As a Phils phan (still admitting it), I agree totally with the assertion that many of the players, including Abreu, are not fiery and come off as not being dedicated to the team or to winning. Especially on defense -- where he frequently loafs after fly balls and shies away from contact with the padded outfield wall -- Abreu often looks like he's giving minimal effort. Plus, he takes sooooo many pitches, he sometimes appears sleepy. Some of the other guys -- Burrell, Michaels, Lieberthal, for instance -- have glaring holes in their game or their swings and year after year do little to change their approaches at the plate to be more consistent. Watch the Phils sometime, and see how may double plays Lieberthal can hit in to. A buddy of mine and I have a running bet -- Liebey's like an 85% sure thing to hit into 2 if he has a chance. Don't even get started with Bell. He's a gamer, baseball's in his blood, good defensively, blah, blah, blah. He can't hit for any pop (never has), and it's a huge hole from your 3B. They would have been better off benching Bell, keeping Polanco and just letting Utley play. He and Rollins form a nice tandem for the future.
The pitching staff is cursed with the same problem as it has been for a few years -- no true "ace". Myers looked like he might be one, but he's slipped. Lieber was a nice signing as a #2 or #3, but he's not a #1. This is precisely why the Phils should have re-acquired Schilling 2 offseasons ago when Arizona was shopping him.
The Phils central problem is that they are a team of 25 players that takes 25 cabs to the ballpark. Contrasting them with the Red Sox, which we had the chance to do when the World Champs were in Philly last weekend to launch some bad pitches over the fence, was so obvious it was scary. The Sox love each other, love being at the park, chat with the fans, are involved, laugh during games, emote, etc. The Phils barely seem to know each other, don't interact with anyone at the park, and appear more interested in just getting the paycheck and being average (another 86 win season).
It's a fundamental flaw in the construction of the team -- too many average guys with obvious holes and not enough fire. The emotional parts of the team -- Wagner, Myers, Todd Pratt -- just can't pull the larger part of the club from the well.
Charlie "Old Hoss" Radbourn Statistics, 1884:
59-12, 1.34 ERA 75 G, 73 CG, 11 SHO, 678 2/3 IP, 441 K