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Wake Up Call: The Hangover

Oct 25, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

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calsoda

And then Howard sat in the clubhouse and stared needles through anyone who approached to talk to him. After a few minutes of that nonsense, Howard stopped pouting in public and disappeared to pout somewhere in private. Hey, I don’t blame him. Pretty sure I’d be pouting too if I’d struck out 12 times in 22 at-bats in the NLCS. — Gregg Doyle, CBS Sports

It was just over a week ago that Ryan Howard spent an afternoon hanging out at the Falcons-Eagles game, mugged for the cameras a bit, then headed across the street to Citizen’s Bank Park for Game 2 against the Giants. To many Phillies fans, this photo, of Howard hitching a ride to the park with the Phillie Phanatic, was a disturbing precursor to this photo, after a called strike three ended the whole shebang. (It was a missed call? Child please). There was some gnashing of teeth in Philly the week before, when Howard was frolicking with the Phanatic, as fans were asking, shouldn’t he be taking this a bit more seriously?

Well, maybe; or perhaps this is what happens when you face Giants pitching. They’ve made the opposition look bad all season. Now come the Rangers, and I’m pretty sure you won’t see Josh Hamilton riding on the back of an ATV to get to any of the games. I won’t lie: Watching the Phillies pratfall gave me a certain amount of satisfaction; it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving fan base. With the exception of one guy, I don’t feel the same about Rangers fans.

Here’s a good preview of the World Series; we’ll give you a couple more leading up to Game 1. See you Wednesday at AT&T, if you’re going.

Oh, by the way: Thanks for playing, ESPN.

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