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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

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I know I have been a downer, but I would love to see this team prove they are better than their .520 winning % suggests. The offense can carry this club if it scores consistently every night. I'm still thinking Gillick will try to improve the pitching, but that's an extremely difficult task, considering the Phillies lack of prospects in the minors, and you don't want to deal away what we do have.

The remarkable thing about Howard is that he's been unbelievably consistent since he was called up last July. I can't remember him having a single prolonged slump, to which sluggers of his ilk are usually prone. His average has been steadily .280-.300 all this time even though he strikes out a lot. That means when he hits the ball, look out. And considering he's already a pretty good hitter who has exceptional plate coverage and shows the ability to make adjustments and look for pitches to drive, it stands to reason that he's likely to improve with increased experience and knowledge of the pitchers. Too bad he's turning into Ricky Jordan with the glove, but that doesn't really faze me. If you have a grasp of Phillies history, you'll realize you're witnessing a considerable contribution to it in the making when you watch him. It was the ultimate blessing in disguise when Thome went down last year.

I have to think that the ability to adjust and adapt at the plate that Howard has shown throughout his career, both in the minors and with the Phillies, will also help him to become a better fielder eventually, too. He seems like an intelligent guy who will figure it out. As Keith Hernandez likes to remind people at every opportunity, playing first base isn't easy, despite what "they" say.

Howard is a better fielder than we've seen, which only frustrates me more when watching him make plays like last night.

What is most remarkable to me about him is his ability to adjust in game. He can look awful in one AB and come back in the next one and smoke a pitch to the opposite field. We rarely see that in veterans let alone sophomores.

Everyone should be happy about the Thome trade, but in truth the Phils should be happier. They may have made their best trade since bringing Steve Carlton here. Rowand, Gonzalez, all that money saved and Howard for the next decade!!! What did we do to deserve such bounty?

Now, Pat, go out and get us some more pitching.

Right now, it's a deal that helps both teams. But it should be helping the Phillies for much longer than it will the WhiteSox. Thome has been on a torrid pace yet Howard is right there with him.

Chicago gets one of the top left handed sluggers in baseball on pace to hit 50-60 hrs and only have to pay about $7.5M. Not too shabby for ChiSox either.

Howard is starting to catch fire this is very good news for phillies fans!!!!!

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