Wednesday, July 21, 2010

St. Louis slugger

I congratulate you, Mr. Ryan Howard.

With your home run in your hometown tonight - and big, big brother watching - you moved into fourth place on the Phillies all-time homer list. I say with certainty that Chuck Klein will not be the last name you pass. Watch out Pat the Bat, you're next.

It's late July and it's almost expected that you're leading the league in RBI by this point in the season. Your ability to drive in runs consistently over multiple seasons is matched only by the man occupying your space for the team you grew up cheering on from your home. People will say what they will about your strikeouts, but it's still fun watching you play the game.

It's been especially fun over the past week as we Phillie fans try and reach for anything positive. Right now, you are the only hitter on the team playing like he wants to make the postseason. You have at least one hit in every game since the start of the second half, and of the Phillies' 25 runs over the span, you have knocked in 10 of them. The way you're seeing the ball at the plate gives off the impression that you're feeling the increased importance of every game as September gets closer. You don't know any other feeling than helping the team win when it matters the most.

What a shame that none of your brethren are feeding off the same passion. What a shame they haven't discovered the ability inside themselves to turn up the intensity. It must not be much fun walking the path alone, but if nothing else brings you comfort in these tough times, you did your family proud tonight and you checked off yet another item on the list of your growing legacy in the history of the Phillies and Major League Baseball.

Again, I say congratulations.

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