The Phils missed the playoffs by a game or two. If the Astros had lost today, I had 12 tickets to the playoff game tomorrow. That would have been fun with I think Padilla pitching for the Phils and their hot bats. But the Astros won- beat the Cubs with 2-3 unreaned runs in the th inning.
Here is my autopsy of the Phils. For most of the season, the regular catcher and the regular 3rd baseman were like anchors slowing a boat down. Those two guys are over the hill. The Phils have a superb nucleus- I define that as 4-5 core everyday players....Abreau, Utley, Rollins, Burrell, Thome or Howard. That's how the Atlanta Braves have won 14 straight division titles- the Braves always have a core of 4-5 everyday players and surround that core with fundamentally solid young and role players. But they don't tolerate players that are on their way down (Bell) or just plain stupid (Lieberthal).
That's where the Phils went wrong - I would have cut Lieberthal 4-5 months ago regardless of how much I owed him. And, most fans don't know this, he is the worst catcher in baseball at calling pitches and managing pitchers!