While some readers used the opportunity to once again pounce on the front office, Thursday's agonizing loss was as simple as one player not getting it done.
Blame the player: “There are many people on here that simply want Ruben Amaro and Charlie Manuel’s head on a stick and will blame them for anything. Blaming Rube for a player's failure is an absolute joke. This guy was brought in here to do a job, a job he's done almost historically well before, and tonight he didn't do it. That's on Papelbon. It isn't on the manager. It isn't on the GM. It is on the player. Why can't people get that?” - Iceman
Turning point: “Papelbon was pitching Jordany f***ing Valdespin like he was Barry Bonds. Sack up. This team has losing running through them like a cancer. I swear they have a kitty every single night and whoever comes up smallest takes the winnings. I love Hunter Pence on the final play, too. Where was he playing? And I love that he broke back at first too. This team (with Pence leading the charge) has a constant deer-in-headlights look to them.” – Joe D
Beerleaguer: That Valdespin comment is spot on. Maybe I’m missing something, because even Chris Wheeler was pumping him up, but isn't Jordany Valdespin a nobody? In the battle of Papelbon vs. Valdespin, Pap shouldn’t be the one kowtowing. I don’t believe Carlos Ruiz escapes criticism because they were determined to crowd Valdespin and basically everyone else, and David Wright’s dink, which tailed awkwardly, appeared to hang up enough for Pence to get there. And I have a hard time lamenting the missed opportunities on offense as the broadcasters always seem to do; they got more than anyone expected off R.A Dickey.
So blame Papelbon and call it a season. We'll have an extra month to focus on the big picture stuff.