Howard Approaching Another 30 HR,100 RBI Season

Posted by Don M, Wed, August 31, 2011 08:51 AM | Comments: 67
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

Ryan Howard already made Phillies history on Tuesday. He can add to that soon (PHOTO: AP)

This is not an article to try to sway anyone in an argument for or against Ryan Howard. Those who like him, like him…and those that don’t, don’t. Of course there are things he could improve upon, but all too often we focus on the shortcomings of our Philadelphia athletes instead of enjoying then for what they are.

Not every player can be Albert Pujols, or Alex Rodriguez, players who, when they call it a career, will be considered among the greatest to ever play the game. Baseball is a game often measured by milestones. Whether they are season marks or career achievements, reaching certain numbers has always been the barometer against which we measure success. Only in recent years have we seen the measuring stick include new categories with the shift from “baseball card stats” to “saber stats,” as sabermetrics gain popularity and credibility.

When did the 30 HR, 100 RBI season become something unappreciated in Major League Baseball? Only 15 players tallied those totals during the 2010 season. How is it that a player who joins that club can be said to have a bad season, or that they are not a good player?

For a long time, such numbers were the benchmarks of a prolific season, then we got into the smaller ballparks, and the steroid-era… and it has now become clear that the years of multiple player hitting 40, 50, 60+ home runs have passed.  Ryan Howard likely isn’t ever going to hit the 45 HR, 145 RBI plateaus that some people think he should reach again, so what does it take to be consider to be a great home run hitter anymore?

Let’s go back to the 30 home runs.  Ryan Howard now has 29 – after two on Tuesday night – with a month still to play, and his RBI total eclipsed 100 last night with his two-run home run in the fourth inning.  He has these totals through 128 games.  Baring injury, Howard is a lock to reach 30 homers soon, with a chance to make it 35-110, 35-120, etc, before the end of September.   If Howard hits one more homer, it’ll be six consecutive seasons in which he has reached 30-100 (58-149 in 2006, 47-136 in 2007, 48-146 in 2008, 45-141 in 2009, 31-108 in 2010). For decades, this would have been enough to tell you that the player had a very solid season, a notion that has seemed to change as “not making outs” has become the flavor of the week, instead of “driving in runs.”

There are currently only nine players in Major League Baseball with 30 or more home runs this season: Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Mark Texiera, Matt Kemp, Albert Pujols, and Mark Reynolds, Mike Stanton, Lance Berkman, and Dan Uggla.

A few more should reach that mark before the season ends, having 25 home runs already: Prince Fielder, Troy Tulowitzki , Paul Konerko, Jay Bruce, Nelson Cruz, David Ortiz and Ryan Howard, Joey Votto, J.J. Hardy, Justin Upton and Ryan Braun.

That’s only 20 or so players in Major League Baseball that have 25 or more home runs as of August 31st.

Of those players:

  • Only one has more RBI than Ryan Howard (Granderson; Fielder and Howard are tied at 102).


  • Only Orioles 3B Mark Reynolds, has a lower WAR (0.7 to Howard’s 1.0).
  • Only Paul Konerko is a worse base runner.
  • Only Mark Reynolds, Dan Uggla, Lance Berkman, Ryan Braun, Curtis Granderson, and Matt Kemp rate as worse defensively than Ryan Howard (according to Fangraphs).

The point is, we know the player that Ryan Howard is, and we know the player that he is not.  Likewise, the Phillies knew what they paid for when they resigned Howard, a power hitter that plays below average defense, doesn’t run the bases well, and strikes out a lot.  But because they have the rare ability to add a run to the scoreboard with one swing of the bat, power hitters always have, and always will, demand bigger contracts than guys that can’t drive the ball out of the ballpark.

We can argue all we want about if that’s “fair” or “smart,” but power hitters draw fans to the ballparks, and keep eyes glued to the TV. They get paid just the same way NBA scorers get more than assist leaders, and NFL running backs get paid more than the blockers that allow them reach the end zone. It’s the guy that puts the points on the board that gets paid the most money.

Regardless of how much his paycheck is, Howard produces the power numbers that the Phillies knew he could contribute.  If they were overly concerned with having a 1B that “gets on base,” they wouldn’t have signed Ryan Howard to his contract extension.  They paid for him to hit home runs, and drive in the runners that are on base when he comes to plate, and he does both of those things well.

*(Among my theories for Howard’s excessive contract extension is that the Phillies may have looked at their closest NL competition – viewing the Brewers and Cardinals as teams that could challenge in the coming years; teams that do not have overwhelming resources, nor the ability to add unlimited payroll, and decided to force their best players out of those cities – or at least to handcuff the complementary pieces they could add around them.  Ruben Amaro’s aggressive contract offer to Ryan Howard forces the Brewers and Cardinals to choose if they want to spend some 20-30% of their team’s total payroll to extend Prince Fielder, and Albert Pujols, respectively.  Fielder can now demand that he be paid as much, or more than Ryan Howard – a player that he is younger than, and likely better than.  The Brewers would have to decide if it’s worth $25-30 M per season to extend one player, or if they would be better served spreading that money around to fill multiple spots on their 25-man roster. Again, a theory.

A Brewers team without Prince Fielder is much less of a threat to the Phillies than this 2011 club from Milwaukee.  The same can be said about the Cardinals, a team that has often gone with “replacement level players” at many of the spots around Pujols and Matt Holliday in the batting order.  The Cardinals 2011 payrolls is $98 M, the Brewers payroll is $85.5 M.  The Phillies have forced them to decide if $30 M per season for 7-10 years of Albert Pujols is a wise move for the Cardinals organization.  According to Sports Illustrated’s  Jon Heyman, Prince Fielder is thought to be seeking a $200 M contract- and many in baseball would be shocked if the Brewers were the team to offer that cash.  Brewers catcher, Jonathan Lucroy was a guest on the Tony Bruno radio show, “Into the Night” (97.5 FM,) on Monday night and said, ”I don’t see any reason we couldn’t (continue to compete next year, even though), everyone knows we’re probably going to lose Prince next year.”

So do we still have such big issues with an “overpay” of Ryan Howard that can actually help ensure that the Phillies weaken the core of one of their top competitors?  If Fielder leaves Milwaukee, I think Amaro will have proven once again that he’s multiple steps ahead of most other organizations in baseball.)

Throughout his career, Howard has obviously benefited from the fact that he hits with runners on base, but let’s give the man credit where credit is due.   He’s not in the lineup to walk; he’s in the lineup to drive runners in, and to hit the ball over the fence when it’s possible.

If Howard had 39 home runs instead of 29, would that make a difference in the way people perceive him?  If Howard was currently 3rd on the home run totals instead of 15th, would people show him more love?  And if so, why aren’t those same fans satisfied that he’s 3rd in MLB in runs batted in?

Love him or leave him – he is what he is, and he’s on the verge of yet another 30+ HR, 100+ RBI season.  Ryan Howard does the job the Phillies want him to do.  Historically, he’s considered a very good player, but that’s not always the case when you play here in Philadelphia, or in this Sabermetric era.

Avatar of Don M

About Don M

Don M has written 21 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Griswold

    Hope he’s heating up

  • Posts: 1108 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    can we just ban AFW from commenting on here, casue I can simply say
    the big contract HR when the game doesnt matter, he is only about hitting 600 feet HR when the score is 8-0 strikes out in every crucial spot in his entire career, the big contract is the albatros on this team All us fans just love him cause the big contract is the only reason the phillies win, Adam Dunn would be a better fit and is a better player then The big contract mr 0 rbi in the playoffs keep swinging for the fences every time up you can have his 333 obs
    I think that pretty much covers it so AFW you can stay in your basement on this thread please.
    But on a positive note great post Don well written and really hits the nail on the head for what Ryan means to this team. Becasue some one else would have paid more for Ryan if he had hit the open market. Plus I love your theroy of weakening the competition, maybe a litte conspircy for me but i like the outside the box thinking.

    • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

      Why am I mentioned in the first post in the topic by someone who “hates” me?
      You should be banned. For having an IQ in the 40s.
      I still wonder how you get on this site and manage to type. It is amazing.

      Now go cry to mommy that someone points out you are stupid and your favorite player has huge exploitable flaws.

      Some of the other dullards are way more functional than you. I guess to be the dumbest of them all is something. You got that going for you.

      The only reason they win and the most feared hitter in the MLB.

      I usually do not pick on you because you obviously dont understand how stupid that sounds.
      But you can never fix stupid. So carry on.
      And in general I dont read or understand you as I dont speak retard.
      But I gather you mentioned me and a basement here.

    • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

      OK I just rea it more.
      You thnk outside the box. Laughing out loud.

      It really is kind of precious and priceless and I do not like picking on you. And I dont pick on “slow” people.

      Anyway no
      no other team would have given him this contract. not close.
      He makes 16% more than Adrian Gonzalez next year.

      LOL again at you thnking outside the box.
      I picture yuo sitting there trying to think outside the box and i LAUGH

    • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

      I have to say you guys have been doing this for years.
      You comment about me in a thread I havent read or commented on and then I comment on you and I look like a bad guy.
      I think I will always fall for it. In the end I dont really care.
      Its all good and I have fun with it and the board.
      Most of my stuff is tongue in cheek. But I really do thnk you are very low functional.
      Please dont mention me again as I really dont even notice you or find you very interesting.
      You find me interesting. I get that.
      You are tiresome like playing chess with Forrest Gump
      Youd win every time but its boring.

  • Posts: 0 Rabbi

    I wouldn’t say that Ryan plays below average defense. He’s improved greatly with the glove, although there are still areas in which he could improve. On the offensive side, I see a lot of areas that need improvement. He continues to swing (and ALWAYS miss) at high cheese. Despite his whacking of a hanging breaking ball last night, Howard is really a low-ball hitter. Also, he tries to pull way too much! If a pitcher is pounding him on the outside corner (as is usually the case with lefty relievers), he needs to take the ball the other way. In his 58-HR season, he hit nearly half of his taters to the left side of the diamond. I know that Uncle Cholly has tried to get Howard to let the ball travel more in the zone. I believe that his homers and RBIs would go up significantly if he reverted back to his oppo-boppo days.

  • Posts: 0 jetg

    Dumbest article I’ve ever read on this site. Howard is over-valued, overpaid, and over protected by idiots like you. The only number I need to justify that is 1… 1 WAR. Terrible for a guy about to enter a 25 mil/year contract.

    • Posts: 0 Don M

      the WAR is actually now 1.3 …. but thanks for reading! Hope you have a nice day!

      • Posts: 0 jetg

        Yea, sorry about that idiot comment, it’s not you… Howard boils my blood with his constant frustratingly awful AB’s when we need him to come through. I’m sure you understand.

      • Posts: 0 Don M

        I think something like HALF of his HRs have come with the game tied, or the team trailing ….. and somebody commented in a previous post that Howard leads the NL in tying and go-ahead RBI

        so while he looks bad late in games against Lefty specialists…. I think he often gets a bad wrap because “he strikes out too much” … “his OPS is only .xyz ” …etc… From a guy that has seen some terrible Phillies teams and players in his lifetime.. Ryan Howard’s 6 straight 30 HR, 100 RBI seasons is impressive to me

        And if you read the article, i’m not giving him only praise… and i’m ackowledging the fact that he needs guys on base for his RBIs, etc … but the guy gets the job done that they’ve asked him to do

      • Posts: 0 jetg

        yea, good point… How many more of his contact extensions 5 years you think he can put up 30/100? I’m worried he’s not going to be anywhere near what we’re paying for at the 3rd or 4th year.

      • Posts: 0 jetg

        by the way Don, appreciate the replies back… first time I’ve commented on this site and honestly didn’t expect the writers to take the time out of their day to reply to the readers. phillies nation is the best and I’m proudly rocking a PHILS sticker on my car.

      • Posts: 0 Don M

        Considering he’s gone WAY past the 30/100 marks a few times, i’m going to assume he’ll do it at least 3 or 4 of the 5 seasons..

        By that time there’s a chance that he isn’t batting 4th anymore, or gets traded, etc… Their hope was that Domonic Brown is the eventual #3 hitter …. in a few years we don’t know if we have Rollins, Vic, etc …

        all I’m saying is that while Howard does benefit from his spot in a good lineup, why do we hold that against him?? He does the job the ask him to do… for some reason its enough for them, but not good enough for us ?

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I guess it’s a little bit “outside the box” …. but if Fielder signs a contract for the Cubs or Giants instead of the Brewers … we just knocked Milwaukee down a peg. …just this second was the first time I thought about him maybe going to SF but-

    I think even if they added Prince, the Giants offense would still struggle mighitly – though “The Panda and The Prince” would make lovely t-shirts for the kids

  • Posts: 1108 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I admit that I am not a huge fan of sabermentrics and money ball, just reminds me of tangurey Gin, it is all about the hype. Money ball and sabermentrics have not won many playoff series. But the one is WAR how can you even look at that stat and pretend that it means anything, What is a replacement player and what if you do not have one ready to play, and most the numbers used are arbitraily assigned to it. If you really thing JMJ at first base for an entire year would not cost the this team more than one win you are crazy. and would that not be the phillies replacement player right now? There is a thing called pressence, and who knows how Utley is pitched over the past five years if Ryan was not behind him. Can Rayn have better plate discipline certinly will he work on his game for the next five years I think yes, has his defense gotten better over the last three years, I would say yes, could he throw the ball better to second base, sure. But outside maybe A Gone in Boston,abd Albert I would take ryan right now. Votto in this line up might be nice but I ll will take him over fielder pt Tex. Does the guy frustrate the h ll out of me when he swings at pitches in the dirt when it seems like everyone in the building knows it is in the dirt, sure, but how can you forget “Just get me to the plate boys” that was a pretty clutch situation, and i am pretty sure he won a game against the Rockies on a windy day in Oct. when Lee was on the mound.

  • Posts: 0 Dennis McDaniels

    donny , im glad someone i know gets to write about the phils we hold dear to our hearts.
    ruben amaro is doing an unbelievable job for the phils… he is like howard, a love him or hate him guy.

    this is my justification for 5/125.

    its not 7/140 , 8,175, 8/200, 10/300 (pujols). it’s 125. if at the end of the very overpaid contract, he’s come down a couple steps…. he’s either gone or making significantly less.

    anyway you slice it… the phillies committed less money to their power hitter (love him or hate him). of pujols, prince, texiera, adrian gonzo, howard, howard is definatly not the best , but HE FITS. gone is rico brogna, travis lee, and losing phillies teams. RYAN HOWARD IS A WINNER. appreciate him.

    keep up the good work donny
    BAG UP

  • Posts: 0 big dicked bandit

    of all the players listed: Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Mark Texiera, Matt Kemp, Albert Pujols, and Mark Reynolds, Mike Stanton, Lance Berkman, and Dan Uggla.Prince Fielder, Troy Tulowitzki , Paul Konerko, Jay Bruce, Nelson Cruz, David… Ortiz and Ryan Howard, Joey Votto, J.J. Hardy, Justin Upton and Ryan Braun. ONLY 5 HAVE RINGS:

    texiera, pujols, big pappi, konerko, HOWARD

    Howards a #4 hitter. his job is to drive in runs. guy has 1 mvp, has a very good chance to get his 2nd ring, and knocks in more runs year-after-year better then anyone in baseball. yet still people want him gone. people are crazy

  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    It’s not about RBI and HR or Wins… it’s about WAR and UZR and BAPIP and adjusted ERA+. Come on, man. Didn’t you know that those are the statistics that matter – those are the statistics that get you into the playoffs? I mean, after all, there are a total of three position players on the top 10 WAR (position players) list who will be playing meaningful baseball in October… Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn. The rest will be at home…

    Don mentioned the stat that I posted last night… Howard leads the league in game tying and go-ahead RBI and there are plenty of people that have had the same number of opportunities that he has had. Many of the “high OBP” guys that bat in front of him have spent prolonged time on the DL. The key to enjoying Howard and not driving yourself nuts with him is to disregard the contract and to understand that he is paid to swing the bat… he is paid to drive in runs. If they wanted Howard to lay bunts down the third base line, I’m pretty sure that they would work with him on that… and if he was laying bunts down the third base line, I’m pretty sure that the rest of the NL would be ok with that. He’s a feared hitter because he can pop one out at any time. He drives me crazy, too but he delivers the results he is paid to deliver – he could end up with 40 HR and 140 RBI this season. Marinate on that… he had 8 HR in August and he seems to be heating up. If he builds on last month, he’ll be right there AND he’ll be in the mix for an MVP.

    • Posts: 0 da bdb

      couldnt agree more. read an article on si the other day that sums up that line of thought and it made me want to scream at my computer: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/cliff_corcoran/08/22/mvp.granderson.fielder/1.html

      these are the players that people will argue are more valuable than howard? howards left off this list because hes argued as 1 dimensional, isnt jose reyes also 1 dimensional? take away any of the players on that list and their teams w/l does not fluctuate a great deal. take ryan howard off the phillies and are lineup is toast

  • Posts: 0 Needa Wynn


  • Posts: 0 da da doofey

    big dicked bandit…LMAO

    Anyway, if you wondering where Cole Hamels was yesterday afternoon after his great game Monday, I found him.


    • Posts: 0 da da doofey

      “if you were wondering”

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Who are these people that just show up for one day just to talk smack? Don – Great article. I like how you point out that there is difference between “saber-efficiency” and “box office boffo”. While Ryan is definitely not a good player as measured by WAR, baseball types still are conditioned to worship at the altar of HR/RBI. Been that way forever. Billy Beane is a WAR guy and hasn’t won squat. Home run guys gave always made the big bucks, and until everyone embraces the value of sabermetrics as THE measurement for a how good a player is, Ryan Howard and Cecil Fielder are still gonna get the big bucks. For good or for ill, baseball GM’s are the last to realize how great WAR is.

    Ryan is clutch. He’s a model citizen. People love him. He puts asses in the seats. He sells jerseys, hot dogs, beer, ribs, hats, pulled pork sandwiches, ad nauseum. What sabermetric category is that?

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Great analysis and defense of the man, Don. I mentioned on another thread that Mike Missanelli, on last night’s Channel 17 Postgame Show, said something like, “Maybe this will shut everyone up. I’m done trying to defend Ryan Howard.”

    People can b!tch and complain all they want….and I get as frustrated as the next guy when he flails as some pitch in the dirt against a lefty…..but the bottom line is that I am sure glad Howard is on the Phillies.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I’m not even trying to defend him as though he’s the greatest player ever … he is not. . . .

    and I’d probably rather have A-Gone, Votto, etc. too …. but this isn’t fantasy baseball…. in t real life you draft and develop guys, and try to keep the best players in your system and lock them up before the become Free Agents …. as Ed Wade did with Chase Utley, and Ruben has done with Ryan Howard …

    All i’m saying is that the 30 HR/100 RBI has historically been a measuring stick .. and Howard’s now done that his first 6 full seasons in the league … he’s better than a lot people give him credit for, but not as great as some would lead you to believe … as always, the truth lies somewhere in the middle

  • Posts: 427 Publius

    Avatar of Publius

    One of the better-written pieces on Howard in quite a while. While I am staunchly in the “overpayment for a rapidly-declining slugger” camp, this article makes a lot of good points.

    I like to think that, say 10-15 years from now when RBIs lose their luster among the baseball cognoscenti, Howard’s contract will be a turning point in the baseball mass public’s view of the RBI and a turn toward more weighted measures like wOBA and WAR. It’s unfortunate that the quintessential overpayment of an RBI guy will forever be a Phillie, but oh well.

    • Posts: 0 Don M

      Publius…. thanks! I appreciate that especially coming from guys that know their stuff

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Ya know, there are guys in baseball that, when they are faced with an RBI situation in a close game, their nuts turn to the size of raisins. People make it sound like just because a guy is on base that its his divine right to be knocked in. Well, there has to be someone at the plate that can knock him in and Ryan bats of .300 with men in scoring position.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 PrettyT

    Dear Don,

    Be out!


  • Posts: 0 Ian

    Howard hits his home runs either early in the game to start the domination or late in the game if its a blow out. Yes he doesnt hit very well in key spots and i dont think i have seen him intentionally walked yet this year but not all his homers and rbi’s are worthless its more so he does it at the beginning of a game to start a blow out of at the end of a blow out to seal it up.

  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    @ Publius… I was actually anxiously awaiting your response to this and I have to say that I am somewhat shocked…pleasantly, of course. I guess it’s fair to say that even if you are a SABR guy to the nth degree that you do have the ability to see all angles of an argument and even possibly appreciate them. Well done, Sir!

  • Posts: 0 Ryan H

    WAR is such a total crock of BS. its a convoluted bunch of nonsense with no basis.

    I also take issue with Howard’s “below average defense”. I think he’s a very satisfactory first basemen defensively. He has an above average glove. he gobbles up lots of balls over there. throwing has been his bugaboo and you may have noticed that he’s throwing the ball much better this year.

  • Posts: 0 Ryan H

    “Historically, he’s considered a very good player”

    wrong. historically (statistically speaking) he’s considered one of the 5 greatest power hitters to ever walk onto the diamond.

    • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Curious…Exactly what statistics are you referring to? Not arguing with you, just would like clarification.. Cause there have been a LOT of power hitters over the last 100 or so years.

      • Posts: 0 Ryan H

        the exact stats escape me right now, but for HR’s and RBI, the five years to start Ryan’s career have been as good as any 5 year period for any player in the history of the game not named Ruth or Bonds. they absolutely dwarf many guys that are already considered all time greats.

  • Posts: 0 JoshPM

    Good article!

    One thing I think people constantly overlook about Howard (and the Phils overall since all of these big name signings/trades) is that our team is built out of complementary pieces, not just a roster of superstars. Every player has a specific purpose and role on the team and that’s why they’ve been so astoundingly effective the last few years. Howard’s role is straight up to hit those big extra base hits (particularly home runs). We get average and speed ahead of the clean up spot from Jimmy, Victorino, Utley and Polly, Ryan’s there to knock ‘em in.

    That’s why he’s the “Big Piece”, and not just the Big Bat.

  • Posts: 5535 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    This is your best posting yet Don M. It is reasoned and well backed up. Thank you.

    You’ve addressed the good and bad, including most of my gripes with Howard. There is just one point where we differ. “He’s not in the lineup to walk” is a big, big problem for me. He’s still a baseball player like everyone else on the team. If walking is what is needed in certain situations and if you are a feared hitter, meaning opposing pitchers will gladly walk you, you take the walk for the team.

    I think most people would find it surprising that clean up hitters lead off innings frequently. In fact 141 of Howard’s 555 plate appearances this season, that’s just over 25%, have been as a leadoff hitter. In those situations a good team player should not be trying to hit home runs, particularly when you are down by more than than one run. I don’t have a stat to tell what % of the time that happened, but in 141 PA’s we know it has, more than a few times. I also believe that taking walks makes you a better more selective hitter, and I can back that up with plain old baseball card stats, just look at baseball ref. and see where his power numbers are during seasons that he takes more BB’s.

    This is not novel thinking, these are the teachings of Ted Williams and many other great hitting guru’s. I once read on here that Howard “waits for pitchers to make mistakes”. I think he doesn’t have to wait, I think by being more selective, he could force them to groove more and more meatballs to him.

    I hope Howard has a wonderful career for the Phils with lots of WFC’s and continued big numbers. Management has decided that Howard is our long term first baseman and I am a Phillies fan.

  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    To pick up on Ryan H’s comments above concerning Howard in relation to other power hitters..

    Fewest games to 250 HR:

    Howard – 855 (currently 282)
    Ralph Kiner – 871 (career 369)
    Harmon Killebrew – 905 (career 573)
    Albert Pujols – 933 (currently 439)
    Juan Gonzalez – 936 (career 434)

    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      The problem with that “stat” is that, unlike the other guys, Howard became a major leaguer when he was 25… right as he was entering his prime.

      The other guys played games way before their prime and thus couldn’t be as fast as Ryno.

      • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        That’s true and I knew that and probably should have mentioned it. I was just trying to illustrate that Howard is part of a nice group of all-time great at sort of this stage in his career. Hopefully it continues.

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Respected friend and poster Lefty: You are very right in your assessment of what Howard does and doesn’t do when leading off an inning. It is my view that, when not in an RBI situation, Ryan should be looking for “his” pitch instead of swinging at all of the “pitcher’s” pitches. I think its quite simple: If you’re leading off an inning and the pitcher doesn’t wanna pitch to you – just don’t swing – unless its a fastball right where you want it. Don’t swing at a curve until you have two strikes. Sounds very simplistic but I bet this approach would serve him well. Shit man, Pence can bring you in.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 moondog

    Waste of time to argue about Howard. He is the linchpin of the Phillies offense. Take him away and no post season. There were morons trying to say Werth was better according to this Sabermetrics mumbo jumbo.You can make an arguement for WHIP and OBP but as Edwin Starr said WAR what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. I stole that from Conlin.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    WAR so far this season…

    has Werth at 2.1
    Howard at 1.3

    Despite Howard having 13 more HR, 52 more RBI, 25 more Runs scored and an OPS nearly .100 points higher than Werth … (.827 to .719)..

    Werth is a very good defender, but I don’t think Howard – at firstbase, is really costing us runs that maybe a poor defensive catcher, OF would

    I can’t fathom how Werth’s defense and better baserunning not only makes up for, but supersedes the fact that Howard owns him in all other offensive catergories

  • Posts: 0 da bdb

    ^couldnt agree more^. howard is more valuable to his lineup than any other player in baseball. u can argue all the sabermetrics you want. runs win ballgames and howard does what hes paid to do, he knocks in runs.

    -on a side note can i go back to calling myself the ‘big dicked bandit’ or is that too inapropriate for this site?

  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    We prefer BDB, but hey it’s a free country.

    Well written piece by Don M., for sure. Lots of good points. And look how nice the commenters are today!

    • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      And he didn’t even have to go toe-to-toe with that certain someone whose name I won’t mention.

      • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Whoops! I think I spoke too soon!

  • Posts: 0 PrettyT

    I agree with your logic regarding pricing the market for prince and albert. i think given their stats this year, howard will seem like a discount compared to the monster contracts these 2 sign. All 3 have similar stats, but we get howard at 20 mil less. at this point prince’s body at this size will break down real quick if he doesnt lose weight, and pujols is already becoming a regular on the DL.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Commenting on the article.

    when you play first base and your only function is to slug and swing the bat. You shouldnt be below 50th in baseball in OPS.

    Ill address some of the other comments and thoughts individualy.

    Take him away and no post season?
    Really? You put in Billy Butler ( using generic MLB player as a referance van be one of 100 names) And this team has the best record in baseball.
    Comical that Werth has a higher WAR to go with his .220 avg.

    Don actually did do a good job putting it out there.
    I personaly now consider him at best an average firstbaseman. But thats a personal opinion ( ban me for blasphamy). Good firstbaseman arent getting 120 walks in 2 years. Votto will get that many this year. Or not in the top 50 in OPS.

    It shows fear and respect that is no longer there for Howard. Some of the points I make are just to point out in an opposite way the people who think he is the most feared. The best. The reason. As he is not.

    The truth is if he stopped swinging at balls and moved in on the plate some. He would be as good as he was those years with the 1.000 plus OPS. So its a shame he plays the game how he does. Because its robbing him of greatness.

    Don as I dont particularily like you. Have to say the article is good and points out the negatives and postives. Probably puts him as a middle of the road slugger at this point. And I agree he is somewhere in there ( I thnk lower than most). Getting an NLCS and WS MVP would go a long way to siliencing the critics.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Just wait to see what Fielder signs for.

    You guys are way over valuing him.

    Pujos is in a different league. I personaly think the Fielder contract will be less than Howards and would bet on it.

  • Posts: 0 PrettyT

    So AFW is kind of a dick?

    • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

      winner winner
      chicken dinner

  • Posts: 0 da bdb


    AFW- are you saying you would rather have Werth over Howard?

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Come on guys. I may be an asshole but I am not stupid and I know the sport and this team.

    No Werth sucks. But he is the best defensive RFer in baseball.
    And he would certainly have 100 RBI hitting 4th for the Phillies.
    and if he played first for the phillies the Phillies would still have the best record in baseball.

    @ Don I really wasnt going to comment in here at all. But BETA made that impossible.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I couldn’t care less where you decide to share your opinions ….

    Perhaps if you didn’t take any disagreement so personally… and didn’t feel the need to carry on conversations with yourself, while calling people “retards”, etc … you’d fit in more with the rest of PhilliesNation’s regulars.. many of whom have been talking Phillies and MLB for years without getting into pissing matches when we don’t see eye-to-eye..

    Your opinion is as valuable as the next guys – but if you want it to carry any weight on this site, you need to give others props for their views and stop trying to bait- and be baited into arguements on here .. You say all too frequently that you don’t even read any of the articles – or you don’t even read any of the comments, etc …. Let me say then that you should – your missing some pretty good insight and opinion on what you claim is your favorite baseball team

    I think everyone would be more than willing to forget about past arguements – and be normal if you would too

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Don he calls me a name in the original first post here.
    Every time Howard gets a hit. People are posting where am I?

    Trust me in the grand scheme of every personal attack ive ever made here I was provoked.

    People get mad when I criticize players.
    I am willing to let all bygones be bygones. Fresh start. ( like the other guys)

    But I will not just let people sandbag me on threads I am not in or plan on getting in. Especially not posters I dont respect.. From this point on. If I ever personaly attack a poster with out them specificaly mentioning me in a negative way I will leave the site.

    Im not really worried about carrying weight. Im worried about calling things how I see them.
    Sometimes I like posting to myself and the voices in my head.
    The problem is. If someone wants to think Ruiz sucks I dont attack them personaly. I am attacked personaly for my view on Howard. I think I have been accurate. Since 2009 WS he has been below average.

    I will now put all grudges on hold. But if something like what BETA did today happens again. I will be just as stupid as they are.

    I have intentionaly been an asshole for the last 3 months. Which started when you pissed me off in a game day thread. I will now intentionaly try to be nice.
    But I cannot be blamed if people call me an idiot or say I live in a basement with my poodle.

    • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      You’re actually wrong on two counts. He doesn’t call you a name in his first post. He just suggests that you stay in your basement. And his isn’t the “original first post” on this thread. It’s actually from someone named Griswold, saying simply, “I hope he’s heating up.”

      You want a fresh start? Fine. I’m ok with that but YOU need to be respectful of all of our opinions as well. If you want us to converse with you in a normal way then you need to stop it with your condescending manner.

      Saying things like “You guys will never get it” ….or …..”I really think that you are very low functional”… comments such as that….. ALL THE TIME…. makes you look really foolish You really need to stop acting like you know more about this game than the rest of us.

      I agree. Your opinions ARE valuable. What’s not valuable is your delivery. Seriously…..think about that. I think we all can get along in here most of the time. But you need to uphold your end of that in order for that to work. Continue on with your usual ranting and chanting and whatever else you’ve gotten a reputation for doing…..and I guarantee you that you will be either harshly criticized and attacked or ignored.

      Choice is yours.

      • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

        You have always amused me.
        And I actually do try very hard to be nice 99% of the time.
        I guess I am relogated to Phil Helmuth status here.

        And thats OK. I dont mind.

        Ill see you at the parade Chuck. Beers on you

  • Posts: 0 Needa Wynn

    Exactly !!!!

  • Posts: 0 Needa Wynn

    my Momma used to say “Right is Right and Wrong is Nobody.” ” Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.” Profound philosophical comments, if you ask me.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    This is why I said sorry to Don because I wasnt going to comment.
    when I do it derails things and this is a pretty decent article. Although I thnk it puts a bit of a rosey picture on things.

    If I was getting paid to post here Id take the 2-3 hours to come up with and post a list of the 100 major league players who if they played first and hit fourth for the phillies would have 100 RBI and the phillies would have the best record in baseball.

    If you want to over rate him and think they dont even make the playoffs minus him that is fine. If you take him away and put another player in you wouldnt collapse. One could make a very serious arguement you could be much better with a host of other players.

    Mr. Nice Guy

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Who doesn’t know that we would be better with other players in the four hole? Don’t we ALL know that. Howard totally sucks when there is no one on base. When there are “ducks on the pond” stats show he becomes a much better hitter. I think he hits around .315 with runners in scoring position this year.

    He can’t field well. He can’t hit for average. He sure as hell can drive in runs though. Whatever value you put on that it is up to you. All I know is that Jayson Werth did NOT drive in runs. Stared at too many pitches while also having the unique talent of striking out along with all his staring. Bobby Abreu just assumed take a walk than try and hit a ball that was 3 inches too high. Ryan Howard is an RBI guy and the best around. Thats really all he is. They used to complain about Chris Carter (?) “All he did was catch touchdowns”. All Ryan does is knock runs in. Otherwise, he stinks. I’ll take it. Contract, notwithstanding.

    The Dipsy

    • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

      Well in the last 24 hours on this site. 3 seperate posters have said.

      1. he is the most feared hitter in baseball
      2. the Phillies wouldnt make the playoffs without him.
      3. he could possibly win the MVP this year.

      So yes some people do not grasp the situation.

      The best RBI guy around?

      Its moot I agree with you for the most part. As long some people get that he is the worst baserunner and doesnt add anything but swining the bat I am OK with it.

      He isnt even slugging .500 and isnt top 50 in OPS
      One can argue he doesnt slug well anymore and if he stinks at everything else you do the math.

  • Posts: 0 Brett

    Thanks for the solid, balanced, post Don M. I’m one of those people who tires quickly of the constant complaining about Howard and his contract. Like everyone else, I’d love it if he learned to hit a curve ball and had a little more plate discipline. I’d love it if he struck out fewer times, and continued to work on improving his skills in the field, as he had appeared to be doing a couple years ago. But has this guy ever shown us that he’s not trying his hardest? He does yeoman’s work, in the field and at the plate. He’s a good citizen. He’s a likeable, home grown, face of the franchise, and he hits some hella entertaining bombs. Continuing to point out that he’s not Albert Pujols (nor even Prince Fielder, at this point) really gives short shrift to both Howard and the team’s decision to keep Howard around for a while. And I think the point you make about the pressure Howard’s contract puts on other teams is really insightful (and maybe even true).

    For a bunch of guys who spent so long revering Hollins, Kruk, Dykstra, Daulton and the rest of that gaggle of castoffs — some of whom have turned out to be criminals or nut-cases, and none of whom brought a ring home – it’s really hard to understand the never-ending pissing and moaning about the lack of perfection on a historically good team that has already delivered the goods. Howard’s as much a part of what’s great about this team as anyone else, even if he’s not the hall of fame first baseman all of you would prefer to have.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Thanks Brett !…. that’s basically my stance- be satisified with what you’ve got because its working.

    Andrew, for the record . . . . I don’t get paid to write anything on this site… If i was i’d also take 2-3 hours to look up random things. I write so well that they could never afford me, so we settled on “free” as my salary

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I know this is late, but I just listened to an interview yesterday with Jayson Stark. I try to listen to everything Jayson says, as I consider him among the best sources of baseball knowledge, and inside scoops. Yesterday, he chimed in on the Ryan Howard – RBI topic.

    From Jayson Stark…. (on yesterday’s Mike Missanelli show on 97.5 FM):

    “Six consecutive 100 RBI seasons… I know there’s a big debate about what RBI’s mean in this day and age. I’m willing to bet that in those six years, Ryan Howard has come to the plate with more runners on base than anybody in the big leagues, but… as exasperating as his trips can be when nobody’s on base, and his approach can be, when he gets up there and he’s got a chance to drive in a run, he will slap the ball through the left side if he has to, he has much better at bats. His numbers are so much better in those situations. It tells you that this is not merely the accumulation of a bunch of trips to the plate with runners on base. This is a guy who gets it, he believes that producing runs in his job, and he does his job.”

    ***this was double-posted, also in the 9-1-11 gameday thread -but I thought it was important for this thread as well

  • Posts: 0 Keystone

    Ryan Howard has less errors and a higher fielding percentage than Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols. I’m just sayin’

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