The New Year is only 2 days old, which means that everyone is making plans for resolutions in 2013. I am no exception to this time honored tradition, as I’ve vowed to rediscover the gym and purge my apartment of sweet treats. My soon to fail resolution won’t garner the same attention that say Ryan Howard’s would. No player short of Roy Halladay, has more questions marks and pressure on them this season than the Big Kid.
We don’t condone the illegal phone hacking of News Corps here at Fansided, mainly because we have prophetic knowledge about the players we write about. Below are Ryan Howard’s new years resolutions (or at least what they should be).
1. Stay Healthy
This first one applies to a lot of players, but may be difficult to keep since it is largely out of Howard’s control. Preventing any new maladies aside, Ryan should be spending the next 3 months strengthening his achilles heal. This injury forced him to miss 91 games a year ago, and he was a different player when he returned. Anything can happen throughout the course of a baseball season, but one thing Howard can control is how he feels going in.
2. Eat Less Subway
One cause for Ryan’s steady decline hasn’t been mentioned yet, but his consumption of Subway sandwiches as their spokesman has to be addressed. I’ve eaten my fare share from the chain, and I would certainly wouldn’t characterize them as performance enhancing. Whether it’s a triple veggie on wheat, or the abomination that is their “Philly Cheesteak”, none of it is good for you. Not to mention Howard has been sharing the duty with Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. That has to be bad ju ju.
3. Swing Away
Remember when Ryan Howard used to hit home runs to left field? What was, and still is exceptional about Ryan Howard has been his power to all fields. This plays extremely well at the Bank with the short porch in left, often requiring just a deep fly to carry over the fence. When Howard struggles his tendency is to pull everything. He may never fix his problem with strike outs, but if he can re-focus to hitting the ball to all fields he may be able to be that .270/40 home run hitter we knew and loved.
Even if Ryan is able to stick to these resolutions, there are no guarantees that he’ll return to greatness. What fans should hope for is a return to goodness. The team doesn’t need him to be his MVP version, just a pretty good one with consistent production and pop. We all saw what the price was for having the big first baseman out of the lineup last year, and a repeat would be devastating. No matter what the future holds for Ryan and the Phillies, at least we won’t have to suffer Ty Wigginton at first base any more.