For the Phillies and fans, it’s a disappointing end to a record-breaking season

October 8, 2011 – It wasn’t supposed to happen.

Getting knocked out in the first round of the playoffs is not what happens to teams that win 102 games in a season. But history shows that the best teams on paper don’t always come out on top. Baseball’s weird that way.

Right now, I feel like the Mudville Nine when the Mighty Casey struck out. And I can’t get this song out of my head.

The good news is that it’s only about 130 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training camp. The bad news is that for the Phillies there are a lot of big question marks. Six players are free agents, including Jimmy Rollins, Roy Oswalt, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge and Ross Gload, so there’s a good chance the team will look very different in 2012.

Until then, let’s all take a long winter’s nap.

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