Ryan Howard sauntered into the cafeteria at Bright House Field, all smiles, and talked for nearly 20 minutes.

He laughed at points. He was combative at others. His words, however, rang hollow.

“We’ve had a bad couple years and had injuries and all that stuff, but I don’t think it’s over,” Howard said Saturday of the Phillies and the proverbial “window” in which they have to win another World Series title.

They are essentially the same words he said last year: He is healthy, the Phillies will be better, and he’s confident about that. They are coming off a disastrous season, just as they were last spring.

Who knows? His proclamations could come true, and the Phillies could be prancing into the playoffs come October. But we have all been here before. The story, if it follows the same script, does not end well.

“How do I think it’ll be different? I mean it’s just a case of staying on the field,” Howard said. “I’ve got two legs.”

That is Howard’s big contention this time around. He admitted that, last season, his left leg begin to “nag” him at the end of spring, and never got any better. That nagging left leg is the same one in which Howard tore his Achilles at the end of the 2011 season.