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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Best that Howard goes away for a while

Just a little less than one time out of every three that he would wiggle into a batter's box, Ryan Howard would strike out.

In other news, the Phillies were having a horrifying season.

Connection? Connection.

Howard is 33, which could be the reason. He also had an injured knee, which could be the reason. Either way, he had to go away for a while, just to give the Phillies a chance to breathe. So, he has, going on the disabled list, on his way to a Monday MRI.

“It’s tough,” Howard said Sunday. “I definitely want to be out there. But at the same time I have to be smart about it and try to see if we can nip it in the bud and see what will help. Hopefully try to get back out there as soon as we can.”
If he returns stronger, then good for the Phillies.
If not, then good for the Phillies that they will have plenty of time to see All-Star Domonic Brown at cleanup and franchise power prospect Darin Ruf at first base.
In a 7-3 victory over the visiting Braves Sunday, Brown tripled and homered, and Ruf had a double and scored twice. It's a start, as the Phillies inched within 7 1-2 games of the N.L. East lead.
The loss of Howard has left Charlie Manuel with an empty feeling. Maybe he knows something. Or maybe it is just a case of nostalgia.
But it is going to look different around Citizens Bank Park for a while. And it may never look the same way again.

Will the Phillies be better without Howard and his strikeouts?

They probably will.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Monday and, as always, on


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