Phillies Notes: Howard takes Bonds’ advice, swings with it

During the off-season,
Ryan Howard participated in some workouts with
former Giants slugger
Barry Bonds. They met for lunch in August when
the
Phillies traveled to Los
Angeles.

They have become friends. The two kept in touch occasionally as
the season progressed. So, naturally, with the
Phillies taking on Bonds’ former
team, it was time for another chat, right?

“No, not yet,” Howard said Friday. “I may give him a call and
see what’s going on – talk some trash, maybe.”

In all seriousness, Howard said he appreciated his time with
Bonds, baseball’s all-time home-run leader.

“He was great at getting the point across,” Howard said. “I
understood everything he was saying.”

The former San Francisco slugger’s best lesson was: Don’t fret
over the little things.

“As far as the shift was concerned, if you hit a line drive to
the second baseman and he’s playing in shallow right field,
basically, why are you upset?” Howard said. “What did you do wrong?
The guy threw the pitch and you hit the ball and hit it hard. He
just happened to be in the right position. Basically what you do is
go back up there and try to do the same thing, try and hit a line
drive and hit it over him. Next thing you know, it will go over the
fence.”

Same lineup
Charlie Manuel stuck with the same lineup for
Game 1 of the NL Championship Series that he used in the final two
games of the division series. That meant
Jimmy Rollins was hitting sixth and
Shane Victorino was leading off.

Manuel said he kept Victorino at the top because the
Phillies have been winning with him
in the leadoff spot. The manager also remains unsure about Rollins’
ability to steal a base. He does not believe the shortstop is fully
recovered from a hamstring injury.

Extra bases
Vice President Biden – an ardent
Phillies fan – was in attendance for
Game 1. After
Roy Halladay’s perfect game and no-hitter,
Biden called the
Phillies pitcher. . . . Former
Phillies pitcher
Tom Gordon is in town working the series for
Sirius XM radio.