Now that the possibility of playoff baseball is officially over, we can play the Blame Game - here's how it works: I'll start with something (manager, GM, player, other team, anything), say why they're to blame for the season and why. Whoever comments next says that thing is not blame, but this (new) thing is (and why).
The Baseball Gods/Gene Monahan are to blame because...
... they struck down Chien-Ming Wang and Jorge Posada, who played a combined 66 games this year. If Wang pitches instead of Ponson/Rasner (who had a combined ERA of ~5.70 and a record of 9-14), we probably win at least four more games (Wang was 4.07 with an 8-2 record).
If Posada was healthy and had even an average season (.277/.380/.477), instead of the combined efforts of Molina and Pudge (~.220/.266/.320), that probably wins us at least a few more games. That would put us right there with Tampa and Boston.
Both of those were huge injuries in a subpar year and the biggest reason(s) we missed the playoffs.