With the news that Mike Lieberthal underwent successful abdominal surgery yesterday, his final chapter in Philadelphia is closed. It can be affirmed Mike went out with a whimper, which says more about the Phillies than it does about him. The 34 year old catcher will be a free agent after the season, and there is no chance he will be coming back.
GM Pat Gillick made little effort to hide his feelings about Lieberthal simply stating that the club was going in a different direction that didn’t include him. That is all well and good, but the club might have done something prior to the last game of the season to honor in some way the senior Phillie in terms of service, a catcher who batted .275 over his 13-year career with the team and averaged nearly a hit a game and a run scored every other one. Lieberthal, who set a record for total number of games behind the plate, may also have led the club in surgeries endured.
For that he got one of the all-time unceremonious sendoffs.