Ryan Howard Injury: Very Little Silver Lining Surrounding Hurt Phillies Slugger

October 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

The first thing people are going to think, write and talk about concerning Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is all the doom and gloom surrounding his Achillies’ injury.

Truth be told, there isn’t much good to talk about.

Not only did the Phillies lose the series and a chance at another World Series run, they lost their All-Star first baseman in the process. 

This was a team that entered into the postseason hungry for another championship. Not only did they want it, but they had all the man-power to make it happen.

They featured a great defense, exceptional pitching and a powerful lineup filled with big-time bats.

The Phillies looked set to make a big run, or so we thought.

Not only did they lose, now their future is in question as well.

Ed Barkowitz of Philly.com reports on Howard’s injury:

The early prognosis on Ryan Howard is not good.

He’s being told that he might have a torn left Achilles’ tendon. An MRI is scheduled for later today.

Howard injured himself on the final at-bat of Friday’s Game 5 loss to the Cardinals. The Phillies slugger hit just .105 in the series and was hitless in his final 15 at-bats with six strikeouts.

“I was trying to run and I felt this pop and the whole thing went numb, like it was on fire,” he said. “It literally felt like I had a flat tire. I tried to get up and I just couldn’t go.”

The words “like it was on fire” have to be ringing through the minds of Phillies fans right now, and they will continue to dwell on that through the offseason.

He couldn ‘t have used a scarier illustration. Howard goes on to explain the situation:

“They think it might be torn, so we’ll see what happens; get the MRI to confirm it,” said Howard, who has had bursitis in the troubled ankle all season. He wasn’t sure if those problems contributed to what happened Friday night.

Howard swung hard on Chris Carpenter’s 2-2 pitch and grounded to second. He took three, maybe four steps out of the box and crumpled.

“I thought I hit the ball better than I did. I thought it was in the outfield,” he said. “I tripped and tried to get up. The adrenaline in me was kind of going. I looked up and saw (second baseman Nick) Punto had the ball and had thrown it and I couldn’t go. I couldn’t feel anything in my ankle. It sucks. It sucks.”

Howard said it best: It sucks, and there doesn’t seem to be much silver lining right now. Reports are out stating that Howard will be out until at least mid-May or June of next year.

This may not be any consolation, but at least it happened when it did.

Imagine if this happened the first game of the 2012 regular season rather than the last game of 2011, it would be disastrous.

At the very least Howard has a whole offseason to heal up, and I think the Phillies can hold on in the beginning of the 2012 season without him.

If there is a silver lining, that would be it.

There is never a good time for an injury, but that is about the only good news you could find in this situation.


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Cardinals vs. Phillies: Red Birds Have No Shot vs. Title-Hungry Phillies

September 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

St. Louis is a baseball town, and they are always hungry for their Cardinals to win the World Series. But, frankly, they don’t have a shot against this Philadelphia Phillies team.

The Phillies don’t just want the World Series, they need it, and you can tell by the way they talk about it.

This is a team that has been built to play in the postseason. This is a team that thrives in the postseason.

They are the hands-down favorite to win the National League, and that’s being pretty nice to the rest of the competitors.

Sure, anything can happen in the postseason, and that’s what makes baseball so special. Sure, if they do make it to the World Series, it becomes a whole new ballgame as the teams are usually evenly matched.

From a talent stand-point, anything can happen in the postseason. That’s why they play the games and why the Cardinals are showing up to the ballpark.

The Phillies have one thing that no other team in this postseason has, though, and that’s the understanding of true greatness.

Terrence Moore of MLB.com chronicles the Phillies thoughts on the postseason:

All you need to know is that, from a pitching standpoint, starters Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay are former Cy Young Award winners, and they both are contending for that honor again this season.

The bullpen is solid. In fact, nobody in the Major Leagues finished with a lower team ERA than the Phillies’ mark of 3.04.

Plus, along with Rollins as a spark plug in the batting order, the Phillies have Shane Victorino, who plays a brilliant center field. Then there are sluggers Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. The Phillies also acquired Hunter Pence during the summer to complement other capable hitters such as Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz and Placido Polanco.

No wonder Phillies manager Charlie Manuel showed that he gets it, too. He reflected on his team’s present and future before saying, “If you look at what we have, we’re capable of winning a world championship every year over the next three or four years.

“Winning that second one is what sets you apart, but it’s hard. I mean, it’s really hard to do. That’s what the Big Red Machine did, and those Oakland teams were able to get it done. And the Yankees have won, what, 27 world championships? And [winning multiple times] is what makes people great, like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.”

It all starts with the concept of Now.

Make that the concept of Right Now.

The Phillies aren’t content with winning a Championship and then making postseason appearances for the next five to ten years.

They want to be the best, and it’s scary because I think they are shooting to be the best ever. They may not always achieve greatness, but their minds are in the right place.

In baseball, controlling your mind is half the battle, and then you just have to let your talent take you the rest of the way.

We all know that Philadelphia has the talent. They have a packed lineup and a rotation that is only rivaled by the Detroit Tigers, but the edge goes to the Phillies for experience.

They have the talent and the experience, and they have the correct mindset.

That’s a combination that can lead to greatness for a very long time, and the Phillies will take that first step against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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