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Lieberthal OK with not making playoffs

Lieberthal OK with not making playoffs

LOS ANGELES -- Mike Lieberthal's new uniform isn't red or blue, unless you count the faded blue in his jeans.

Wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, jeans and sneakers, the former Phillies and Dodgers catcher visited both sets of former teammates before Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

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Lieberthal didn't lament about his unfortunate luck of missing the postseason. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1994, the year after the Phillies went to the World Series. He left after the 2006 season, and his former team won the NL East the following year.

He retired after spending one season with the Dodgers in 2007, and here they are in the NLCS.

"I could be the biggest cooler on earth, going from the Phillies and then they make the playoffs, and then to the Dodgers and they make the playoffs," Lieberthal said. "All my friends say I'm the biggest cooler. It's just one of those things with the way it worked out."

Who's he rooting for, the team with whom he spent most of his playing career, or the team he loved as a kid?

"I'm really happy for both teams, but I definitely want to see the Phillies do it, for the fans who have waited so long," he said.

With a wife and child, Lieberthal said he's more interested in tee times than squatting behind home plate, and doesn't regret his decision to retire.

"I'd never be able to play," he said with a big smile. "I've got back issues, knee issues. I can only play three rounds of golf before I can't walk. I'll play three rounds in three days, then I have to take two days off. I'm glad I'm not out there playing. But I knew that in the middle of last year, when [as the backup catcher to Russell Martin] I was like, 'Russell, please do not get hurt for two straight days. I'm in a good place.'"

And he seemed to have a great seat for the game.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["NLCS" ] }
{"content":["NLCS" ] }