Thursday, April 7, 2011

Top 10 people who counted the Phillies out

"The statement we've made is us being us. A lot of people counted us out." - Ryan Howard, 4/6/11

The first baseman on the two-time defending NL champions, the folks with a rotation that might rank among the greatest ever to play the game, is feeling the disrespect! Who are the people who counted these plucky underdogs out?

10) Rod Barajas. The scorned ex-catcher totally thinks the team is not going to do it this year, at least not without his LA-leading standards of excellence. And since he's been on an extensive experience on also-ran teams, you have to respect his experience. Or the fact that years after his forgettable reign, Philly Fan still hates him good. He's totally got the Braves winning the East.

9) Jayson Werth. Last year's Ben Francisco wannabe took the money and ran to DC, where he should be seeing many of his old friends, since Nats Fan might have the smallest home-field advantage in the league. And with a rotation where Livan Hernandez is listed as the ace, he's not just sniffing glue. He's eating it.

8) Mr. Met. Sure, he's a mute figure with comically oversized hands and a tragic skull problem, but that doesn't mean his opinion doesn't sting Ryno's hide. Until the Mets' mascot puts away his uniform and walks away from the game, he's a walking affront. To many things, really.

7) Teddy Roosevelt. Howard totally thinks that his winless streak in the Nationals' mascot race is a meta-commentary on his team's chances at taking the title this year. Also, he really objects to how TR co-opted the true Cuban revolution, which led directly to the Castro regime. When you are looking for motivation for your underdog status, there's nothing better than knowing your Latin American geopolitical history, really.

6) Yankee Fan. So what that this guy is still frothing at the mouth over not getting Cliff Lee signed, or that it was the frothing that led to the lack of a signature in the first place? Howard makes sure to pull in those Noo Yawk stations on satellite, and assumes that every time they are talking about the Red Sawx, it's code for the Phillies. And he may be right.

5) Luis Castillo. Luis' disbelief in the team's chances was so total that they had to release him, despite the fact that the team is going to be without Chase Utley for months, and that his replacements don't bring everything to the table that Luis does. Namely, age and a poor attitude. Feel the disrespect!

4) Youppi. Do you need to be an active mascot for a living team to show your hate? Ryno says no, and knows that all of the old Expos -- Rusty Staub, Steve Rogers, Tim Raines and Hubie Brooks -- get together in a smoked meat shop in the French Quarter and make that laughing frog noise about the Phillies' chances at staying healthy with an older roster. That's bilingual disrespect!

3) Pat Jordan. When the NY Times' man with a middling minor league record spent five thousand words a week ago in pedantic disparagement of the Phillies' aces, Ryno was able to read between the lines to see that the man's heart belongs to the Marlins. Almost as much as the sound of his own voice.

2) Bob Costas. Do you remember how Smuggy, The Elf Who Could Not Stop covered the Stephen Strassburg Unveiling last year? Ryno surely does, and has massaged that slight into an elaborate DC conspiracy of Philly Hate. We're through the looking glass, people...

1) Ryan Howard His Own Damned Self. In an incredible twist ending, it turns out that Howard's paranoid delusions also come with a side order of schizophrenia. The first baseman's evil twin puts on a Howard Eskin mask and crown, speaks into a pretend WIP microphone, and systematically attempts to suck the joy out of every minute of every day with his mere existence. Then Good Ryan comes to the surface to use his Power Of Hate to hurt baseballs. It's a fairly stable dichotomy that can't possibly end in an over-the-top blood-splatted shoot-'em-'up ending. No sir, no how.

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