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Showing posts from April, 2009

They're Coming Tomorrow

I hate them. More later. ********************** No caption needed.

The Departed Don't Match Up

It is no secret that, right now, Raul Ibanez is making the Phillies look very smart. The Phils ' phormer left fielder, Pat Burrell , is struggling in Tampa with a .238 batting average, 1 homer and 8 RBI, 6 runs scored with a .681 OPS. The new left fielder, Ibanez , is GD wrecking opposing pitchers with a .355 batting average, 7 homers, 17 RBI, 20 runs scores and a 1.142 OPS. Furthermore, Burrell's new club, the Rays, are 3-4 when Burrell drives in at least one run. Our Phillies are 9-2 when Ibanez has at least 1 RBI. Also, Burrell has hit safely in 12 of the Rays' 19 games, while Raul has hit in 16 of the Phillies 19 games. There's no debate, at this stage, that the Phillies made the right call when they let Burrell go, and signed Ibanez to man left field. Hopefully, this will hold true throughout the rest of the season, all the way into the post season. Trends would perhaps suggest that Ibanez will cool off soon, as his career batting average in May is 45

Look-alikes revisited & news links

This Phan-a-vision shot that the Phillies have been using, makes the team's grand left fielder, Raul Ibanez, look like Capt. Aceveda (Benito Martinez) from my all time favorite TV program The Shield . ************* News notes on our Phillies... Carlos Ruiz injury set back.... read here . JC Romero sues supplement company...is still cool. Info here . Brad Lidge experiencing knee inflamation. Is day-to-day. Details here . ************* The Good Phight has Scott Franzke's & LA's call of Rauuuul's Slam. Click here .

Notes and Notes and Notes and Notes

You may have heard that our Phils swept the Marlins this weekend. The two wins on Friday and Saturday marked the first time since September 1957 that the Phillies won back-to-back games after entering the 9th inning at a deficit. The third game of the series, a 13-2 win on Sunday, was the first time all season that the Phillies did not trail in a game. The Phillies are 8-1 when Shane Victorino scores at least one run. The Phillies are 8-2 when Chase Utley has an RBI. The Phillies are 8-3 when Ryan Howard has at least one hit. The Phillies are 7-2 when Raul Ibanez scores at least one run. Jimmy Rollins still has not stolen a base this season. There are three games left in the month, and if Rollins fails to steal a base, it would be the first time in his career that Rollins did not steal a base in the opening month of the season. In 2004, Rollins stole just one base in 19 April games, and ended the season with 30 steals. Last season, when Rollins missed much of April with an injury, he

Sunday School: Story Time 1

Let's take a break from the history and take it easy on this hot Sunday with a classic baseball related story. The following tale is an excerpt from famous negro leaguer Buck O'Neil's great book I Was Right on Time . O'Neil happened to be the very first African American MLB coach. This story explains the origins of why his pal Satchel Paige had a unique nickname for him. When Satchel and I were with the (Kansas City) Monarchs, we played this one game on an Indian reservation near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was there that Satchel, who had a weakness for a pretty face, and the more of them the better, met this beautiful Indian maiden named Nancy, and since we were going to Chicago to play the Chicago American Giants, he invited Nancy to visit him there. She had some relatives there or something, so she accepted his invitation, and he told her we were staying at the Evans Hotel. Well, now we were in Chicago, and I was sitting in the coffee shop of the Evans Hotel

Lakewood Pitching Coach Bob Milacki Q&A

PhoulBallz.com spoke with Lakewood BlueClaws pitching coach, and former Major League pitcher, Bob Milacki. - I asked Coach Bob to comment on Jason Knapp's sparkling 7 shut out inning/14 strike out performance on Tuesday. Ah, it was impressive. Impressive. I mean you see a guy that throws that hard, that young, and has command of his three pitches, it was fun to watch. - What's his pitch repertoire like? He has a fastball, a good curveball and his third pitch is his changeup. But, ya know, when he had them all working together, and you throw a lot of strikes, it's fun to watch. They were late on his fastball, he overpowered hitters at times, and he changed speeds enough to where they never really caught up to his fastball. It was really impressive to watch. - How much have you had to do with Knapp upping his level of performance? I think it's all him. I mean, he's tremendous at making changes. The pitching coach is here just to guide him in the right directi

"Natinals" Revisited

Earlier in the week, I linked to FanIQ's screen caps of Washington Nationals players Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn wearing misspelled home jerseys. Below is a sample of those original pictures as well as some other ones that Jimmy Kimmel Live wrangled up from the photo shop-, oh, I mean archives. ***************** The Lakewood BlueClaws announced today that Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson will all be performing at FirstEnergy Park on Thursday, July 23rd. Tickets on sale May 2nd. Check out the link for more details. "Superfan" of Homeside News tracks Phillies prospects as they make their way through the Phils' system and beyond. Check out his page. And last, but not least, PhilliesFlow points out the flaws in the Phillies' lineup and reviews the Brewers series. This site is always worth checking out.

Travis Mattair Q&A

PhoulBallz.com spoke with Lakewood BlueClaws third baseman Travis Mattair the other night. He was kind enough to answer some questions. -I asked Travis about his increase in walks this year as opposed to last season (he walked 36 times in 129 games in 2008, and has 18 already in 13 games in 2009). I've matured as a hitter. I got myself in some brutal counts last year by just waving at bad pitches that I shouldn't have been swinging at. So, I've matured that way. I'm taking more pitches, that I should be taking, and swinging at the ones I should be swinging at. I've been fouling a lot more balls off with 2 strikes, which is good in a way- you want to put the ball in play. But, I mean, I've had about 5-7 just 4 pitch walks where I just go up there and- 4 pitches- I'm on base. But other ones I feel I'm crediting to maturing as a hitter more than anything. - Broadcaster Greg Giombarrese pointed out to me during the game that you lead all of the m

Jason Knapp Q&A

PhoulBallz .com was fortunate enough to meet with Phillies prospect Jason Knapp just one day after he caught the attention of the baseball world with his 7 shut out innings, 14 strike out performance against the Indians' Lake County team. - I asked Jason, the Lakewood BlueClaw , for some thoughts about his big game... I had pretty good command of three pitches (fastball, curve, change up). I was on the same page with my catcher, D'Arnaud , and I ended up, ya know, I felt pretty good. - In a great performance like that, how much credit goes to Travis D'Arnaud , the catcher? More than you might expect, definitely. I didn't shake him off once. He told me what to throw and I do what I'm told. And if it works out, a lot of the credit goes to the catcher. - Does the lack of run support (Lakewood has scored 3 total runs in his 3 starts), in your few starts, increase your stress level, or enhance your focus? No, I just try to go out and do my job every outing.

Chan Ho Park- A Decade Ago

Ten years ago today, a feat never before completed in Major League Baseball was achieved. Current Phillie Chan Ho Park, a Dodger at the time, served up two grand slams in the very same inning to Cardinals third baseman Fernando Tatis. Tatis was just the second player to hit two grand slams in the same game . Tony Cloninger of the Braves did it. And Chan Ho was the second pitcher in MLB history to give up 2 grand slams in the same inning. Bill Phillips of the Pirates did that way back in 1890, to different batters. Park went on to become a Phillie, and thus we like him. Tatis went on to become a repulsive hand-jiving Metropolitan, and thus we wish for him to be voted off the planet.

Nothing Minor About These Guys

Jason Knapp Today's pitching performances from Phillies' minor leaguers were sparkling, exciting and phantastic, to say the least. Gems all around from the Phillies' deep corp of minor league arms, and here is a full report. Carlos Carrasco had a solid outing for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Against the Syracuse Chiefs, the Nationals' triple A affiliate, Carlos threw 7 innings and allowed 3 runs on just 3 hits, walked 1 and struck out 10. Reading Phillie Tyson Brummett faced the Altoona Curve, the Pirates double A affiliate. Brummett gave up just 1 earned run on 5 hits, in 7 2/3 innings, walking none and striking out 5. High A ball Clearwater had former top draft pick Kyle Drabek on the hill tonight. Drabek threw 6 2/3 innings, following a scoreless 1 inning start appearance by Mike Zagurski. Drabek walked 2, gave up 4 hits and allowed no runs, while striking out 10. After all those, the best start of the day came this morning from Lakewood's 18 year old prospec

The Brewers are Back

Last year, the Milwaukee Brewers visited Philadelphia twice, at crucial points. In September, the Brew crew came in for a big weekend series, which they entered as the Wild Card leader. After being swept by the Phillies, they left town tied for that lead. The Brewers then returned for two games in the National League playoffs and lost both of those match ups as well, before being eliminated by our Phillies, 3 games to 1. The Brewers are scheduled to begin a three game series in Philadelphia Tuesday night when Jamie Moyer faces Manny Parra. Moyer lost the only game to the Brewers in that NL division series in October. Moyer lasted just 4 innings in that game, throwing 90 pitches, and surrendering 2 runs. In his career, Jamie is 9-5 with a 3.63 ERA against the Brew Crew. Parra started one of the games in September in Philly last year, and gave up 5 earned runs in 1 1/3 innings. Game 2 will pit Joe Blanton against Braden Looper. Blanton won the series clinching game against the Brewers

My Neighbors Be Talkin'

Here are some cool links to enjoy on this rainy Monday. Amanda reviews the results of our All-time Phillies phantasy draft. Guess who won! Yes, PhoulBallz.com drafted the best team, according to the people. My original post on the draft can be found here . IronPigPen , the loser of the Phantasy draft survey, has a quick review of 2008 Phillie Les Walrond and his adventures in Japan so far this season. FanIQ has some screen shots of the Washington Nationals and their misspelled home jerseys. Crashburn Alley's got some fun Raul Ibanez .gif files, a graph comparing Ibanez and Pat Burrell, and glance at Josh Geer's pitches from Sunday's game. The700Level has video of Raul Ibanez getting shaving creamed up , following his huge walk-off homer on Sunday. BlueClaws TV has some guy named Muldo reminding you about the exciting home stand coming up for the boys in Lakewood. Wednesday's giveaway of a pine tree seedling, and dollar beers on Thirsty Thursday sound gre

Sunday School: History Lesson 12

Most avid fans of baseball will know that there are certain positions on a field that left handers are not welcomed to play. The main reason it's less than ideal for lefty arms to play shortstop or third base is that the fielder must turn his body to throw to first base. The extra time would give a runner an extra step, in most cases. The same applies to second base as well. The catcher position is another one where lefties are not very welcome. Estimating, going back to the 1800's, more than 8,000 players have played catcher in the major leagues. Just 33 of them have been left handed. Of that small group, 10 played in only one game (likely an emergency situation) and 16 of them played in five games or less, plenty of which were players better known to play other positions. Of the 33 lefty catchers, 10 played in 50 or more games, only 5 played in more than 100, and just three played more than 200. One of those three was John J. "Jack" Clements, who caught most of his

Saturday Stuff: Notes and Links

Through 9 starts, the Phillies starting pitchers have allowed 43 earned runs in 48 innings pitched. That's 5 1/3 average innings pitched per start, with an 8.06 ERA. Chase Utley knocked in the 500th run of his career on Friday, passing Richie Ashburn on the Phillies all time RBI list . Jimmy Rollins (547) , Ryan Howard (507) and Chase Utley rank 26th, 27th & 28th on the team's all time list. Gary Sheffield hit the 500th HR of his career for the Metropolitans on Friday. He is the 25th player to hit that many. Of the feat, Sheffield had this to say, "Now I can say I'm in the club and, you know, it's like getting your degree. Nobody can never take that away from you." Angels fans are being prohibited from purchasing Nick Adenhart #15 jerseys to honor their fallen pitching star. Apparently, anyone with a bright idea to grab a Harry Kalas #08 jersey will be rejected also. Try it and you will receive this message, "Your current entry cannot be processed

The Whole Organization is .500

We're all aware that our Philadelphia Phillies have a .500 winning percentage with a 4-4 record. Low A Ball Lakewood is also .500 at 4-4 Those double A Reading Phillies are .500 also, at 3-3. Triple A Lehigh Valley and High A Clearwater total out to .500 with their 2-5 and 5-2 records respectively. A look around the stat boards after just over a week of minor leagues games delivers some surprises... Lakewood's first baseman Jim Murphy is roughing up South Atlantic League pitching. His .522 batting avg. and 1.288 OPS through 6 games are very impressive. Meanwhile, top catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud has a .207 batting avg. in 7 games. D'Arnaud does have a homer and 6 RBI in those 7 games though, so don't count him out. 23 year-old Clearwater first baseman, Matthew Rizzotti has 7 RBI in 6 games with a .476 batting avg. and a 1.187 OPS to go along with them, while OF prospect Dominic Brown struggles. Brown's .231 average and 2 RBI through 5 games is small t

Yankees Fans Misled By Pepsi Promotion

**** Today, New York Yankees fans attended a Pepsi promotion in Times Square hoping for chances to win opening day tickets to the new stadium, but the tickets, which were difficult to track down due to poor organization on Pepsi's part, were actually for a game in June. Furthermore, the 250 pairs that were promised were actually only 100 pairs. The fans, who were made to sprint through traffic over multiple city blocks when locations for the promotion changed, quickly turned against the soda brand by pooring out their beverages and chanting anti-Pepsi phrases. Yankees fans are even threatening a boycott of Pepsi. An appearance by Yankee great Goose Gossage could not even settle the angry mob, as he had to be whisked away, as a precaution, according to the Daily News . Ooo , I'd hate to see what "the worst fans in sports" (Philadelphia fans) would have done to their free Pepsi cans and beloved reliever in that situation. Because this happened in a non-Philly city,

Harry in our Hearts

There were no new postings yesterday on PhoulBallz . This was partly as a day of silence, and partly because it was difficult to muster the enthusiasm to write anything worthwhile, after Harry Kalas passed away. I received an e-mail with a great Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas story from reader Nikki. With the permission of the author, I'd like to share it with you all. Picture it, Veteran’s Stadium, 1996 (possibly '97) Phillies ALS Phestival . I had found out about a month prior that Richie Ashburn was going to be signing autographs in the broadcaster’s booth. Father’s Day was coming up, and even though I personally did not know much about Richie Ashburn , I thought the autograph would be a nice gift for my Dad who grew up in Philly, then living in California , and was an Ashburn fan. So, after waiting for entrance into the stadium, I get on line- first one there. As more people came, I realized I was definitely on the younger end of the age range. Just about everyon

Harry Kalas Phorever...

Legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas passed away today. Harry collapsed while preparing to call today's game against the Washington Nationals. So many phans will feel as though we've lost a member of our own families. I feel as though I've lost a part of myself, but Harry enhanced my love of the great sport we call baseball and I will always carry that love, and Harry, in my heart. I've stated on this page before that I consider Harry more of a Phillie than anyone who wears the uniform as an active member of the roster. Harry Kalas was a Phillie. Moreso, Harry Kalas was the Phillies. Please share your thoughts and memories of Harry in the comments section, or send them to PhoulBallz (at) verizon (dot) net.

Man Crush Alert: Matt Stairs is Phantastic!

Hey, that Matt Stairs guy is so great! Remember the last time he hit a late inning, game winning, pinch hit homerun? That was a 7-5 win, just like this time. Ryan Madson got the win & Brad Lidge got the save, just like this time. It's fun to reminisce. Thanks, Matt Stairs. You are my favorite Canadian. In case you missed it and don't know exactly what I am talking about, our Phillies overcame another early deficit on Sunday, after Chan Ho Park continued the pitching rotation's lackluster ways. Stairs put the Phillies ahead, for good, in the 9th inning with a 2-run homer. ************* The triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs are off to a 0-4 start. John Mayberry Jr. is just 2-for-15 (.133 avg.) in the opening 4 games. On the other hand, the guy Mayberry Jr. was acquired for, Greg Golson, is 3-for-10 with the Oklahoma City Red Hawks, the triple A affiliate of the Rangers. ************* The double A Reading Phillies have started the season 2-1, but have yet to hit a home

Sunday School: History Lesson 11

Pete Sivess was a pitcher with our Phillies from 1936-1938. Appearing 62 games over his 3 year big league career, 16 of which were starts, Sivess's 5.38 career ERA was never sparkling. Many players would hold their baseball careers in regard as the high point of their lives, but that did not hold true for Sivess. Although, Sivess would not be one to downplay his professional baseball days, they were simply less important that his accomplishments later in life. Sivess had ups and downs, and ended up in the Reds organization, before his playing days were over. Arm trouble was shortening Sivess's playing days, and with World War II going, baseball became less important to him. He enlisted in the Navy. After the war was over, Sivess remained in the Navy, and he was sent to Europe, where he became the Assistant to the US Naval Member of the Allied Control Commission for Romania. World War II had stripped Romania of any government, and Sivess and his colleagues were assigned

Ruiz Hurt, Marson Could be Recalled

Carlos Ruiz strained his right oblique during Friday's game against the Rockies and was replaced in the game by Chris Coste. As of this writing it is still morning in Colorado and a decision has not been made by the team whether or not to place Ruiz on the disabled list. However, team representatives have confirmed that Lou Marson is traveling to Colorado to be with the team, in case Ruiz is not able to stay on the active roster. **************** The Phillies are off to their usual slow start, with a 1-3 record after their loss in the Rockies' opener. There is plenty for phans to be concerned about at this point. I am not suggesting we all go into a panic, I am simply stating that the "they always do this and bounce back" attitude should not be the prevalent motto of the week. I am also not suggesting that the Phillies don't deserve some slack after winning the World Series, I am only saying that those sorts of passes should be limited to how critical we might g

Wondering About Phans' Affinity

We all saw (and heard) the receptions that Pat Burrell and Adam Eaton got the other day at the Phillies' World Championship ring ceremony. Pat Burrell received the biggest reception of the day. It really had me wondering what exactly it is about Pat that phans love so much. His offensive statistics rank high on Phillies all-time leader boards, but Pat was never an all star and never won any individual recognition, as a Phillie. He was a sometimes-steady hitter, who learned to take more walks over his years, and had slumps as regularly as the weird guy in the cubicle next to me has belching fits and outbursts toward his computer ("Come awwwn! I hate you!"). Patrick the Batrick's performances against division rivals were not very outstanding, despite the misconception that he always killed the Metropolitans (.255 avg vs. Nationals, .249 avg. vs. Braves, .246 avg. vs. Mets, .243 avg. vs. Marlins). Perhaps the affinity for Burrell can be attributed to the fact that he wa

Phantasy Island!!

Last week I got together with a couple other bloggers from my bloggerhood and we decided to pick our all-time Phillies Phantasy teams. Requirements were 3 years service as a Phillie. Based on that, any Phillie ever was up for grabs. We each chose a full lineup, with 2 starting pitchers and a reliever. Amanda from Swing and a Long Drive selected first, Rolf from The IronPig Pen chose second and I picked third. We went in the same order, picking our teams, till each of us had a full squad. What we would like to do is get you, the readers to review and choose your favorite team, then visit each blog and vote for your favorite Phils Phantasy squad. Check out the teams below, and vote. My first choice was Richie Ashburn. Ashburn is easily one of the best Phillies of all time. Richie was elected to the Hall of fame in 1995. Ashburn led the Phillies in batting 8 times between 1948-1958. From 1949-1959, Richie led the team in hits 8 times. He won the NL batting title twice, and is the last P

Don't You Fret None

Okay, it's a slow April like usual. The Phillies have lost their first two games. I am confident most of you are aware that our Phillies have overcome slow starts the past two seasons. However, if there are still some phans who can't lean on those serious rebounds, I've got just one phrase for you..."It's Ring Day!" As in the Phillies won the World Series 5 months ago, and the players receive their individual recognition today, so relax. You are still allowed to enjoy that World Series victory. If rings aren't enough for you, the Phillies have been invited to the White House by President Obama, next Tuesday, in recognition of their championship. And if that's not enough, go have a shot of something good and call a therapist. ********* Amanda has a couple dozen more reason to hate the Mets. Swing and a Long Drive features a video of Johan Santana's different personal hand shakes/rehearsed hand jives with each teammate. More Hardball has a revi

BlueClaws Manager Dusty Wathan Q&A

Dusty Wathan and Tim Gradoville working with the infielders PhoulBallz.com checked out the BlueClaws' open practice today and got some face time with new Lakewood manager and former Phillies minor leaguer Dusty Wathan. -Dusty, do you have any things that stick in your mind from your two seasons as a player in spring training with the Phillies? Just being able to be around guys and develop friendships with guys that were able to win the World Series last year. It's pretty special to be able to watch that World Series and know that you've been in the club house with those guys, and hung out with them and become friends with them. I think that's the biggest moment I had was getting to see those guys win the World Series and how much joy I had for them. -What's the coaching staff like with Lakewood and have you worked with the coaches before? (Hitting coach) Greg Legg was in the system already when I was a player and we got to know each other a little bit. I neve

Lakewood Reminder

The BlueClaws issued a press release today to remind the public about all the great happenings at FirstEnergy Park this week. The World Series trophy will be on hand for phans to take pictures with on opening night, April 9th. All phans will receive a free schedule magnet on opening night also. Starting Friday, Lakewood is proud to offer Dollar Weekend. All tickets to all three games 4/10-4/12 are only $1!!! Also, remember that the BlueClaws are offering a kids 12 and under eat free promotion all season long. That's right. Upon entering the stadium, children will be given a voucher for a meal at FirstEnergy Park concession stands. This translates to a family of four can attend a game this weekend and feed the kids for just $4! Friday's post game fireworks, Saturday's growth charts for kids and a Sunday Easter egg hunt round out the weekend events. The BlueClaws roster is loaded with 2008 draft picks like Jason Knapp, Anthony Gose, Zach Collier, Jeremy Hamilton and Travi

Red Carpet Reception Short-lived

The last time we saw the Phillies take the field at home on national TV, Harry Kalas topped the night with his rendition of High Hopes. Sunday night they returned to the nation wide stage, and got shut down by Braves starter Derek Lowe. Hey, remember when our Phillies were rumored to be interested and were among the final suitors for Lowe? Yeah, you do. Also, do you remember when our Phillies signed left handed hitting Raul Ibanez because, as Ruben Amaro Jr. stated, the Phillies feared returning the same team to the field in 2009? Well the lefty who replaced righty Pat Burrell, in the lineup, allowed Braves lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez the best possible matchups versus three straight lefty hitters in the Phils' lineup, when he got to face Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Ibanez in a row, and halt the Phils' 9th inning rally. I was surprised to see Charlie Manuels' lineup that featured those three straight lefties. Switch hitting Shane Victorino could easily bat 2nd, while Jays

Tonight's the Night

Tune in tonight when our Phillies start defending their World Championship on national television! Amanda has posted her ' 09 season predictions . And the GM's have opening night's Tale of the Tape . Have a look.

One Day Left!

Some pictures from Saturday. Red Phanatic was out at the on-deck series. Vendors are wearing new shirts with Phils phont this season. The Jasons...Ellison greets Donald after his homerun. *************************************** More... Colbert making his way in from the bullpen with Ruiz and Dubee. Utley awaiting a Ruiz warm up throw.

The Season is On Deck

So, if you missed it last time , the initials on his cap stand for The Bat. He's back. He brought his new team along for a visit. Our Phillies beat them (again) tonight, on a Jason Donald walk-off hit, 3-2. The Bat's new team will play at Citizens Bank Park again tomorrow also. Then, on Sunday, it will be on, for real, as the champions of THE WORLD defend their title! The Metropolitans signed Gary Sheffield. I didn't think he'd be fit well with the Phils. Although, he surely would have plenty to play for and prove, after being released this week. The Phillies will open the season with three lefty relievers. "Jay" Happ and new acquisition Jack Taschner have made the opening day roster. Scott Eyre is, of course, the third left hander. Sorry, Koplove and Majewski...your spring ERA's (0.96 and 2.56 respectively) apparently weren't good enough. Macho Row has the full agenda for the opening night schedule, minute by minute. We'll see you all on Satu

Jeopardy Too

For $1,000 in the category of Awful Phormer Phillies, the answer is: "This weak hitting outfielder, who could barely bat his weight and totaled just 2 hits after July during his stint with the Phillies in 2005, is replacing new Phillie Raul Ibanez as the starting left fielder in Seattle." Question: "Who is Endy Chavez?" Correct!

Why Not Wednesday!

PressPass TV has some interesting Phillies videos posted on YouTube. They're mostly from 2007, but certainly worth watching. Check out a couple here. The first video is a feature from Mitchell & Ness showing all the Phillies jerseys over the years. ------------------------------------------ And the second video features a profile of the grounds crew and their activities, with a humorous cameo from Ryan Howard near the end.