SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Uh-Oh for Phillies' Fans

Spanning the globe from the World Cup to the home-run hitting derby at next week's All-Star Game. . .

You'll remember that Phillies' RF scorched the competition with a mind-numbing performance at last year's contest. Unfortunately for the fans in the Cradle of Liberty, the hometown RF has only hit 14 HRs since that time -- roughly a full season of baseball. Many suggest that hitting balls thrown with the arc and velocity of the average beer-league softball pitch hurt Abreu's form since that amazing night.

Now it looks like Phillies' 1B Ryan Howard, who scares opposing teams the way Willie McCovey and Willie Stargell used to (not to mention two who should not be named -- Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa) is headed for the same HR derby.

Speaking as one Phillies' fan, I'd rather see my strongman hit his majestic home runs when they count and not is some marketing-designed freak show that is fun for the fans but has proved somewhat disastrous to my team in the long-term. Okay, so maybe there's no correlation, and maybe it's just a perceived jinx.

Then again, baseball players (and fans) form a superstitious lot.

Please, Ryan Howard, stay out of the contest.

If for no other reason than many of your loyal fans think that it's kryptonite that will rob your potent bat of its dynamite.

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