had to go out and do it."
It's hard to recall now the angst that used to be created when Lidge came out of the bullpen, the groundswell of public opinion that Charlie Manuel needed to try somebody else - anybody else - in that role, the conviction that this team just couldn't win with him closing.
We'll never know how close the manager and pitching coach Rich Dubee came to trying Plan B. Hours after his spectacular blown save against the Nationals, Manuel talked calmly about his belief that Lidge could still find himself.
At the same time, he made it clear he wouldn't let one player drag the team down.
"Believe me, I'll never let my heart overrule the fact that we're a team. I want what's best for the team. From that standpoint, you have to make decisions as a manager every day," he said at the time. "I definitely think he's got to be better than what he's been so far."
Confidence is always important, but it took more than the power of positive thinking to help Lidge regain his form.
Elbow and knee surgeries last offseason cost him some velocity. That didn't mean he couldn't get hitters out. It meant he had to realize he wasn't throwing quite as hard and had to make the necessary adjustment.
"I think he realized that trying to get to 95, 96 [miles an hour] wasn't beneficial," Dubee said. "Re-evaluating what he had and understanding that probably wasn't in his arm. And that he was still a very capable pitcher who just had to make some slight adjustments.
"And he's really concentrated, and made a great effort, at angling the ball and commanding his fastball and not trying to overthrow his fastball. Trusting what he had has been the biggest thing. Now he's got command of both the fastball and slider. He can command his slider for a strike and slider below the strike zone, also."
Now Lidge is commanding his fastball, which sets up his slider, which is as good as it was in 2008. Which means he can let his pitching do his talking for him. *