Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Adios, Mike Lieberthal 

Mike Lieberthal announced the other day that he was going to hang it up after fourteen years in the major leagues instead of trying to hook up with another MLB team. Lieberthal was the Phillies first-round pick in the 1990 draft, the third player selected overall … As an aside, do you know what players were drafted ahead of Lieberthal? The first player chosen in the draft was Chipper Jones, selected by the Atlanta Braves number one overall after the team mulled the possibility of selecting Todd Van Poppel, the highly-touted Texas high schooler whom the Braves passed on because of signability issues. Van Poppel, who was a bust, was taken by the Oakland A’s with the fourteenth pick. The second player picked was Tony Clark by the Detroit Tigers. Players that the Phillies passed on in favor of Lieberthal include Carl Everett (tenth overall pick by the Yankees), Mike Mussina (twentieth overall pick by the Orioles), Andy Pettite (a 22nd round selection) and Jorge Posada (26th rounder) … Lieberthal debuted with the Phillies in 1994 and spent several seasons backing up Darren Daulton before getting a chance when Daulton joined the Florida Marlins.

From 1997 to 2006 Lieberthal was the Phillies primary catcher and, to a certain extent, its blue-collar soul. From ’97 to ’06 he started 1,035 games for the Phillies, catching 8,993 innings, squatting in the dirt. In his career with the Phillies Lieberthal hit .275 on his way to smacking 150 home runs and 609 RBIs in a Phillies uniform. An All-Star in ’99 & ’00, Lieberthal’s best season was probably 1999, when he caught a whopping 143 games (winning a gold glove along the way), hitting 31 home runs, 96 RBI and had a .300 batting average (.363 OBP) and an adjusted OPS of 123. Lieberthal had 100 Runs Created that season, a career high.

Sadly, the life of a catcher is typically brief and Lieberthal’s ended with the Phillies after he played in just 67 games for the Phillies in 2006. Largely being evicted in favor of the younger Carlos Ruiz and free agent Rod Barajas, Lieberthal went to the West Coast to join the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007. The move to L.A. was a homecoming for the Glendale, California, native.

Lieberthal barely played in 2007, catching thirty-one games behind the astonishingly durable Russell Martin.

Good luck, Mike. We'll never forget your years of digging fastballs out of the dirt of Veterans Stadium.

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Lieby was a good part of the Phillies for many years. Nice career, he acts like a stand up guy.

I'd like to see him get employed by the Phillies organization at some point in the future.

Rich Baxter / Philly
Sports Talk Now!
I'm a Mets fan and I'll miss Mike. He has been such a big part of our lives over the last 14 years. He was my fantasy catcher early on, but then began getting hurt too much. Anyways, best of luck to Mike and to the Phillies.
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