Dr. Strangeglove: On Ryan Howard and Buying a Car

Posted by Michael Baumann, Mon, June 20, 2011 12:30 PM | Comments: 64
Analysis, Dr. Strangeglove, Opinion, Posts

I drive a five-year-old Toyota Corolla. I bought it used when I had a little bit of money, and knowing that I’d be a broke grad student for the foreseeable future, I was willing to pay a little more up front to purchase a car that would require a minimal investment for the next five or six years. My car is just fine–it gets great mileage, it seats four comfortably, it handles, accelerates, and brakes responsively, if not sportily. I like it and find it useful, but I don’t love it. And while I would probably buy the same car if I had it all to do over, I wouldn’t call mine a great car by any stretch of the imagination.

A new, similarly-equipped Corolla would run you about $19,000, which is solid car money. For that money, you should get honest, reliable, comfortable transportation. If you’re paying in the neighborhood of $20,000 for honest, reliable, comfortable transportation, I think you’re doing okay. But if you’re paying upper-end BMW money for that, say $80,000 or more? You’ve got a problem.

I began to think of Ryan Howard as a Toyota Corolla priced as a BMW M5 when I was wondering how, exactly, the Phillies were planning on fitting Howard, Jonathan Singleton, and Larry Greene, Jr., in the same lineup five years from now. Howard, despite his elite reputation and power numbers, has not been an elite first baseman for years now, because of his defense and slipping on-base skills. That is not to say that Howard isn’t a good first baseman, a shoo-in for at least 35 home runs and an OPS around .850 or better who will be in the lineup every day and crush mistakes. The issue, going forward, will not be Howard’s production in a vacuum as it will be his production compared to his salary and the expectations that come with it.

(PHOTO: Getty)

Let’s get this out of the way, for those of you who are still reading and haven’t jumped to the comments after the first controversial statement–I am a big Ryan Howard fan, if not in an analytical sense than in a red-hat-wearing, “Chooch!”-screaming sense. I think the Phillies can win another World Series with Howard at first and hitting cleanup; teams routinely win World Series with first baseman worse than Howard. The issue is how much they’ll be paying him going forward.

Howard, who is already in the decline phase of his career, begins a five-year, $125 million contract extension next season. That is, to tie together the metaphor, BMW money for a Toyota Corolla. If you drive home in a new Corolla, your neighbors will say, “Oh, he got a new car. That’s a nice car, that Corolla.” But if you drive home in a new Corolla and your neighbors know you’ve paid 80 grand for it, they’ll call you what you are: an unabashed, mouth-breathing, feces-throwing simpleton. But despite being a stone dullard, your having overpaid for a car doesn’t diminish its quality.

There’s a school of thought that says, “It’s not our money, so why complain if the Phillies are overpaying for Howard?” On one level, that’s absolutely right, and we shouldn’t care. That $25 million a year doesn’t come out of our pockets, except through ticket and merchandise sales, the prices of which would probably go up anyway, plus no one’s forcing you to buy anything from the Phillies in the first place. From the simplest, most rational standpoint, how much Ryan Howard makes is of absolutely no importance to us.

But what makes being a fan fun? From my understanding, the fun of being a fan comes from 1) sharing a communal desire for a certain on-field outcome and 2) the history and mythology of our past and the anticipation of things to come. In simpler words, 1) wearing a hat and screaming like a moron and 2) playing armchair quarterback. I enjoy them in roughly equal parts, though that percentage certainly varies from fan to fan. Regardless of how that percentage falls for you, these are the reasons you ought to care that the Phillies are paying BMW money for a Toyota. First, it impacts negatively their ability to field a competitive team. Even if Howard produces $10-15 million worth of value a year, that’s $10-15 million the Phillies have spent on him that could be used elsewhere. For a team with finite resources (even if those resources are vast, they are still finite), that’s a huge and wasteful expenditure. From the hat-wearing perspective, Howard’s contract represents an impediment to that desired outcome. From the armchair quarterback perspective, the Howard extension represents precisely the kind of high-profile move that begs to be second-guessed.

It’s a shame that Howard’s legacy as one of the all-time great power hitters in franchise history will eventually be sullied by a payroll number. After all, we can’t fault him for taking the best deal he could find. But while the extension, which could hurt the franchise deeply in the coming years, may turn into an albatross, I hope that Howard will still keep his reputation as a good player, even if he is being paid like a great one.

Avatar of Michael Baumann

About Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann has written 229 articles on Phillies Nation.

Michael is a graduate student at Temple University who lost his childlike innocence when, at the age of 6, his dad let him stay up for the end of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Unsettled by the Phillies' recent success, he has threatened over the years to leave the team he loves if they don't start losing again, but has so far been unable to follow through. Michael spent 4 years as an undercover agent in Braves territory at the University of South Carolina, where he covered football and soccer for The Daily Gamecock before moving back up north. He began writing for The Phrontiersman in June 2009 before moving to Phillies Nation in January 2010.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Oh boy, It’s going to be a fun day at Phillies Nation.
    Consider this can of worms now officially re-opened.

    I believe Ryan Howard has been overpaid to an extent. Not to the extent that Carlos Gonzales has, or Troy Tulowitzky, or Derek Jeter, and definitely not to the extent that Jayson Werth has. And not to the extent that Ryan Madson soon will be. (by someone)

    The way things are escalating, in a couple of years, this deal may look like the bargain of the century.

    • Posts: 0 Phylan

      I can’t see how this would possibly ever be seen as a bargain, even considering the market for the foreseeable future. Even if 3 or 4 first baseman end up making more than Howard, there are probably 8 or 9 first basemen that will be more valuable than him going forward.

      • Posts: 0 Lefty

        I’m no sayer of sooth my friend, that’s why I chose the word “may”. I guess time will tell.

  • Posts: 120 Jay aka Phillyboy

    Avatar of Jay aka Phillyboy

    i agree 1000% lefty!!!!!

    • Posts: 0 Lefty

      JPB! Good to hear from you buddy, we miss you around here during game day.

      • Posts: 120 Jay aka Phillyboy

        Avatar of Jay aka Phillyboy

        Hey lefty,i miss the old crew too…..I just don’t like the new format for the gameday threads…

  • Avatar of Dropped Strike Three

    If nothing else, I think it’s completely clear that there was/is no plan for how Singleton, Greene, and Howard are going to co-exist in Philadelphia.

  • Posts: 0 Tron

    Just wait till you see what a BMW(Pujols) really costs

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Lefty, you may be very right my friend. The only reason I would care that Ryan makes that much money is if the fact that he is overpaid hamstrings management from making other necessary expenditures. And it doesn’t look like thats gonna be the case.

    The Dipsy

    • Posts: 0 Lefty

      I hope not, but I admit I don’t fully understand this “MLB debt service rule” thing. From what I read it shouldn’t be much of an impediment, but we are on the list. If they keep breaking attendance records with S.R.O. tickets, or until the Fire Marshall steps in, that shouldn’t last long.

  • Posts: 0 TheWolffer

    Ryan Howard’s contract is easily one of the worst contracts in all of MLB. He is hardly a top 10 first baseman anymore, and he is being paid as if he is a top 10 overall player. The fact that it has not even started yet makes it that much worse. This contract could cripple this team a few years from now, in my opinion.

    For me, as a fan, Howard’s contract makes him very hard to like.

  • Posts: 0 Adrian M.

    People in positions of power with a whole bunch of money to spend never think about the future. Howard’s deal was nothing but a big message that screamed out, “Hey, we blew a pile of dough on this guy because we can and most of you can’t. Haha, we rule!” Baseball is a great game, but that’s what the business side has turned into. Let’s just hope the Phillies don’t go down like Freddie and Fannie.

  • Posts: 2897 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Compared to what Pujols will get, this WILL be a bargain in a few years. If Pujols is an $80,000 BMW, Howard certainly isn’t a $20,000 Toyota Corolla. Maybe a $50,000 Acura.

  • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

    ryan howard is not a toyota corolla. he’s a lamborghini . dude’s power numbers are second to nobody in the history of the game not named ruth. gimme a break. what does this guy have to do to get some respect around here? when he retires and goes in the hall of fame on his first ballot we’ll all maybe realize then that we got to watch one of the all time greats.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    I think it’s slightly ridiculous to NOT like Ryan Howard because the Phillies felt a need to extend him at a very weird juncture last season. If anything, you should dislike Ruben Amaro. You can’t fault Howard for taking a huge extension that will take him well into his 30s. Would you turn that down? Hell no.

    He is certainly regressing as a player, but there is nothing we can do about this deal. There is really no sense in even complaining about it (although, thats what we do) because whats done is done here. Live with it because he’s here to stay. It’s one of those contracts that most teams have that they’ll have to work around. The Phillies will still be able to put competitive teams on the field even with Ryan Howard. And if he has a year or 2 left on the deal and the Phils want to swallow some money, maybe an AL Team will take him to be the DH.

    • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

      oh yea. he’s really regressing he stinks. he’s only gonna have 40 homers and 140 rbi’s again this year.

      i think he’s a victim of his second season putting up historic ridiculous numbers. its like metallica when everybody expects every album to be as good as master of puppets and its just not possible. nobody is going to hit 58 homers every year. and not every album can be master of puppets.

  • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

    who are these people out there that are better than howard? I can’t think of any (besides pujols) and even pujols never puts up power numbers like howard. howard outhomers and out rbi’s pujols (and everybody else) every year.

    seriously? who out there is better than howard? prince fielder is the only guy that puts up similar numbers but even he is only on par with howard at best. certainly not better. he’s never put up numbers as big and as consistent as howard. there’s mark teixiera but I’d take howard over him any day of the week. adrian gonzolez is the new flavor of the week but he’s never put together a full season with numbers like howard.

    you guys realize that if howard gets 130 rbi’s this year (which he’s on track to do easily) he’ll be the second guy in MLB history to do so 5 times in a career.

    • Posts: 68 Corey Seidman

      Avatar of Corey Seidman

      Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, Mark Teixeira when you factor in defense, might even throw Paul Konerko in that group as well.

      • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

        paul konerko? that’s it, everything you say from now on is disqualified.

        votto has had one great year. and it wasn’t even close to howards great year when he won the mvp.

        cabrera is a great player who hits for average and power but his power numbers are nowhere near howards in any year of his career.

        gonzalez and tex haven’t touched howards numbers either.

        like i said. the only guy who’s numbers approach howard’s is fielder.

    • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Ryan, I’m not saying he’s not still a great player. But clearly his plate discipline is regressing. He still knocks in runs with the best of them, but to his credit he has had .300 hitters ahead of him for most of his time in Philly, which helps to give him those high RBI numbers. Sure you have to hit the ball, not discrediting him at all.

      Adrian Gonzalez is simply a better player. He put up AWESOME numbers in Petco Park with an AWFUL offense around him. I take Adrian over every other first baseman.

      • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

        adrian gonzalez is a great player undoubedly. but his career high in homers is 40 in 09. his career high rbi is 119 in 08. howard AVERAGEs 46 and 138. and I think he’ll be up near those numbers again this year. gonzalez’s average is 32 and 103.

        they both came up the same year. both have played 8 seasons . howard has 268 hr’s and 806 rbi’s. gonzalez has 183 and 589.

        sure you can say that stuff is all in the past and look at what they’re worth now.

        ok, lets look at that. howard and gonz both have 15 bombs. gonz have 64 rbi’s and howard is only 8 off that pace while playing for a struggling offense while gonz plays for an offense that is just absolutely killing the ball. howard is carrying his team while gonzalez is just another part of his. plus, gonzalez is absolutely on fire right now and howard has yet to really heat up. we all know he is a second half player.

        I’m willing to bet that by the end of the year , if he’s stays healthy and plays the whole year, howards power numbers will dwarf adrian gonzalez’s (yet again)

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Well Corollas are played out an i see to many on the streets. I hate buying cars that 5 other people on your block have. I do an import however along the lines of a Corolla. I always strive to be a little different an not follow the crowd. While everyone had an Ipod i had a different MP3 player that at time was more advanced than the Ipod at a lower price. Anyways i do think Howard is overpaid. As lefty point out no to the extent that Werth is but overpaid none the less. Contracts just keep getting bigger an bigger an leaving some of the teams with lesser pockets exposed. Remember it wasnt that long ago that the Phils ownership was considered cheap. Signing one or 2 big names to draw crowds an a bunch of other mediocre players. At the time i guess Phils FO saw Howard as a slight step below Pujols an considered that contract a fair/bargain deal. Ryan is clearly not in that category although he can still be a decent player. I dont think by now Howard will get any better. He still will strike out a lot he doesnt seem to be able to learn how not to hit into shift. He still swings at the same pitches that get him out. gets into long cold streaks. Not to say Ryan is a bad player he isnt but im not sure he is worth that kind of money. I wonder how much Prince will get no one mentioned Prince. I also believe in a year or two that contract will come to haunt an limit the Phils in many ways.

  • Posts: 0 MplsPhilsFan

    A little bit ironic that this article is posted on Phillies Nation at roughly the same time as an article on FanGraphs that argues that Victorino has been a more productive player than Howard over their tenure in Philly.

    Let me start by saying that, as a person, I have nothing but the highest respect for Ryan Howard. He is, by all accounts, an intelligent, well spoken young man who does a ton of work in the community. Ryan is the kind of man you would hope your son would grow up to emulate. That being said, the absolute best hope for the Phillies is that he returns 75% of the value of this contract.

    Ryan asks which 1b players are better here is my list: Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Mark Texeira. If we knew how he would respond to the concussion, I would place Morneau above him also. That places him as the 6th or 7th best 1b in the majors and I am not sure how anyone can really argue that point.

    The crux of Ryan’s argument, as well as many others, is that he drives in a ton of runs. While factually true, this argument does not take into acount that there needs to be men on base in front of him to drive in. Ryan comes to the plate with men on base more times than almost any other player in baseball, and his percentage of driving in those runs is not significantly above league average. Simply put he is fotunate to have Rollins, Victorino and Utley in front of him.

    To another argument, that he hits a lot of home runs and is valuable because of that. He has lead the league in home runs twice, but has never lead the league in slugging, nor in OPS or OPS+. Putting aside those advanced metrics, think of how easy it is to counteract Ryan in a close and late situation. We saw it done by both the Yankees and the Giants, just bring in a left handed closer and Ryan really struggles.

    His contract is not an issue that should be held against him. RAJ has done an excellent job with the Phillies but his two major gaffes, the contracts for Howard and Ibanez (especially the unnecessary no-trade clause to Raul), will affect this team in the long run. The Phillies, with their current talent base, and a strong minor league system, still look to be dominant for many years, but think of how much more improved they could have been without those two contracts on the books.

  • Posts: 2897 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    While I think Howard doesn’t get the respect he deserves, calling him a Lamborghini is a bit of a stretch.

  • Posts: 1110 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Never liked this extension, mostly because of the timing. There was really no need to jump the gun and extend him in mid 2010… just the idea that it hasn’t even kicked in creeps me out. Howard is a great 1B –right now, definitely among the elite because of his power numbers– but I don’t see that lasting two or three years from now. And odds are that he’ll become our Soriano or our Wells.

    However, I still rather have Howard for 5/6 years than Pujols for 9/10…

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Do you want a list of better first basemen or first basemen I would rather have then Ryan (all things considered including salary). If its the latter, my answer would be “every other first baseman in baseball”.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 2897 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Ibanez’ contract won’t hurt the Phillies in the long run because it’s done at the end of this year. And…..it really didn’t get in the way of the Phillies signing other players over the past few years, either.

    • Posts: 0 Lefty

      Agree. That contract while not the greatest idea, has never hamstrung the FO from pursuing anything it wanted.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew From Waldorf

    Pujos out 4-6 weeks
    If the Cards make the playoffs they are really pulling rabbits out of hats with the injuries and Carpenter being pedestrian.

    The thing that saves Howard is hes a model citizen. If he was a jerk you could really dislike him because he gives a couple of very poor ABs almost evey night.

    • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

      the greatest player in phillies history, Mike Schmidt, also was known to have ” a couple bad AB’s every night” and he was famously booed for that. and we still get shit for it all the time from fans around the nation

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    The contract move was a preemptive strike by Amaro, who has displayed a preference for quick decisions. Sometimes they are not the best but often moving fast has benefits. For me, we won’t know the relative value of the deal until Pujols, Votto, Fielder and Gonzalez get their contracts. We can then determine the relative value of having the #1 or #2 RBI leader each year. So maybe it was really $23 million instead of $25 million?

    If you are looking for questionable contracts I would direct your attention to Cliff Lee – who plays only every 5 days. His salary will be higher than Howard’s for at least the next four years. Think about it.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew From Waldorf

    I am not going to spark this one.
    Encouraging that elsewhere Victorino ws shown to be more important.
    Basicly I could have writen this article good job Baumann

    Heres the analogy. When I used to follow Pearl Jam around the country. The vast majority of the “fans” loved the singer the best. Its the easiest most convienant thing. And on a base level you understand why people gravitate to the singer. I pointed out that most of the good songs were writen by the guitarist and they were in fact MORE important than the singer. Who in my opinion could have been replaced. The truth is that without that singer you lose 99% of the fans. They dont get it that the others do as much or more.
    Chicks dig the long ball. Alot of fans will always thnk Howard does more and is more important than he is.
    As sergant Hulka would say Howard is our big toe. Or in this case he is our lead singer.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Little help?
    Can anyone lead me to an article that fully explains specifically what the Philies have to do to get off the MLB Debt Service Rule list. Everything I find is vague.

  • Posts: 2897 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Here’s the thing with Ryan Howard….maybe he’s worth $25M….or $23….or $20… The Phiilies realized that he was, in essence, the FACE of th franchise (or at least one of a few main ones)…..and that he puts a$$es in the seats.

    Whether he PRODUCES at a $25M value isn’t the only factor that went into re-signing him.

    I wasn’t fan of the TIMING of the extension. But I think that the Phillies realized that maybe it made better sense to lock him up rather than risk losing him because his value MAY have gone up.

    As long as he continues to hit around .250-.260, hit 35-40 bombs a year and knock in 120-130 runs….I’m happy with the deal.

    He works hard, actually has IMPROVED his defense….and, yes, is a model citizen.

    Let’s all just stop bitching about it and appreciate what he DOES do rather than what he doesn’t.

  • Posts: 0 MplsPhilsFan

    Chuck and Lefty, I disagree on Ibanez contract (again, a criticism of the contract, not of the person who is one of the nicest guys in baseball). If that no-trade clause was not in palce or it was only a 2 year deal, the Phillies would be able to have a legitimate player in LF rather than one of the worst position players not named Betancourt.

    The difference could have even be significant last year, as there was a possibility of trading him for something of value after his 2009 campaign. The no-trade clause ended any speculation on that front

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Lefty. Here’s you answer: Wait till the season is over and contracts expire. Being on the Debt Service Rule List is like being in the ‘black book” in Vegas. Nobody is really sure it exists and no one really cares who is in it. Unless you’re Joe Pesci.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    What do you mean I’m funny, you mean the way I talk? What? Funny how, What’s funny about it? Let me understand this, cause ya know maybe it’s me, i’m a little f’d up maybe? Funny like a clown?I’m here to f’n amuse you?

    • Posts: 0 Mikey D

      Ha ha ha!!!!

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Kidding, Thanks Dipsy. I was just thinking how “his smugness” has been saying he’s tapped out. And no one believes him, but then David Montgomery admits that the team is not in compliance. Just wondering if that stops us from making deals.

  • Posts: 0 MplsPhilsFan


    Ryan is, unquestionably, the face of the franchise and there has to be a value attached to that when calculating his worth to the team. His defense has improved, but even though his glove has gotten much better, I and most others cringe when he has to throw the ball anywhere. Let’s leave that aside, and just acknowledge that he has improved defensively, something that even his detractors would admit is true and has gone from a a below average to average defensive 1b. Because his position is not a permium one defensively, that makes minimal difference.

    I cannot pull up baseball reference now for some reason, but I am pretty sure his Wins Above Replacement have been between 2-2.5 for the past couple of years. The cost of a win today is about $4-4.5 million per win so Ryan was “worth” about $9-10 million. You stated that he puts a$$es in the seats and implies that he is a positive face for the Phillies. I agree with both of those points, but how much is that worth? Even if you aggressively say it is worth $5 million, you are still running a deficit of about $5 million off this contract.

    Players, even the best ones, do start to decline, and what will the value be when he becomes a 1-2 win player in a couple of years? At that point you will be paying him $25 million a year and have to hop that either the cost of a win goes up dramatically or that the Angels need a 1b. Would not hold my breath for either of those situations to occur

    Look the Phillies shoudl still be fine and will be very competitive in 3-4 years, as the core of Hamels/Halladay/Lee ain’t going nowhere and the odds are that at least one of the baby aces will join them in the rotation as a cost controlled 4th or 5th starter. Throw in other premium talent like Singleton (who will most likely be shifted to LF again once he adjusts to AA) and the Phillies have the potential to be a dynasty. Without Howard contract, however, the odds of that dynasty are greatly enhanced

  • Posts: 0 Andrew From Waldorf

    Lee does start making 25 million per year the same time Howard does.

    That one scares me even more.

    I just wonder what consessions the Phillies got? Was there a negotiation?

    Maybe Howards agent is the godfather. Like Martinez. How else do you explain it?


  • Posts: 0 erik

    he literally carried the team for the yr while chase is on the DL again…not to mention DL stints from shane n jroll and go ahead say what about polly bc now hes avg is around 300 not 350…he stays healthy and hrs accross the entire league are down…rbis are more important than hrs…not to mention he got 2 or our 3 hits yesterday…

  • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

    thanks erik. without howard this team would be nowhere. no world series. no dynasty. he’s been the only guy in the lineup all year long. he literally sees the least amount of fastballs of any player in the entire major leagues. less fastballs = less pitches to hit. and is he supposed to walk and get stranded on first when wilson valdez strikes out?

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Here is the bottom line. Jeter got the money this year based on what he has done for the Yankees. Hall of Fame Player. Do not blame Howard because the Phillies were dumb enough to give him the money. We all would of taken it. Is Howard overrated for the money. YES. Average fielder. Horrible batting average. Power numbers on the decline. Swings at terrible pitches. This is fantasy land. What are you suppose to do.

  • Posts: 0 MplsPhilsFan

    Look, no one should be blaming Ryan for accepting the offer. Anyone would say yes if they were offered pay at many times what they are worth to the organization. That is the key here, the worth to the organization. Could Ryan have received a similar contract from another team if he hit free agency? Sure, after all the Nationals offered Werth a $126 million contract and Zito got a similar deal from the Giants. Anything is possible. However, I think it would be foolish to look at this deal as anything other than an albatross. Not a fatal blow to the franchise, nor even a crippling one, btu will it have a negative effect, absolutely.

    Although he refuses to address the points I raised earlier, Ryan does state that Howard receives less fastballs to hit than any other player in the major leagues. This is a true statement. It also does not mean that less fastballs are less pitches to hit. Major league players can, or should, be able to hit breaking balls of all types.

    taking a walk if you do not get a pitch to hit also is a good outcome

    I still have not seen any counter as to why, if Ryan is such a great slugger, that he has never lead the NL in slugging percentage. Good player, great guy, an asset to the team and the community. Just ain’t worth even close to what he will be paid relative to his contributions to the team

    • Posts: 155 therookie300

      Avatar of therookie300

      It’s hard to lead the league in slugging when you have the all world, once in a generation talent like Pujols to match up against.

  • Posts: 2897 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    “ain’t even close” ???

    What’s your definition of that? If you’re suggesting that Ryan Howard is worth or will be worth LESS than $20M then you are wrong? Slugging first-basemen that produce the numbers he has will get AT LEAST $20M per season. I really don’t care what WAR calclulates it to be….that’s just what it takes to have a Ryan Howard on a major league baseball team in 2011 or 2012.

    • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      I pretty much agree with this. SOMEONE was going to give Howard 20+ million per season. Instead of letting the happen, the Phillies were the ones to do it. So, while it may look like a stupid deal to some (I wasn’t hugely in favor, especially the timing) there was pretty much a 100% chance someone would have given him this very same deal, or close to it.

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Its one thing to gripe about overpaying a guy like Ibanez. RAJ didn’t have to do it – in fact he went out and looked for it, reached in his pocket and overpaid for an “eh” kinda player. When Howard was signed to that extension he was still the jewel of the franchise and I think RAJ – understandably so – did not wanna get caught in a free agent year and pay even more for Ryan and deal with all the attendant bad publicity that would go with it.

    He needed to keep him. He got it done early and got it done cleanly. OK, its too much money but he’s a Hall of Fame player, a productive player, a beloved player and the PR backlash of losing him would have been wicked.

    My point? Its different when you overpay a homegrown Hall of Fame guy as opposed to overpaying someone else’s “rent a bat” – who turned out to suck. Ruben was in a box – and I can live with giving Ryan the extra green.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 2897 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Dipsy, letr’s not “gripe” about Raul, either. As was stated….his signing didn’t prevent the Phillies from doing anything else that they needed to do these last 2+ years.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    I dont know Chuck i bet if Ibanez wasnt in the books we would went after a RH bat outfield by now Him an Lidge are affecting us in negative ways. If those 2 where of the books this year we probably could of went after 1 or 2 players that we need.

  • Posts: 120 Jay aka Phillyboy

    Avatar of Jay aka Phillyboy

    Ryan howard deserves the money he is getting,He the best power hitter since 2006 and has carried this team more times then i can count.The phillies would not have won a world series without him,and i for one will enjoy the next 5 years with him on this team!!!! HATERS GOING TO HATE!

  • Posts: 556 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    Just dropped by and took a peek here. (chuckles) My oh my..Mr. Baumann decided to write the same old tired argument on Howard’s contract. Obviously knowing this would surely give him a lot of feedback he desires for PN.

    Oh well, as Pat Gallen reminded the posters here, “… there is nothing we can do about this deal. There is really no sense in even complaining about it (although, thats what we do) because whats done is done here. Live with it because he’s here to stay.” His contract is etched in stone and we might as well enjoy the ride that the “Big Piece” is treating us to as he continues to accumulate Hall of Fame type numbers for his illustrious career. Even his defense has improved from year to year. This year, with only ONE fielding error committed in 708 chances, he may add a GOL;D GLOVE to his growing trophy collection (smile).

    For those who need to complain about today’s inflated market value of players, let me see something here about Jason “Show me The Money” Werth. LOL

  • Posts: 0 bobby

    This is a stupid conversation. Howard has been the top or close to the top of the league in RBIs the last few seasons. Yeah he bats .250, but the important numbers are there. His defense isn’t that bad either.

  • Posts: 0 TheWolffer

    The backwards nature and sheer ignorance of some of these arguments makes my head hurt.

    • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Well which one? Who do you side with?

    • Posts: 0 Lefty


      “For me, as a fan, Howard’s contract makes him very hard to like.”

      All due respect, I don’t understand why fans would dislike a player for the contract he has. I dislike a lot of players when they perform poorly, or if they’re terrible people, bad influences, etc… but seriously, would you have turned that contract down if you were him? Why don’t you hate the FO for giving it to him instead of the player?

      Your due respect would be appreciated with truthful answer.

      • Posts: 0 Lefty

        Then maybe we should discuss further the exact location of the presence of backwards nature and sheer ignorance.

  • Posts: 120 Jay aka Phillyboy

    Avatar of Jay aka Phillyboy


  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I’m probably captain of the Howard cheer squad… I’ve really tried to stay out of this one but I’ll throw my $0.02 up here, for what it’s really worth.

    Howard would have been worth a lot of money on the free agent market… someone was going to pay him just like someone is going to pay Fielder and someone is going to pay Pujols. The key here in determining whether or not this deal is a bad one is the years. Pujols is talking 9-10 years… that’s going to take him to age 40-41. Howard, is signed through age 37. Those last three years of Pujols’ contract are certainly the most worrisome… there’s no reason to think that Howard can’t continue to lead the league in RBI every year through his mid thirties. Do I think he’s worth $25 million per year? If Mark Teixeira is worth $22.5 million, he’s absolutely worth something around $20-25 million… you have to remember that Teixeria is NOT the face of the Yankees and he’s not the “go to” guy in that lineup. Howard, conversely, is the face of the franchise… he’s the Big Piece. Putting arses in seats is worth something, like others have said and he’s our guy… came up through our farm, carried us into multiple NLE titles and helped us win our first WS in twenty years. To me, he gets a hometown bonus… he deserves it.

    I was talking with a die hard Reds fan this weekend who was absolutely raving about Howard. Said that he loved his work ethic (the fact that he trimmed down) and the way he goes to left field. Did not feel that Votto was that far ahead (if, at all) of Howard… I thought that was interesting.

    We don’t give him enough credit… sorry. I think that he’s going to go down as one of the best that has ever played. His impact on this franchise is certainly undeniable… he’s played in 140+ games in five straight seasons, top 5 in RBI all 5 of those seasons. Say what you want about the talent around him, he is the one that stepped up and made it happen.

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