Rays-Phillies Game 2: Ryan Howard Needs Help

Howard did have two hits in tonight’s loss to the Rays, but it’s clear he hasn’t been clutch in the postseason. Just look at how down in the dumps he seems while Tampa Bay celebrates.

ryanwalking offfield_.jpg

Which makes me wonder….How does a guy with his home run power and ability to drive in runs suddenly go all spazzy at the plate? (I know, I know. I should ask A-Rod.) Charlie Manuel suggested Howard is “pressing” – the generic explanation used by managers whenever a player slumps. Manuel also expressed certainty that the situation would improve for his slugger – somehow.
But will it? Do slumps disappear on their own? If I were a Phillies fan, I’d want Howard to be a little more proactive about this. So I’m offering my own ideas for how he can stop pressing and start relaxing.
First, he should try…
Yes, meditation – so he can clear his mind of all thoughts of striking out with men on base.
If that doesn’t work….
Yes, yoga – to show him he can do anything and everything with that hulking body of his.
If he strikes out fails with that, he should try..
Yes, painting. It’s supposed to be a great release.
Then there’s….
Yes, acupuncture – if he isn’t afraid of needles.
And finally there’s always…
Yes, psychotherapy. I’m sure the Phillies would pay for all the necessary sessions.
I’m rooting for the Rays, so I don’t have a personal stake in Howard’s success. I’m just saying. Try SOMETHING, people.


  1. Jane Heller

    I wrote that post late last night after staggering home from a friend’s birthday party. Imagine my surprise when I opened today’s NY Times and there was an article about Ryan Howard’s postseason slump and what he should do about it! Still, nobody mentioned any of my suggestions and I agree, Jeff – the yoga and the art therapy would be worth seeing.

  2. NatMeg

    He may be in a slump but I still get nervous whenever he steps up to the plate. Especially for such a power hitter, all it could take is 1 home run, and then he’s off to the races for the rest of the Series. I pray that doesn’t happen though. I’m a Nationals fan so I give my heart away to any team that’s been in last place at some point in their histories. Now if only the Nats could follow in the Rays’ worst-to-first footsteps…

  3. Jane Heller

    I know exactly what you mean, Margaret. I felt the same way every time Oritz came to the plate when the Rays played the Red Sox. He was slumping, but he was always one swing away from changing everything. Do you think the Nats have a chance to move up in the division next season?

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