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Ryan Howard is delusional

Apr 7, 2011, 8:23 AM EDT

Phillies' Howard smiles after scoring the game-winning run against the Astros during their National League baseball game in Philadelphia

Ryan Howard had a great game last night — 4 for 4, a homer, two doubles, a walk and two RBI — and he’s had a hot start. So maybe what he had to say after last night’s game can be chalked up to adrenaline or something. But whatever caused him to say this, it’s not reality-based:

“The statement we’ve made is us being us,” Howard said. “A lot of people counted us out.”

Who counted you out, Ryan?  Who counted out the team that has only dropped one game? That has the best rotation in baseball? That has won its division for four straight years and even on the young season remains in first place? That was picked by a plurality if not a majority of commentators (this one included) to with the NL pennant?  I’ve seen concern voiced about the lineup and team health, but I’ve not seen anyone’s concern that even approached a level of counting you out.  People have counted the Pirates out. No one, unless they’re just trolling for a reaction, has counted the Phillies out.

I don’t mean to pick on Howard. For one thing it’s possible that this was taken out of context and he was referring only to the team’s offense (UPDATE: confirmed, he was talking just about the offense), though that would be silly, because they’ve only had one game in which they haven’t scored at least five runs (they’ve gone 5, 9, 7, 1, and 10).  And of course he’s a sensible and thoughtful guy who normally gives sensible and thoughtful quotes. But it says something about the athlete’s psyche if even someone as level-headed as Ryan Howard feels like he has to play the “no one believed in us card.” I think someone — maybe Nick Swisher or CC Sabathia — said something along these lines about the Yankees last week. too. That was still crazy, but it was even less crazy for a 2011 Yankees player to say it than a 2011 Phillies player.

But hey, if this kind of thing is motivating Howard — and the fact that he is now batting .524 on the season shows that, yep, he’s motivated — good for him.

(thanks to Jeremy for the heads up)

  1. Matthew Flint - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    You took this out of context. I watched the post game and he was referring to the lineup. They asked about all the hits the team is getting.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:39 AM

      If that’s the case I wasn’t the one who took it out of context. There’s no sense in the game story that he was referring only to the offense.

      But even if he was: how is noting that the offense could be a weakness on an otherwise strong team “counting them out.” People have noted it as a potential concern. Not as something that will kill the team. And, apart from Tuesday’s game, they haven’t had any problems scoring runs.

      • Matthew Flint - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:47 AM

        http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson/id/6182577/phillies-struggling-offense
        http://phillysportsdaily.com/phillies/2011/03/23/can-the-phils-offense-support-the-pitching/
        http://www.philliedelphia.com/philliedelphia/2011/03/what-offense.html

        Just of few of many, most of which were by the local media and probably wouldn’t show up in the national media. I think the point of what Ryan was saying is that everyone thought last year was a start of a decline, but the players think it was an off year and they’ll be back to form. I tend to agree with the players but I’m a homer so it’s hard to take me seriously about such things.

      • vader000 - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:51 AM

        It seems like you’re the one just trolling for reaction. Why would u even write this before finding out the context. This is not anywhere near news, just bashing a team you don’t root for.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:53 AM

        There is absolutely nothing more tired than Philly fans who think that anything remotely negative said about their team is “bashing” and that everyone who comments on them is doing so from the perspective of their rooting interests.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:54 AM

        And Matthew: 29 of ESPN’s 45 so-called experts picked Philly to win the East. There is a big difference between noting a weakness and saying that the team should be doubted or is in decline.

      • Matthew Flint - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:58 AM

        Craig, be realistic. You just called the guy “delusional” because he thinks people were discounting an offense that scored the second most runs in the NL last year, in an off year. And you did so before checking any facts on the context of the quote. Just because the 20 Braves fans besides yourself don’t come on here and belittle other teams with you and we actually have a fan base does not mean we are being reactionary. You’re way off on this one. Tired is your posts looking to get a rise out of Philly fans.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:04 AM

        The definition of a delusion is “a false belief or opionion.”

        I would like you to find one example of someone seriously “counting the Phillies out.” Not saying that the offense is a concern. Not saying that they may have trouble scoring runs. But truly saying that, with this offense, the Phillies cannot compete. Which is what counting someone out means.

        And I find the way some Phillies fans react to things to be most peculiar. If someone says that the Phillies have problems, they’re called a hater. If someone says that, no, the Phillies don’t have problems and says that those that believe these crazy people are off base, they’re … still haters.

        Nothing short of “Go Phillies! You Rule!” satisfies certain people.

      • Matthew Flint - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:12 AM

        But everyone’s belief in the Phillies was because of pitching, which is no surprise. That to me would be counting the Phillies OFFENSE out. Which is what he was talking about.

      • jcantwell82 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        Craig,

        I’ve been reading your blog for the better part of a year now, and enjoy it. Your site is a great resource for baseball and op-pieces. I am a Phillies fan, but have no problem with the the Phillies jabs you put out there. But, I think on this subject, you are letting your Braves fanhood completely overreact to a statement made by Howard, and then unfairly bashing Phillies fans for pointing that out. You obviously wrote that piece based on an article that took his statement out of context. When I first read that, I had a similar reaction as yours, but put into context, was more understandable. And with your current knowledge of what was meant by the statement, you would have to admit, 90% of this piece is off base now.

      • mharenza - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:16 AM

        http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jon_heyman/04/01/opening.questions/index.html

        referring to the Phillies middle of the order sans Howard as “scrappers” and “fill-ins”….don’t think those turns are all that glowing and could be construed as counting them out. Essentially saying that even the the staff is great, it will not be enough to compensate for the offense.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:24 AM

        If Heyman is the best authority for counting the Phillies out, well, I’ll just let that stand on its own.

      • thumper001 - Apr 7, 2011 at 1:42 PM

        C’mon Craig,

        The headline as stated is incendiary. In today’s world filled with xanax users, PC types, grammar nazis, and the like, making a headline that states Howard is “delusional” is a pretty serious claim.

        I expected some serious red meat with those potatoes after reading that. It’s not there. I expected him to have said something whacked, like: “Our team as assembled today, makes the Murderer’s Row look like a girls softball team”, or some other similar pablum.

        Consider this: in professional sports, it’s a known strategy for a team to find unity via an “us against them” team collective attitude (using it to fill the hole left by the Uttley injury or the Werth free agency, for instance). Delivered behind real talent, it can drive a team over the top (and its a long, unpredictable haul to the endgame here), As a Braves fan, do you really want Howard and Co. to have any added motivation to knock your kids into the dirt every time they meet? Didn’t think so…better to let sleeping giants lie.

        Besides, calling Howard delusional feeds right into that. So, if I’m right about what Howard is angling for overall, who really miscalculated here? File it under “any publicity is good publicity if it solidifies the team”…

  2. joepags - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    counting them out, was refered to of the phils lineup, as stated by matt. come on guys your media, do alittle investigating…. true sports writers are a lost art

  3. cleverbob - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    I don’t think anyone was counting them (the offense) out, but there were definitely question marks since Werth is gone, Utley is hurt, and Rollins and the rest of the gang were basically coming off a down year. Can we expect them to keep up this pace? Absolutely not, but we can dream.

  4. kiwicricket - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    Howard was obviously talking about Chris Fiorentino. Guy’s been down on the Phillies for 6 months now!

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:20 AM

      Boom! There goes the dynamite!

  5. bigxrob - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Not sure how this post could be construed as “bashing” Howard. Craig wrote in the post:
    “And of course he’s a sensible and thoughtful guy who normally gives sensible and thoughtful quotes. But it says something about the athlete’s psyche if even someone as level-headed as Ryan Howard feels like he has to play the “no one believed in us card.”

    Refering to someone as “level headed”, “sensible”, and known for “thoughtful quotes” is about as complimentary as you are going to see in todays media. Further, he was refering to the “psyche” of athletes in general, not Howard in particular.

  6. Joe - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Of course, it’s only five games. Just because they’ve scored some runs early on doesn’t mean the offense won’t be a cause for occasional concern.

  7. sdelmonte - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    Maybe, given that the Phils lost a big lead, Ryan thought he was a Met and that he was counted out of the game?

  8. schmedley69 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    Craig, after Chase Utley went down, there were a lot of talking heads who did pretty much count the Phillies offense out, saying that they wouldn’t score runs without Werth and Utley. Can’t blame them for feeling that way, because the Phils had trouble scoring runs with them last year, but there was a lot of flapping of the gums by the so-called “experts.”

  9. mrznyc - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    When you realized you had taken the quote out of context, why didn’t you take the story down? A very legitimate question.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      Because (a) I added the context; and (b) because the context changes little if anything about it, which should be clear from the post itself.

      • vader000 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:27 AM

        The context doesn’t change your delusional headline? Get a grip dude, you jumped the gun and made a mistake, you’re only making it worse. Good to see your Philly fan stereotypes are still strong.

      • cur68 - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        To some extent that headline is hyperbole, I believe. The comments that obviously favor Howard that come after point to this. It’s a bit of a laugh to call someone like Howard ‘delusional’ and legitimate to point out his team position in the MLB at large is rather good offensively and excellent defensively him referring to them as being written off as being far fetched. Craig’s piece stands up as fair reporting mixed with amused opinion IMO. I think the Phillii Phaithphul have grown so used to being ripped on they’ve become hypersensitive to it and are now unable to perceive some humor and rather mild criticism. You guys should be like Cub’s & Met’s fans for the opposite reason; they are so used to being slammed for how awful their team is they join in the fun. You can have a laugh to you know; your teams so good it’s laughable when your star hitter says they were ‘written off’.

    • bigxrob - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:27 AM

      I don’t think you will ever see a post disappear on this site, just updates to it if there are errors.

  10. Chris Fiorentino - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    People picked the Phillies because of their rotation, Craig. Ryan Howard isn’t talking about the rotation, nor is he talking about the Phillies team in general. He is referring to the offense, and how everybody thought they would struggle without Utley and Jayson “Babe Ruth” Werth. He was referring to the fact that many people said they would struggle to score runs without that big right-handed bat in the lineup.

    Yeah, the Big Piece was puffing his chest out a little bit…probably a little premature because, while I think everybody went a little too overboard on how much the offense was going to struggle, I do believe they will eventually struggle during the dog days of June when they are 10 games up in the division.

    But, Craig, to be fair, your headline is a complete bash on the guy. “Ryan Howard is delusional”? I thought I was going to read that he said something like “We are going to win 120 games this year!!” All he said was that “A lot of people counted us out” and he was referring to the OFFENSE. I don’t find that delusional even a little bit. I find it pretty right-on.

  11. kellyb9 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    So what? The guy used the wrong media comment cliche. He meant to say something like “We’re just taking it one game at a time, and god willing…”

  12. Jonny 5 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    The scrutiny I mentioned last night in the Mark Cuban post kinda fits this perfectly. Sure its an opinion pc and I’m cool with that. But it sheds some understanding on Cuban’s point of view.

  13. Brian - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    can everyone just shut up about this? Craig was perfectly ok to write this, because it’s an interesting story and he’s absolutely right about what he said. Philly fans are too sensitive about this kind of crap, and though I understand it because I’ve lived through 2 decades of sub-mediocrity, it’s old, tired and stupid. So everyone please chill out, get off Craig’s back and stop acting like a dig on Ryan Howard is the equivalent of calling your mom a sl*t. It’s unbecoming of an entire region that’s already pretty unbecoming.

  14. Jonny 5 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    The story I anticipated was “Declining” Howard goes 4 for 4 last night. :p

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      The true Ryan Howard would have gone 6 for 3 with a 5 run HR. It’s happened before. Look it up, I know you won’t!

  15. minnesconsin - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    what a fine group of phillie-homer commenters we have aboard this morning. Not one of you is acknowledging the fact that the writer who actually took the quote out of context was the AP’s Rob Maaddi. (not to mention using the tired “triple short of the cycle” line, to boot!) Craig merely responded to the information Maaddi presented. Although the piece is pretty much all about offense, nowhere in the copy does Maaddi contextualize Howard’s quote.

    I swear, phils fans have to be the most hyper-sensitive, painfully defensive breed of knee-jerk reactors in the sports world.

    • jcantwell82 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:32 AM

      as i wrote earlier “You obviously wrote that piece based on an article that took his statement out of context. When I first read that, I had a similar reaction as yours, but put into context, was more understandable”

      • jcantwell82 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:37 AM

        I just thinking the word “delusional” is what is upsetting us Phillies fans. It’s a very pointed word. If the name of the article was “Ryan Howard says some crazy sh!t!”, I could go with that, cause its funny and more forgiving (in my opinion)

    • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      How exactly does Maaddi take the line out of context??? He just quotes Howard. That’s all. He doesn’t call him delusional like Craig does. He simply writes the line and moves on. Craig takes that line from this story and calls Ryan Howard delusional.

      I swear, Philly bashers who have no clue, and can’t seem to figure out how to READ, are the most idiotic people in the sports world.

      • nps6724 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:41 AM

        “How exactly does Maaddi take the line out of context???”

        Because he never once points out Howard is talking specifically of the offense as opposed to the entire team. Howard said “us” 3 times in the quote. What would you think he means by “us” without that context? The entire team.

        Philly fans are so damn sensitive it’s hilarious. They always talk about how tough Philly is and how tough their fans are, but any negative comment makes them cry.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        Negative comments that are just plain wrong is the problem, nps. Like I said below, if Craig owned up to his silly mistake, this would all be over. But he continues to harp, both here and on Twitter, that he is right even if Howard is just talking about the offense. And that is just stupid and wrong.

        By the way…to me, taking a line out of context would be just that…taking a line out of context. He didn’t do that…he simply quoted the line. Craig took it out of context and posted a blog entry calling Howard delusional for saying it.

        Funny how this comes up only one day after Mark Cuban calls out internet bloggers who write shit and throw it against the wall to see what sticks. I just never thought I would get this kind of BS from Craig. If Aaron had written this, then fought for it, I would not be surprised. But not Craig.

      • minnesconsin - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:52 AM

        I can read. You can too. Comprehension seems to be another story though, Chris.

        Maaddi gives a one-line quote from Howard with no further explanation of what he might be talking about. This is the definition of quoting “out of context.” When an athlete says “a lot of people counted us out,” it’s assumed that “us” = “the team.” The lack of context in Maaddi’s original article leaves the quote open to mis-interpretation, and it’s just as much “bad journalism” as the nonsense your’e accusing Craig of.

        Jcantwell82 — oh noes, somebody called a millionaire slugger a mean name! If you’ve been around this blog even sporadically since its inception, you would know the HBT crew toss the word “delusional” around fairly often. A sampling of headlines from the past couple of years:

        Hey, Chuck Greenberg was delusional after all!
        Alberto Gonzalez is unhappy with role, delusional about ability
        Jeff Francoeur is selfish and deluded
        Great Moments in Delusional Thinking
        Experts: the City of San Jose is delusional when it comes to the A’s

        and those are just the headlines. Delve into the content itself and you’ll find treasure trove more. so don’t worry, your poor little Ryan Howard isn’t all alone in this war. And he doesn’t need you defensive crybaby phils fans to protect his good name.

      • nps6724 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:52 AM

        If you simply quote someone without conveying context, then you are insinuating they mean exactly what the quote says. So again, Craig didn’t make a mistake in that regard, the AP writer did.

        Again, it is on the writer to PROVIDE context. If he doesn’t then each statement is taken at face value. Which is what Craig did. Howard said “us”. Unless context is given to explain “us” = “the offense”, then everyone would assume “us” = “the team”.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:02 AM

        OK, I will concede to you guys that I guess the line was quoted in the short-summary of the article out of context. But it is just a factual story, with no time or room to quote Howard’s entire interview.

        But I for one would definitely want to get the entire quote of what Howard said and what he was talking about before I went onto a well-acclaimed blog site for NBC and called Ryan Howard delusional. This is the kind of BS that Mark Cuban was referring to yesterday when he basically said internet bloggers throw shit against the wall to see what sticks.

        And I CERTAINLY would have then added an update and a correction when I found out that the true context was that Howard was referring to the offense specifically and not the team. Because it is there that Craig has me disagreeing…not taking the line out of context. I can see where that wasn’t his fault. It is his fault though when he tries to make a case that the Phillies offense was not counted out this season when it clearly was.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        Chris: you do see the update that I put in the article right? Like almost two hours ago. It doesn’t change my opinion about it, but to the extent I passed along an out-of-context quote, that was remedied within minutes of the post going live.

      • nps6724 - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        Chris, I first read the article at 8:41 CST. “(UPDATE: confirmed, he was talking just about the offense)” was already in Craig’s article.

        Maaddi wrote 935 words in that piece. He had more than enough time and space to put the quote into context. Here’s all it would’ve taken: “The statement we’ve made is us being us,” Howard said. “A lot of people counted us (the offense) out.”

        Context.

        If anything, Cuban should be whining about the “real” sports writers who can’t quote someone with context correctly.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:13 AM

        Yeah, I see that. I guess I am just disagreeing with the way you say that it doesn’t change your opinion of it. I mean, to call a guy delusional because he says that people counted out the offense, when the fact remains that many writers did count out the offense, is wrong.

        If the Phillies were averaging 2 runs a game, wouldn’t everybody be talking about how right they were about the offense struggling? Of course. So Howard is just saying “Screw you all!!! I got your struggling offense right here!!! We don’t need no stinking Jayson Werth!!!!

      • macjacmccoy - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:43 AM

        nps your probably the kind of guy that would say nothing to another man who is cursing out your wife/gf . Sticking up for something you care about isnt crying. And it also doesnt show a lack of toughness actually the opposite. Hearing someone say something you dont agree with and saying nothing in return is what shows a lack of toughness.

      • nps6724 - Apr 8, 2011 at 8:09 AM

        And Mac, you’re probably the type of guy who would whine and cry and scream “It’s not fair!” every time someone disagreed with your wife/gf. Too many Philly fans get up in arms and throw tantrums anytime their team isn’t praised to the nth degree. Anything that isn’t 100% praise, no matter how true, is followed by your incessant whining and cries of “mistreatment”.

        You have a very good team. Act like it. As much as I dislike Boston and New York fans, at least they don’t act like 6-year old girls whenever their team is criticized.

    • mercyflush - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      so Craig didn’t write the “Delusional” headline?

  16. Gobias Industries - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    I have a 2-year-old and a 2-week-old. You people are making me wish I was at home with them right now where there would surely be less whining and pouting. What is it about sports that turns grown men into a bunch of little babies?

  17. Chris Fiorentino - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Look, it is one thing to write a story or go on Twitter and say something about a line from Ryan Howard without knowing the context, but assuming something about the line. I mean, if Howard was talking about the team, then I would DEFINITELY agree 100% with Craig here.

    But the fact remains, and has been shown in numerous articles linked in this comments section, from more writers than Heyman, who Craig writes a snarky comment to above, that many people did count out the Phillies offense this season. They said “How are they going to score runs” I have heard Stark on the Fanatic with Mike Miss ask how they are going to score runs. How they scored only 3 runs or less in 77 games last year. And that was with Werth and Utley.

    Craig, I think if you had simply said that Howard’s line was taken out of context by you, all would be well. Instead, you have to continue to argue that even if he is referring to just the offense, he is still wrong. That is why you fail here. That is why you have more thumbs downs than me, which is insane.

    • nps6724 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Craig didn’t take it out of context. The AP writer did.

    • nps6724 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:46 AM

      And all those negative comments Craig received just lets us know how many Philly fans have read this article today.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      Chris: If, before this morning, I had written “the Phillies should be counted out of the NL East race because of their offense” you would have excoriated me. And you would have excoriated anyone who believed me.

      How, then, is Ryan Howard taking such a line seriously — or suggesting that anyone did, which he must have in order for it to provide motivational fodder for him — now suddenly OK?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        Ryan Howard was simply saying that everybody counted out the offense. OK, not everybody, but many writers, like Stark, said they will struggle this season to score runs without Werth and Utley. and they haven’t…yet. So he was beating his chest a little. Come on, you don’t think that people were counting out the Phillies offense this year? Not the team…not the starters…the offense??

        OK, let me ask you this…what has been the one universally known weakness for the Phillies coming into this season? Can we agree it was the bullpen? Well, what if the bullpen put up like 30 straight no-hit innings this year…can Ryan Madson say “A lot of people counted us out” or would he also be delusional?

        Again, if Howard was talking about the team, then by all means..he’s freaking delusional. But the context of his quote was that he was referring specifically to the offense, which was, in fact, counted out by many experts as being a weakness and they have not been weak so far. So he was beating his chest.

        He certainly wasn’t being delusional.

    • macjacmccoy - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:35 AM

      nps Craig is responsible for what he writes. It doesnt matter how many people take it out of context before him it is his job as a writer to do the research on a subject before he writes about it. So yes it was taken out of context before but it was also taken out of context by Craig. But Craig didnt stop there he went on to disparge Howard for what he said which was never done in the orginal story.

  18. Jonny 5 - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    Lol! hook line and sinker. If there ever was a finer example of over sensitive fans… I never saw it. Go Phillies !

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 7, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      I know I fall for it at times, and I kick myself when that happens. But Phightins Phans need to realize something here:

      Every couple weeks or so, Craig will put out something on here that is designed to get under the skin of a fanbase, and the two most likely to get the number of clicks and amount of ire up are the Yanker and Phils fanbases. Ergo, the fans come out with the hackles up, raising the number of comments, which in itself, boosts the number of clicks and comments even more.

      It looks like it worked again this time. Unfortunately that also means that it’ll happen again, and probably sooner rather than later.

      Craig, I love ya like the pasty undead booger eating cellar dwelling blogmeister whose words I read every day (just about), but you don’t really need to do this—at least as often as you do. Once in a while is okay, since it’s somewhat interesting to watch people fall all over themselves trying to say that you’re a spiteful hack who has it out for their team. But every couple weeks is kind of overkill.

      That said, CAKE AND THE PHIGHTINS RULE!!!!!!!!!!!

      • nps6724 - Apr 7, 2011 at 12:07 PM

        “But every couple weeks is kind of overkill.”

        If the Yanks and Phils quit giving out such ample opportunities, it wouldn’t happen so often.

        But yes, cake does indeed rule.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 7, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        I don’t know man. I love this kind of stuff. It gets people excited. I’m glad Craig goes here occasionally. Maybe We just have thicker skin in NJ? I have a whole bunch of friends rooting for the Yanks and Mutt, and we’re tough on everyone. And nobody gets pissed. He gets a reaction that is warranted for sleeping with someone’s little sister and bragging about it. Maybe I’m too chilled out?

  19. mikewatty - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Craig just got his ass kicked by Matt Flint.

  20. mercyflush - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Red Sox and Yankees fans are just as sensitive. Mets fans are in witness protection. If the Braves had fans they’d be sensitive too.

  21. jcantwell82 - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    I just need Craig to say “Go Phillies! You Rule!” and I’ll be satisfied and be able to continue on my day.

  22. Chris Fiorentino - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    If ever there was a blog entry posted on this website that deserved to have the person quoted in the article being called “delusional” in the headline, it was this one…

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/19/mark-teixeira-calls-the-yankees-underdogs/

  23. thevandalen - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Ryan Howard is completely delusional but not because of that out-of-context quote.

  24. heffmessina - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    gotta say Craig I totally disagree with you on this one. I follow plenty of Phillies fans on Twitter and believe me I know how annoying they can be. But I just don’t see whats wrong with Howard saying that. Ever since he got the big contract he has been a whipping boy and labeled as overrated, especially with the way he performed in 2010. With Werth gone and Utley hurt for who knows how long, many people expected a big drop off for the offense. And I think plenty of people still expect it despite how well they have hit in the first 5 games. Howard is the one that really has to carry the offense and he knows it.

  25. cshearing - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    I do wish the word “delusional” was not in the headline, as I think that has fanned the flames and gotten Philly fans riled up. What I find interesting about the article is the notion that so many athletes feel that need to be the underdog at all times. Craig mentioned CC Sabathia said something similar last week. I get the impression that many athletes need that mindset to perform at their best. It is a special player/team that knows they are the best, says they are the best, then goes out there and performs like the best.

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Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Soler (3687)
  2. Y. Molina (3291)
  3. R. Castillo (2948)
  4. B. Posey (2154)
  5. D. Murphy (2101)
  1. D. Wright (2082)
  2. B. Colon (2000)
  3. M. Wacha (1965)
  4. A. Rizzo (1902)
  5. J. Votto (1812)