Results tagged ‘ Barry Bonds ’

The Big Piece Speaks

howard 0217 2011.jpg

Phillies position players officially report to camp today, and before the morning workout Ryan Howard talked to reporters for roughly 10 minutes.

Here are the highlights:

Q: How is your ankle?
A: Ankle is good. Ankle is really good. I’m pretty much like 98 percent. There’s a little bit of tightness, a lit bit of soreness every once in a while. But it’s good to go.

Q: What percent was the ankle during the postseason?
A: That doesn’t really matter anymore now. We’re here. I’m not going to make any excuses about my ankle or anything like that. Was it 100 percent? No. But to me that doesn’t matter. I just go out there and try to do the best I can and don’t make excuses.

Q: How much did the ankle impact you once came back from the DL?
A: I don’t know how much impact it really did or really didn’t have. Like I said, I was out there. I’m trying to play. I’m trying to give it my all, whether my ankle is 100 percent or not. If I’m out there I’m going to try to do the best I can.

Q: How did you rehab?
A: Just got some work done. Pretty much massage, just kind of get the swelling out. Just continue to ice and do normal type of recovery stuff.

(more…)

Howard Works with Bonds


Thumbnail image for howard and bonds.jpgIn case you missed it
, Barry Bonds shared some interesting information with reporters yesterday in San Francisco:

He worked with Ryan Howard this offseason.

That’s interesting for a couple reasons:

1) No matter what your opinion of Bonds is, whether or not you think his statistics are legitimate or not (most don’t), he was an excellent hitter with an incredible approach at the plate.

2) Howard is hitting .357 (10 for 28) with three doubles, one triple, three home runs and 10 RBIs through six games. He has struck out just four times. Howard had struck in 32.4 percent of his at-bats in his career, but has struck out in just 14.3 percent of his at-bats this year. It’s just six games, but I know Howard wants to be more selective at the plate because he will see a steady diet of breaking balls.

“We worked. We talked. We did a little bit of everything,” Howard said. “I’m trying to learn from him.”

Howard wouldn’t get into specifics, but he said they generally talked about how to improve his approach at the plate and “finding that comfortable spot.”

“What he did for me was great,” Howard said. “That was huge. You don’t get too many chances to really work with somebody that you grew up idolizing. He’s one of the greatest players to ever play this game. For me it was an honor to just sit there and listen and watch. He’s so smart as far this game is concerned. The things that he knows, the things that he was telling me and teaching me, I hope to continue to learn. That’s the thing about this game. You’re always trying to make adjustments. You’re always trying to learn. And who better to learn from than one of the best players in the game?”

*

I will be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Uglyfrom 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Borders on S. Broad Street in Center City. I hope you can stop by. The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

The Collapse of Cole Hamels

hamels 1031.jpgI wasn’t sure what to expect from Cole Hamels last night in Game 3 of the World Series. I figured he was due to pitch a good game, but I wasn’t going to be surprised if things fell apart.

Neither was Hamels.

“That’s been the story of my whole season,” he said following the 8-5 loss to the Yankees at Citizens Bank Park. “I can cruise through hitters and then all of a sudden — boom. I don’t hit a small speed bump. I hit a big one.”

Asked about the last pitch to Mark Teixeira in the fourth inning that resulted in a walk, which led to a two-run home run from Alex Rodriguez, Hamels said, “It was a strike. It’s the story of my season.”

He thought Rodriguez’s home run was a pop up.

“For it to go over the fence … you know what?” he said. “This is the park I play in, so I definitely know to expect this.”

But then came an intresting comment as he talked about a season that has been a struggle since spring training. Hamels, who is 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four postseason starts, told reporters, “I can’t wait for it to end. It’s been mentally draining. It’s one of those things where, a year in, you just can’t wait for a fresh start.”

Hamels lines up to pitch Game 7 at Yankee Stadium, if the series gets that far. Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee have to wonder how confident they can be sending him out there? Hamels is 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four postseason starts and he does not sound like a confident man. Asked if he would feel comfortable pitching Hamels in Game 7, Manuel would not commit.

“I wouldn’t be hesitant to start him,” he said. “But at the same time, we’ll see how the series goes.”

But after sounding like a mentally beaten man, Hamels also said he would like the chance.

“I really do hope I have that opportunity,” he said. “It’s one of those games that you can definitely redeem yourself. I would know it’s the very last game that I would ever have that season. It’s not the type of game you want to have in your last game. It’s just kind of something where if you could end it on a good note, why not? Having a Game 7 opportunity that would be mean a lot. I hope my teammates believe in me and want me to be out there for it.”

If the series gets to Game 7 — Hamels put the Phillies in the difficult position of having to win three of four games against the Yankees — the Phillies have two options: Hamels or J.A. Happ. Do they stick with Hamels, or do they look at what they have seen and heard and take their chances with Happ?

Of course, before we get in a lather about Game 7, Joe Blanton must outpitch CC Sabathia tonight in Game 4.

*

Teams that fall behind 2-1 in the World Series are 26-55.

*

Jayson Werth has seven home runs this postseason. He would tie Barry Bonds (2002) and Carlos Beltran (2004) for the single-season playoff home run record with one more homer.

It certainly would help if more than Werth were hitting. Jimmy Rollins (.200), Shane Victorino (.182), Chase Utley (.182), Ryan Howard (.154) and Pedro Feliz (.091) are struggling. Werth (.400), Carlos Ruiz (.333) and Raul Ibanez (.250) are the only players hitting .250 or better.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 299 other followers