What’s the verdict? Did Rob Thomson cost the Phillies the chance to get to the World Series?
Looking back to all of the situations mentioned above, there were a couple of times Thomson’s decision affected the outcome of the game. However, the bulk of his calls logically would have been the right call at the time, just that, unfortunately, it didn’t turn out the way they wanted.
At the same time, if the Phillies could have provided enough supplemental offense to help back it up, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation in the first place.
In the Phillies' end-of-season media presser, Thomson reflected on his calls and decision-making during the playoffs and took accountability for his team's failure to reach the World Series.
"It’s difficult, you know? There’s a lot of reflection … it’s very disappointing to me and I’m accountable for everything that goes on around here," Thomson said. "There were a lot of decisions being made bullpen-wise, there are some things there that I would’ve wanted to change.
"The lineup situation, there’s some things there that I maybe I need to be a little bit more adaptable. But every decision I make, there’s always a reason. Now, was the reason correct? Those are things I reflect on."
Thomson would go on to elaborate about the lineup situation and how he had put in careful thought to it each time, even after the game was over.
"Both the moving people around, pinch-hitting, all of those things. I reflect on almost everything on a nightly basis," he said. "After the series was over, I go back, work through each game, and try to figure out, okay, where could we have done some things differently?
"Even things that went well, you’re going back and thinking, okay, was that really the right move? Because that could’ve backfired."
With Thomson opening up and taking on the full blame for the Phillies’ failure to reach the World Series, he's the kind of manager the players and the organization will definitely stand behind, win or lose.
As a result, Thomson shouldn’t shoulder all the blame. After all, it's a team game. When your leader sticks up for the whole team, the entire team and organization should bear whatever positives and negatives come out of it together.
But one thing is for certain: Thomson will be back with the Phillies at least for another year, as he exclaimed that he “absolutely” could see himself in Philadelphia beyond next season. Hopefully, at that time, he and the Phillies can redeem themselves with a more successful postseason run.