New Day Dawning

Those Philly boo birds: Oh where, oh where have they gone? — Ron Costello

Howard-less Phillies Have a Ruf Road Ahead

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Darin Ruf has got to be in  the 2014 lineup.

Darin Ruf has got to be in the 2014 lineup.

In November Ruben Amaro, Jr., said on WIP radio that Ryan Howard is the key to a successful season. I think he’s got the wrong guy.

It’s Darin Ruf, who should be singing that Supremes song, what was it now, something like see about me.

There could be two scenarios for Ruf.  He ends up in right or at first. If you are any kind of Phillies fan, I don’t have to explain how he could end up at first.

Although he’s played the outfield and some third base in the minors, he’s been a first baseman. He can also play the outfield — although some think he’s a defensive liability — but with an outfield of D-Brown, Revere and Byrd, it looks like Ruf is the odd man out.

What's on his mind about  Ruf?

What’s on his mind about Ruf?

Come on boy, see about Ruf.

But he’ll end up somewhere for two reasons:  a) he’s a right handed long ball threat (14 last season in 73 games, not including the 7 he hit at Lehigh Valley); and b) there will be a spot on the Phillies for a guy who’s paid at the major league minimum and can hit 30-plus home runs.

Duh, ya think?

First, Amaro, The Cardinal, i.e., see Stanford’s mascot — come on, do I have to tell you that? get with it — has to see about Darin Ruf. Last year Howard was dismal. My son Matt called him the highest paid single-double hitter in major league  history. Matt was right. Can Ryan Howard get close to the numbers he put up in 2008 and 09?

Marlon Byrd can play center, hit, and run.

Marlon Byrd can play center, hit, and run.

Even though he’s no spring chicken — he’ll be 28 in mid-season — Ruf is hungry and wants  to prove he can hit major league home runs and drive in runs.

Well, he’s already proven that. Now he has to prove he can do it consistently. The question is, how long will The Cardinal go with Howard before he pulls the plug?

You can’t say by knee high by Fourth of July anymore because with the way

How about by Father's Day?

How about by Father’s Day?

seed companies are genetically modifying corn seed, we may know by Memorial Day, but knee high by Memorial Day doesn’t rhyme.

What if  the Big Piece has 3 home runs by Memorial Day? Is that time enough? Flag Day? Women’s Equality Day? Drexel ROTC Day?

But then, let’s say The Cardinal’s prayers — and all Phillies’ fans prayers — are answered and Howard becomes the Howard of old?

Then what happens to Ruf ?

Let’s see, can the Phillies exist on this outfield?  (based on 2013 HR and RBI numbers): D-Brown – 27/83; M.Byrd – 24/88; and D.Ruf – 14/30 (73 games).

The Cardinal held off from getting outfield help because he already has it, but he has to let it play out. In my mind, here’s what happens: Ben Revere gets traded. He’ll be gone by the time pitchers and catchers report on February 13.

“Won’t you hurryand see about me.”

See below the Supremes who  sang this song in 1964, the same year the Philliesoh, never mind about  that. If you want to get up and dance it’s okay.

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