I'm tired. Just beat. Frankly, it's all I can do to keep my eyes open or from pitching forward off the couch and onto the floor. If I'm not rubbing my eyes I'm yawning. And if I'm not yawning, I'm quickly trying to snap my head back up after quickly dozing off.
In other words, I'm tired.
But the reason for my languor is not from too much exercise or other "lifestyle" choices. Generally, I eat well, though this week I had my first pizza, beer and ice cream-type dessert of the year. I figure a person needs to earn those types of things and after four months I relented. Besides, the next shot I get at those types of things won't be until November so I might as well enjoy the week of letting go.
Still, I get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and take vitamins. Additionally, I give badass lessons on the side for folks interested in becoming a man of steel though the ability to fly and the vertical leap are not in the syllabus. We just deal in hard-headed toughness.
Anyway, the reason why I'm beat and bone weary is because of all these damn late-night starts for the Phillies. Sure, Arizona, where the Phillies are knee-deep in a four-game set with the Diamondbacks, is just two hours behind us on the east, but that's an extra two hours I have to think about a nap and rearranging the daytime schedule. Just wait until the Phillies get to San Francisco on Friday night when the first pitch isn't thrown until after 10 p.m.
The thing about time zones is that they get better the farther west you go. I remember Randy Wolf explaining the reason why he was a Braves fan as a kid instead of the nearby Dodgers was because the Braves were always on TV when he got home from school. He could come home, put his books down and there was Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz pitching for the Braves every day at 4 p.m. Perhaps the fact that California kids get so much more exposure to the game than the kids living in the Eastern Time zone is the reason why there are so many west coasters in the Majors.
We get bad traffic, foul attitudes, snowy winters and humidity and they get 300 days of sunshine a year, beautiful landscapes and the Braves game at 4 p.m.
Surely that theory as to why California is home to the most baseball players is correct, but it doesn't do anything for hardcore Phillies' fans that need some sleep. Better yet, imagine trying to follow a game when you're fatigued after a long day, you finally get the kids off to bed after an argument with a four-year old over whether it's the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Leaning Tower of Pizza only to settle in front of the tube on the night Jamie Moyer is pitching.
The drug companies ought to try to make a pill that can put a guy out faster than a west-coast game pitched by Jamie Moyer. Hell, that's a narcotic.
Inevitably, though, it's about the seventh inning when you finally shake off the cob webs and look up to see red caps and visiting grays dashing around the bases in the desert. But just when you think it's some sort of Alice in Wonderland-type dream without the backwards clock, big No. 6 takes a called third strike and reality returns.
So yeah, Ryan Howard's slump is well into its second month and has shown the slightest interest in taking a break. In fact, it's really quite confusing why Howard's dead weight continues to fill up the cleanup spot in the batting order between the hot-hitting duo of Chase Utley and Pat Burrell.
Worse, it seems as if Howard really doesn't have a clue at all right now. Always quick to make adjustments at every level of his pro career, Howard seems perplexed as his average dips closer to .160 and his strikeout total edges closer to triple digits with each passing week.
Remember, it's still May.
Nevertheless, don't be surprised if Howard finishes the season with a .220 average and 220 strikeouts even though to boost his average that high would take some work. In the meantime, Howard could at least feign interest in the field or stop acting like the umps are ringing him up on bad or borderline calls. He should take his medicine like a man or at least in the same manner in which he fought for the $10 million for the season.
Better yet, dig this quote lifted from Scott Lauber:"To me, it's all about seeing the ball and having good at-bats," Howard said. "To everyone else, it's about results. That's how it is in the media and everywhere else. So that's that. People see what they want to see. There's a lot of stuff that you don't see, other stuff that's going on. I try to do what I can to help the team win in whatever ways I can."
No, trying to help the team in whatever way he can is something Eric Bruntlett or Chris Coste says. For Ryan Howard, who whined about money for the past two years, it is about results. If he wants to blame the media for focusing on things like "results," fine. But if that's the case he shouldn't go crying to the media when he doesn't get the contract he wants or when his new video game comes out.
Then again, video games are for guys with results so that's that.
Here's a theoretical:
Who is out of baseball first? Jim Thome or Ryan Howard.