“A Fighting City”

Philadelphia Phillie's first baseman Ryan Howard was all smiles after winning the Home Derby in 2006. He will not be all smiles the next couple of weeks as he recovers from a left ankle injury on the Disabled List.

Philadelphia is known for great pretzels, the Philly cheese steak, and boxing.  And in recent history, they have been known for producing the NL’s top baseball team.  Well now we will truly find out what this city’s baseball team is made of.  Ryan Howard, the 2006 MVP and Phillie’s star first baseman has been placed on the Disabled List.  Howard is the 15th Phillie to be KO’ed to the DL this year and joins Shane Victorino and Chase Utley on the current esteemed list.  What is going on in Philadelphia?

These guys are dropping like flies and struggling to stay in the lineup. Manager Charlie Manuel has gotten no luck this year.  He has only had his “real” starting lineup for 6 or 7 of their 106 games.  But this is how the wear and tear of a 6 month Major League season goes.  The longevity of a season can become a gruesome battle.  And there can only be one winner in the end.  It is a shame that Howard is going to have to sit out now too.  He was currently in the midst of a 0 for 14 slump, where his batting average dropped below .300.  Now he will have to think about this slump for the next couple of weeks as his left ankle recovers.

Slowly, but surely though, the Phillies had been chopping away and catching up to the Braves.  Winning 8 of their last 10, the Phillies sit only 2 games back from Atlanta.  And with a team as experienced as the Phillies are, this deficit seemingly would be nothing.  But guys continue to drop.  Will this injury to Howard be the final KO, that prevents the Phillies from claiming a 3rd straight NL East Crown?

No way Jose!  The Braves, though managed by Bobby Cox, are extremely young.  The Phillies will eventually get healthy enough to catch Atlanta.  They do not call Philadelphia the fighting city for no reason.  What do all fighters do?  When they get knocked down or hit with adversity, they get back up.  There will be no quit in this bunch, who will fight to the very bitter end.  But you can be sure that this will be a photo finish. 

Maybe Charlie Manuel should start showing his team the Rocky movies on road trips or at least take the team to the Rocky statue before their next home game..

 So will Philly get to lay a knockout punch on the Braves come October?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

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