Search The War Room


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ryan Howard and The Contract

by: Chris Creighton
Follow him on Twitter @WarRoomPHLChris by clicking here
Watch the latest episode of the War Room on UStream by clicking here

Howard and high school
teacher, Paula Grana

Courtesy of
On Friday night, Phillies first baseman, Ryan Howard, honored his favorite teacher as the Phillies celebrated Teacher Appreciation Night at Citizens Bank Park. This is nothing out of the ordinary for "The Big Piece", a nickname he acquired for obvious reasons other than its metaphor which tells us just how important he is to this team and this city. After all, Ryan Howard is one of the team's most charitable athletes and most visible volunteers in the community. His dedication to his adoptive city of Philadelphia has been felt through several charities such as Ryan Howard's Celebrity Servers, his work with the Police Athletic League, and his pride & joy, The Ryan Howard Family Foundation. The list of donations and events this charity has raised and participated goes on and on. Athletic equipment to city schools, scholarships to student athletes, Winter coats and warm meals for the hungry and indigent during the holidays just to name a few where Howard has touched the hearts of so many in our fine city, like this sweet, young boy this past Friday.

So how come when his name is mentioned among so many in the City of Brotherly Love, it would seem as if the guy is public enemy number one? I understand that with charities and donations aside, the man is here to play ball in front of the most demanding fans in the nation, but it's not like he hasn't done a lion's share to bring the team to levels it hadn't risen since 1993. Howard's historical runs in September 2007 and 2008 would give the team--and the city--its first taste of playoff action in over a decade. Without carrying his teammates on his capable back, we would have probably never witnessed moments like this or this. Subtract his 2009 NLDS MVP performance and the Phillies don't play in their second consecutive World Series that October.

Ryan Howard / Career: September and October
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 5/4/2013.

But in a city that holds towards certain players a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude, there's little margin for error and no room for reward for Ryan Howard, even if he is showing signs of turning the corner in this young 2013 season. CSN Philly's own Reuben Frank did his best to post the positive vibe about Howard's recent 13-game tear, only to see the immediate feedback which made sure there was attention to the negative.
Replies such as "[but only a] .303 OBP, 5/1 K/BB" and other statistical cherry-picking opportunities to flip the kill-switch on any pro-Howard sentiment are unfortunately quite often the norm. These are the same fans who somehow turn 40 Home Runs and 120 RBIs per season into insignificant numbers. I'm a firm believer that strikeouts are much better than double plays and that sluggers would rather clear the bases than just get on, but I digress.

Overpaid or Under-appreciated?
However, the most common comeback from the most curmudgeonly critical will always make sure we are reminded daily about Ryan Howard's salary.  Well thought-out gems such as, "only eight offensive players make more than him, he's overpaid and overrated" --which was also found beneath Roob's tweet--will live and breathe among the minds of the malcontent. Try to create an air of excitement about Ryan Howard and I guarantee you'll hear about "The Contract", which is the casual fan's carping crutch.

Ah, the contract. I'd venture an educated guess to say that among the order of the Negadelphian's Creed, bashing Ryan Howard's contract over the heads of his supporters is high on the list, if not numero uno. I'm not certain this document actually exists, but I can just imagine "Five Years, $125 million" emblazoned in bold, Phillies-red calligraphy.

Most people don't care that this mega-deal was born of strategic inspiration by Phillies management and not due to a single demand from Ryan Howard back in April 2010. Like it or lump it, halfway down the above highlighted article, the truth reads:
"So they approached his agent, Casey Close..." - Jayson Stark, ESPN April 27, 2010 
This should be important to even the most pessimistic of Philadelphians, because we all should remember there have been several lucrative, yet far more financially unsound contracts signed in Major League Baseball over the past few years which were free agent deals where it was the player who bridled the bidding. Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, A-Rod and more recently, Josh Hamilton and B.J. Upton all signed ridiculous contracts as unrestricted free agents, each of whom took top dollar over any sentimental home discount with their respective incumbent teams. Some of those deals even went uncontested as general managers in Washington, Boston, Atlanta and Anaheim opened their wallets wider than what the market would wager for the players they pursued.

Support is ok, but just not for
So who's really to blame if one should feel the need to cast it towards anyone regarding Ryan Howard's contract? I guess you can't boo Phillies upper-management as they never take the field, but I feel it's too easy and extremely contradictory for fans to rake Howard over the hot coals while at the same time offering unwavering support for players such as Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and even Chase Utley, each of whom cash similar paychecks but have had their fair share of under-performance against their own multi-millions. For fans to hold the same, burning eternal flame for some players that's held under Howard's feet is somewhat hypocritical, yes?

I get that Halladay and Utley persevered through injuries, but so has Howard with a severe left ankle sprain in 2010 and a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the 2011 NLDS. The latter being an injury that can often end a professional athlete's career if not at least rendering it mostly impotent. Both injuries would strike the left foot and ankle, the very same he'd use to push off in order to generate his Ruthian power batting from the left side. What hurt most in 2010 was that Howard was monster mashing as he hit the disabled list on August third batting .292 with 23 bombs and 81 RBIs, giving us all no reason to doubt his super-salary worthiness. Eventually suspected as a tie-in between the two injuries would be a team-ordered cortisone injection he received in September 2011 to treat an aggravated bursa sac in his left heel. Either way, the tendon may have been doomed from the moment he went down in the Summer of 2010.
"It's possible Howard's stressed left Achilles - the tendon that connects the heel to the muscles of the lower leg - would have burst even without the cortisone injection. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound first baseman, after all, had been having foot problems for more than a year after badly spraining his left ankle in August 2010."
And in the case for Cliff Lee, fans steadfastly stand behind the little-to-no run support he received in 2012. Ok, fine. I can certainly get behind that reason as he was given as much support as a hammock made of Twizzlers. But until this season, Howard also hasn't had any consistent support of his own in the the fifth spot in the lineup since 2010 when Jayson Werth sizzled .296/.388/.532 with a league-leading 46 doubles and 27 home runs. Werth would finish eighth in the NL MVP voting. The team would downsize behind The Big Piece in 2011 after Werth bolted for big bucks in DC.

2011 Phillies 
Batting 5th 624 78 161 38 6 19 90 .258 .331 .429 .277
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 5/5/2013.

So, get a hold of yourselves (and over yourselves) and break free of the negativity held towards one of baseballs' good guys. It's the Fifth of May, 2013 and all indications are that Ryan Howard is heating up. Take a chance and get on board his train, the one that could take this team into playoff contention because the minute you all got out of bed today, you found the Braves and Nationals still struggling to find ways to win. What could it hurt if you offered your unconditional support for the Big Piece like you do others? Would you earn a dollar less at work or pay a dollar more for a ticket if he was paid less? No and no. But you would certainly earn the right to jump and shout with us all when he launches his next missile into the South Philadelphia night. Ryan Howard deserves our support, win or lose. Because I think he's earned our loyalty both on and off the field.


Anonymous said...

MAX 10


power 8
bat 4
contact 2
ball eye 5
run 1
fielding 4
position 1
cost peform 1

total 2

shin soo choo

power 7
bat 7
contact 6
ball eye 8
run 6
fielding 5
position 7
cost peform 8


choo deserve 5year 110M

Coach Factory said...

louis vuitton, michael kors outlet online, ralph lauren, oakley sunglasses, louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, kate spade outlet, tiffany and co, longchamp outlet, cheap michael kors, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike air max, coach factory, burberry outlet online, ray ban, nike air max, nike free, coach outlet, louboutin, toms shoes, prada handbags, nike roshe run, michael kors handbags clearance, tory burch outlet, true religion, longchamp, prada outlet, chanel handbags, michael kors, michael kors outlet, air max, true religion outlet, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet online, nike free, ray ban sunglasses, air max, coach outlet store, oakley sunglasses, nike shoes, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, michael kors, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, louis vuitton handbags, gucci outlet, coach purses, air jordan

Coach Factory said...

canada goose outlet, canada goose, ugg, jimmy choo, ray ban sunglasses outlet, cheap oakley, cheap sunglasses, oakley outlet, canada goose, oakley sunglasses cheap, ray bans, cheap oakley sunglasses, moncler, moncler outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray-ban, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses cheap, raybans, ray ban, oakley outlet, cheap sunglasses, oakley sunglasses outlet, canada goose, ralph lauren, moncler, canada goose, oakley sunglasses outlet, oakley outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, canada goose outlet, oakley sunglasses outlet, gucci, rayban, oakley vault, ray ban outlet, cheap sunglasses, ray ban, oakley vault, oakley sunglasses cheap, ugg boots, louboutin, oakley vault, moncler, discount oakley sunglasses, oakley, tn pas cher, ray ban outlet, ugg boots

Coach Factory said...

oakley pas cher, michael kors, hogan, insanity, new balance shoes, karen millen, hollister, wedding dresses, lancel, chi flat iron, supra shoes, timberland, ghd, beats by dre, north face outlet, soccer jerseys, yoga pants, reebok outlet, mcm handbags, ray ban pas cher, celine handbags, nike air max, p90x, air max, hermes, soccer shoes, marc jacobs, louis vuitton, valentino shoes, rolex watches, converse shoes, abercrombie and fitch, bottega veneta, nike free, mulberry, north face jackets, asics, montre pas cher, vans, ralph lauren, juicy couture outlet, birkin bag, ferragamo shoes, lululemon, louis vuitton, hollister, nfl jerseys, herve leger, burberry, mont blanc

dong dong said...

cheap jordans
louis vuitton handbags
burberry outlet online
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet online
abercrombie kids
abercrombie & fitch
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet online
prada outlet
ray ban glasses
adidas shoes
louis vuitton uk
prescription sunglasses
football shoes
cheap jordans
air jordan 13
ralph lauren sale
kobe shoes
louboutin femme
louis vuitton outlet
abercrombie and fitch
coach factory outlet
concords 11
louis vuitton outlet
christian louboutin
burberry outlet online
kate spade handbags
louis vuitton
coach outlet store online
abercrombie store
michael kors purse
chanel outlet

Wenhao Guo said...

adidas outlet
thomas sabo uk
chanel 2.55
beats headphones
kobe 9 elite
valentino outlet
cartier watches
instyler ionic styler
converse all star
puma sneakers
michael kors uk outlet
cheap toms
discount oakley sunglasses
air max 2014
coach outlet online
supra shoes
futbol baratas
oakland raiders jerseys
air max 90
ray ban sunglasses online
nike roshe
coach outlet store
chanel outlet
michael kors outlet
chicago bulls jersey
swarovski uk
tory burch shoes
chelsea jersey
kate spade uk
babyliss pro
burberry outlet,burberry outlet online,burberry outlet store,burberry factory outlet,burberry sale,burberry
michael kors outlet online,
polo ralph lauren outlet
oakley sunglasses
oakley sunglasses
rolex watches uk
san francisco 49ers jerseys

chenlina said...

louis vuitton outlet
canada goose coats
michael kors outlet
polo ralph lauren outlet
ugg boots on sale
kevin durant basketball shoes
true religion outlet
michael kors handbags
louis vuitton purses
ugg boots
michael kors outlet stores
ugg boots
ray ban sunglasses outlet
tiffany and co
coach factory outlet
coach outlet
uggs outlet
air force 1
louis vuitton outlet
ugg sale
louis vuitton handbags
oakley sunglasses
coach outlet store online
christian louboutin shoes
christian louboutin outlet
cheap uggs for sale
kids lebron shoes
michael kors outlet
polo ralph lauren
toms shoes
michael kors outlet
ralph lauren outlet
abercrombie fitch
cheap uggs
cheap ugg boots
uggs on sale
ray ban sunglasses
canada goose jackets
uggs sale
michael kors outlet

John said...

fitflop clearance
michael kors outlet online
michael kors uk
ray ban sunglasses uk
true religion jeans
oakley sunglasses sale
hollister jeans
michael kors
nfl jerseys wholesale
tiffany and co
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet online
oakley sunglasses
supra shoes
vans sneakers
coach outlet
canada goose outlet
discount jordans
louis vuitton outlet online
toms outlet
ugg sale
ugg boots sale
lebron james basketball shoes
rolex watches
louis vuitton purses
michael kors outlet
tod's shoes
louis vuitton handbags
fit flops
polo ralph lauren
nike air max
louis vuitton handbags

Meiqing Xu said...

rolex submariner
louis vuitton pas cher
lululemon outlet store
hermes belt
coach outlet online
michael kors bags
lacoste shoes
polo ralph lauren men
vans store
valentino bags
rolex daytona
adidas superstars
michael kors outlet store
ugg sale
polo ralph lauren outlet
yeezy boost 350 white
fitflops shoes
oakley sunglasses cheap
michael kors handbags
chi flat iron
ed hardy
nike roshe run
coach outlet online
toms outlet store
true religion jeans
burberry outlet
wholesale nike shoes
pandora charms
cheap oakleys
burberry bags
coach outlet store
ralph lauren
louis vuitton handbags
cheap basketball shoes
nike huarache black
rolex replica watches
adidas nmd runner
XIAOWEI 20160427