Ryan Howard Shoulders Blame for This Particular Loss


The Phillies lost another game last night, despite Chase Utley.

Man, he’s great.

Ryan Howard had a less successful evening.

June 25, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) tosses the ball to first base for an out during the second inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

There was one at-bat, that I’d actually forgotten about, because I was drinking heavily, in which Ryan Howard came up with the bases loaded.  It was the fifth inning.  Things were still promising, in that “it’s only the fifth inning” sort of way.  But the rally the Phillies were cooking up turned out – like many before it  – to not be a rally at all, but a hideous disappointment in disguise.

Howard worked a 3-0 count – yay! – and, as I shrieked “GREEN LIGHT!” at fellow bar patrons.  This was not necessarily because I felt like he should have the green light, but because that is a fun thing to shout, and if he had hit a grand slam or something, man; I would have looked so cool.

But Ryan must have heard me, because he swung with all his might, and grounded into one of those weak double plays that make you wonder why human life even exists.

It was awful.  And Ryan, as he probably always does because he’s a professional athlete, knew it.  He verbalized this knowing of it after the game.

"“I take full responsibility.  I’ve got to be better than that.”–Ryan Howard via Jim Salisbury, CSN Philly"

Man, I wish I could believe that this statement of responsibility and intense introspection would lead to some kind of renaissance in the Phillies clubhouse, with Ryan turning a corner and the whole team following suit.  But I think that all the time.  It’s mostly just the default setting of my brain.

But mostly, I think it’s just the thing he said on this night and nothing is going to change.