Ryan Howard: Window isn’t closed on Phillies

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies
Howard enters spring training healthy and hungry for a championship after setting career lows in 2012.

As Phillies spring training gets into full swing (no pun intended, well maybe) another veteran coming off a disappointing, injury-riddled season stepped to the podium and assured everyone that he was fine.

Ryan Howard addressed the masses Thursday, and he was walking without a limp.

“My Achilles is a non-factor,” Howard told reporters in Florida. “It was really a non-factor when I came back last year. It was more about building up the muscles in the rest of my leg again. I’m taking this offseason to do that and it feels a lot better.”

Howard entered the 2012 season with a myriad of problems, all stemming from his final at-bat of the 2011 season. The hulking slugger was rehabbing after tearing his Achilles, then endured an infection last spring. Howard never fully recovered and when he finally returned to the Phillies’ lineup, on July 6, he wasn’t himself.

He turned in career-lows in batting average (.219) and slugging percentage (.423), while striking out at an alarming rate. The injury drastically affected his once-majestic swing. Howard isn’t worried about the physical part anymore, now it’s about fixing his mindset.

“I have to trust myself, trust my ability, and let it fly,” Howard said. “I just have to let the inner me come out at the plate and be relaxed.”

Window closed?

Many analysts think the Phillies’ window of opportunity for winning another World Series has closed. Don’t tell that to Ryan Howard.

“There is a window of opportunity, but if you focus on the window closing, then you never let that cool breeze come in. For us, the window closes when the window closes, but right now the window is still open,” Howard said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…