Recently things got grumbly between Ryan Howard and the Phillies as Howard’s playing time was reduced. He’s clearly on his way out of Philly and, as a wise man once said, everything ends badly; otherwise it wouldn’t end.
But there’s at least some chance that Howard’s end will be somewhat enjoyable for him. Pete Mackanin said yesterday that the first baseman will start Howard in each of the final two home weekends, at least against righthanders. Previously Mackanin said that Tommy Joseph would get those starts too, but he reversed course, acknowledging that Howard deserves a sendoff and that a handful of at bats for Joseph wouldn’t matter.
That’s the right call. Howard may not have been the player everyone hoped he’d be these past few years, but he is still loved by Phillies fans for what he did before. They deserve the chance to cheer him one last time and he deserves the chance to hear those cheers.