Much like Ron Howard’s movies, Ryan Howard’s swings are hit or miss. Lately, he’s been more A Beautiful Mind than The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. If he can just get the average up, he’ll reach the pinnacle of Night Shift. However, the chances of that are the same as Chase Utley marrying a mermaid. But Philly fans are smart enough to not look at just average. They check slugging percentages before they start chucking batteries. Who can forget the sabermetric death threats at Mitch Williams – a BABIP of .100 couldn’t compensate for your K/BB and HR/FB ratio! What is Ryan Howard averaging more than one a game since May 1? If you guessed cheese steaks and hot dogs, you may be right. But if you guessed RBIs, you’re definitely right. As far back as mid-April, I told you he will hit 40 home runs, go out and get him no matter what his early season looks like. I told you in May, when Howard was in the midst of a terrible slump, he would go into the All-Star Break with the most home runs. Since May 1st, he’s hit 46/22/71/.258 and 68 Pork Roll sandwiches. Yum! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Vernon Wells – Hits the DL with a Grade 2 strain. Or as we called it in Grade 2, a boo-boo. He’ll be out 4-6 weeks; I’d drop him. Send your Get Well Soon cards to Toronto c/o Nobody Cares.
Richie Sexson – Was released by the Mariners. I was trying to come up with the perfect Sexson blurb, but all I kept thinking of was “Blechhhh!” So Sexson doesn’t get a blurb, he gets a burp. (BTW, I almost made him the lead, but I realized he’s been a non-story for two years. If he was the lead, his title would’ve been, “My Girl Doesn’t Like Sexson The Bumhole.”)
John Maine – He should’ve dusted the Giants like Mrs. Garrett did the Drummond household. (BTW, “Mrs.” my ass. Unless she was hitched in Hawaii to Paula Poundstone.) I can only assume the forearm cramps are bothering Maine still. Hopefully the All-Star Break gives them time to heal.
Moises Alou – Revealed he has a torn left hamstring. I guess peeing on his leg only made it worse. I think this might be the last we see of an Alou until his son, Shlomo, makes it to the majors in 2012.
Justin Upton – Oblique strain, but I think they’ve narrowed it down to somewhere in his abdominal.
Dustin McGowan – Tear in his rotator cuff. Punt.
Justin Morneau – 5-for-5, someone asked in the comments if I liked him better than Atkins. I do. What else do you want me to say?! (I’ll talk more about this in Friday’s afternoon Buy/Sell. Or not! Wait and see! Or not! Actually, these “Or not”s could go on forever. Or not!)
Todd Jones – Blew a save yesterday. Guess how many that is. Go ahead. I’ll wait. *taps foot, picks nose and checks watch* Time’s up! Only his second blown save. Zumaya will see some chances soon, but I don’t know if Jones goes the way of Borowski just yet.
Aaron Harang – Placed on the 15-day DL. Strained forearm. Funny, cause he strained my patience. Supposedly he’ll be back right when his two week DL-stint is over.
Steven Pearce – And back down to the minors. When a team makes move as cunning as the Pirates, it’s baffling why they’ve had a losing record since 1992. It’s the Curse of Bream! Why don’t the Pirates invite Bream to Opening Day 2009 and surprise him with a clubbing? Hey, Sid, your fly’s down. Get em, boys! I’m sure Randall Simon’s available to do the clubbing.
Brandon Morrow – Kurt Suzuki took him deep to blow his save. When Suzuki circled the bases, from the way he was smiling, you would’ve thought he just won the World Series, except for the tumbleweeds blowing through the stands.
Dave Bush – 8 IP, 13 Ks, 0 ER, 3 H and one of the best starts of the year. His home/road splits are big enough to take a flier on him when he’s at home, right? I can’t make a ball gag joke and tell you to stay away from Bush in the same post, can I? Am I secure enough in my testes? As Lupe Fiasco might say, “Kick, Bush.”
Howie Kendrick – I went to a concert last night, so I missed some stuff, but when I came home and saw Kendrick hit two home runs, a few things that passed through my mind, 1. Why did the Rangers bring the outfield in in the 2nd and 5th innings? 2. Did they let Kendrick bat from 2nd base? 3. Why was Corey Feldman pitching for the Rangers? 4. Could I hit a home run in Arlington? 5. Have the Rangers considered a humidor? 6. I went to high school with a kid by the name of Howie. He has more Myspace friends than me. 7. Did they let Kendrick use an aluminum bat? 8. Howie Kendrick is like a poor man’s Polanco. So if Keppinger is Blanco Polanco, what does that make Kendrick? 9. Could ten things actually pass through my mind about Kendrick hitting 2 HRs? 10. Yup.