Since Ryan Howard grounded out to end the Phillies’ 2011 season last Friday, there has been much derisiveness pointed in his direction. After all, he has the unique distinction of being the last guy at the plate in the last two seasons, so that is, in part, understandable. But now that fans have had their chance to shake off that series loss, someone (or many someones) posed the following: What if Ryan Howard would have homered, and not grounded out, on the same play in which he ruptured his Achilles?
Why someone would bring up that delightful scenario less than a week removed, I have no idea, I just work here. But I digress, as it does make for an interesting scenario in which our felled first baseman is not the goat, but the hero. Such an occurrence – staving off elimination with one out to go in the bottom of the ninth – is not only one of those “if it was a movie you wouldn’t have believed it” situations, but it would have immediately vaulted Ryan Howard into the realm usually reserved for the likes of Matt Stairs.
"If an accident to a runner is such as to prevent him from proceeding to a base to which he is entitled, as on a home run hit out of the playing field, or an award of one or more bases, a substitute runner shall be permitted to complete the play."So manager Charlie Manuel could have used anybody off the bench - even a pitcher - to keep the team's hopes alive.