Together, Rollins And Howard Are The Heart Of Phillies

Last night I stopped and thought: How did the Phillies get here? How did the Phillies become the best team in baseball? It didn’t happen overnight; this team has been on an upswing for years.

The story itself starts in 2004, as the gates to Citizens Bank Park opened for the first time. Larry Bowa had been removed as manager of a team that closed Veterans Stadium with an 86-76 record. Charlie Manuel entered, leading his team to the same record. That book read like the 2003 edition — great offense, OK bullpen, bad starting pitching. Youthful energy gave the 2005 team a spark, but an 88-74 record wasn’t enough to win the division. The team constructed by Ed Wade just didn’t have it — Wade was relieved, Pat Gillick came in.

The 2006 Phillies ended July with a paltry 49-55 record. That’s when Gillick pulled his trigger on a couple deals that dissolved the Wade era. The largest, of course, was the trade of Bobby Abreu to the Yankees. That was the beginning — the true beginning of the world championship run.

The first game after the Abreu trade was July 31, a 15-2 drubbing by the Marlins. With that series out of the way, the Phillies traveled to Saint Louis, and the team started to fly. One player took the reins hard: Jimmy Rollins.

Aug. 1, 2006-Oct. 1, 2006: .303 AVG / 16 2B / 5 3B / 13 HR / 47 RBI / 14 SB

And there was another big contributor: Ryan Howard.

Aug. 1, 2006-Oct. 1, 2006: .365 AVG / 23 HR / 62 RBI / 58 BB

Together, Rollins and Howard willed the 2006 Phillies to a respectable finish, though they lost out on the Wild Card. But their run three years ago was the indicator of what has made this team so good. The Phillies go as far as Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard take them. They’re different in their mannerisms: Rollins runs his mouth, makes flashy plays on the field and swaggers around like he owns the joint; Howard keeps quiet, makes flashy plays at the plate and uses a soft trot to show his power.

I still find it amazing that despite Rollins’ admission of fans as “frontrunners,” he wasn’t really booed that badly. And after a couple games of abuse, the fans completely ended the jeers. After making the comment, Rollins’ team went 24-12 to win the National League East. And Howard backed his leader, slowly building to a terror run that began in Chicago and ended with the 2008 flag in his beastly hand.

Rollins’ first days in Philadelphia signaled the start of a promising career and the start of a potential playoff run. He was the first piece in a foundation that took a decade to become a skyscraper. Howard, meanwhile, was the first piece of the post-Wade era, the new blood that usurped Jim Thome and began a new, thrilling period for the Phillies. Both men have desired to be jaw-droppingly elite players, and both have hit their goals. Together, they’ve brought a title to Philadelphia.

Back when Rollins made his immortal comments, I nicknamed Rollins and Howard “The Frontrunner Bros.” Pop red and green overalls on these guys and watch them stomp on flowers and throw fireballs at Venus fly traps. They’re joined at the hip — the teddy-bear and the rat, the George and Lenny, the big kid and the little kid. In late 2006 they solidified their correlation to the team’s success. And in 2008, the Frontrunner Bros. stormed the castle, beat that last level and became legends. Together.



  1. Ryan

    January 29, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Great story. Completely wrong.
    One look at statistics will tell you that if there are two players that are most responsible for this team it is not Jimmy and Rhyno.
    Its some guy named Chase and Cole.
    Seriously, one look.

  2. Jim

    January 29, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Great story.

    I think you can’t name the leaders of this team without atleast mentioning cole hamels.

    That is just my opinion though and we could argue for days the two guys who are the “heart” of the phillies

  3. Bill

    January 29, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Hamels is a big part of this. The nice part of this team is it is a standard of leadership and winning that is held by mulitiple leaders including Rollins, Howard, Utley, Hamels, and even Victorino. Put a gun to my head and I say Jimmy is the leader of this team but overall this team has a stable of leaders.

    Bowa was the manager the first season at CBP.

  4. Malcolm

    January 29, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Ryan, you’re completely wrong. Jimmy is the fire starter. You want to look at statistics? See how connected the team’s record is to Rollins month to month productivity over the past couple of years. If we were to have a captain, that captain would most certainly be Jimmy. Cole is our ace, Rhyno is our monster and Chase is our best player. Weigh that out how you will, Jimmy is still the most important to our team and has established himself as our primary voice from the playing field.

  5. Malcolm

    January 29, 2009 at 10:48 am

    And that’s not to take anything away from any of our many great players.

  6. Manny

    January 29, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Too bad the “heart” has no heart with his ridiculous demands. (Rhyno)

  7. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Rollins is the longest tenured, and the leadoff hitter, and at SS – he’s the Captain of the Infield… add the hardward he’s one, Gold Glove and MVP.. and I find it hard to put up an arguement AGAINST him being the leader of the team.

    You could argue that Howard, Hamels, Utley, etc.. are .. and I’m sure there would be great stats, and great points made to back up those claims..

    But you can’t deny what Rollins means to this team.

    But that is also what worries me.. he walked around like God’s gift to the Phillies for a while after he won that MVP award.. I hope he doesn’t start the season this way after winning the World Series… That is when I said before they will miss Burrell in that lockerroom much more than they’ll miss him on the field or in the lineup

    Somebody needs to be the hands-down leader of this Team… in my mind its Rollins over Utley (especially since Utley doesn’t seem to want that role anyway)

  8. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Manny, does Ryan Howard deserve more money than Alphonso Soriano, Torii Hunter, and Carlos Lee?

    (I know that they all make too much, but throw that out for a minute, that’s not his fault, or his problem.. ) But does he deserve to be paid more money than those guys listed above?

  9. Griffin

    January 29, 2009 at 11:11 am

    J-Roll seems to be the leader of the Phillies. That seems to be why he was the last one to speak after the parade.

  10. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 11:14 am

    When I think of heart and soul I think of Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, & Brett Myers adn even Jamie Moyer for the mere fact that it must take heart to keep in the game that long. Those are the main engine type personalities in terms of “having heart.” I actually gained a lot of respect for Brett Myers for his effort to rediscover himself. Ibd be ok with getting him at a hometown discount and keeping him around for a few more years.

    Now, I do NOT think of Ryan Howard. Ryan Howard is MERELY another Eric Lindros. He has a wealth of talent btu absolutely no heart of mental toughness…this is why he is SO streaky and TOTALLY a homerun/rbi or strikeout guy. id kind of rather have a guy like berkman who hits .300 from either side…but i digress. i cannot deny howards numbers but to say that hes the heart & soul is fairly ridiculous…i mean, this guy has no heart, no character, & no mental toughness. I wouldnt dare put him in the same “heart & soul” group as the guys I mentioned….even Carlos Ruiz is more of a “heart” guy than ryan howard…

  11. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 11:21 am

    This is getting ridiculous.. Geoff, Im now 400% sure that you are two different people.. You’ve been saying all offseason that Myers is gone, trade him, he’s gone, no chance they’ll resign him, secret trade, etc..

    now, out of nowhere, you are ready to keep him around for a few more years? Because he was willing to go back to the minors to rediscover himself.. when before the mere fact that he got sent down was making you call for his immediate release. Im confused?

    Also, He’s so streaky, and totally a HR/RBI or Strikeout guy.. because “THAT’S WHAT A SLUGGER IS” as someone said two weeks ago

    What about Howard shows you that he doesn’t have heart? He plays everyday, and shows up for big games, carries his team when they need him most.. How you keep insisting he has no character or mental toughness doesn’t make any sense to me

  12. Matt S

    January 29, 2009 at 11:39 am

    JRoll is absolutely the leader of the team, catalyst of the whole winning attitude, but we cannot forget the importance Jamie Moyer has had on that pitching staff…I would argue he is one of the most critical members of that team…

  13. Manny

    January 29, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Don: 1. All those guys are in their 30s, they’re veterans.
    2. Of course they don’t deserve those huge amounts of money. To use your same argument, then it would be OK for Utley, Rollins, Hamels to start bitching and ask for 18M too… In my opinion, they “deserve” more money than guys like Torii Hunter.

    Back on topic, you know who’s the heart of the Phillies? Charlie Manuel: “Sit down, J-Roll, you’re not playing today.”

  14. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 11:48 am

    being in their 30’s has nothing to do with anything… Howard with all the hardware, playoff experience, and now a World Series crown, you wouldn’t call him a veteran at this point?

    Utley, Rollins, Hamels all chose to sign for Millions to give them financial stability, Howard felt he could make more money going to arbitration each year, since he feels the Phillies held him in the minors longer than they needed too, and so its now his right to either sign a long term deal or go to arbitration..

    And if we agree that Howard deserves more money.. or “deserves money more” than some other guys getting paid $x Million, why is that heartless, and a ridiculous demand? Its ridiculous that players get paid that much, but its not ridiclous to also ASK for that much if you deserve it more than others

  15. Manny

    January 29, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Sure, Don, Howard IS a veteran… he was Rookie of the Year 2 years ago for god’s sake!

  16. Richie Allen

    January 29, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Not only do I totally agree with Manny about Charlie….But I also think that there is no ONE or TWO players who are the HEART of this team.(On the field,that is ).

    Its the WHOLE CREW……COLE JROLL UTLEY HOWARD VICTORINO MOYER..and how about Lidge?I think they feed off each other every day.
    Like Charlie said last night,they come to play ,and they play hard.

    Also more about Charlie….If anybody saw the Phils on comcast last night…I for one wanted to hear more Charlie.He was so revved up and ready to talk,and it was great.

  17. Georgie

    January 29, 2009 at 11:54 am

    I’m convinced that there has to be a player on every Philly team who the fans can hate and pick on, and it seems to be the big guy for this team. What on Earth has he done to become so unpopular with the fans? Don’t give me that crap about his outrageous salary demands, it’s not like he’s become Manny Ramirez or something, his agent’s asking 18M, we’re offering 14M, SO WHAT? Why does that bug people so much?

    And, honestly, will this town EVER lay off of Eric Lindros? That was ages ago, I’m so sick of Flyers fans blaming everything negative that has happened on Lindros, I will never bad-mouth him and don’t understand why people can’t let it go!

  18. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Now…let me repeat…he showed up for TWO games in the ENTIRE postseason against Matt Garza and Andy Sonnanstine, but not against..yknow…james shields or scott kazmir….or derek lowe or kuroda….

    dude, of course people are going to get angry at the time that myers was playing bad…he was terrible…thats totally natural. being all numb about it is kind of strange actually. to just be like “oh well hes gotta do better” is this sort of ho-hum way is almost zombie-like. show a little fire once in a while. when ryan howard goes 6 games without a hit, its OK to be angry. when brett myers got smoked down in Arlington that night it was ok to be upset…its quite acceptable.

    besides…everybody knows theyre not going to just get rid of him…its ok to say it thoguh when youre angry. thats a natural fan reaction in any city except the mindless zombienoid subdued peoples of the midwest…so i have no worries about doing things like that.
    but yeah if brett myers is consistent this year why not bring him back at an affordable rate?

    finally…come on man..ryan howard is one of the most gutless heartless players ive ever seen in ANY sport….EVER. seeing him walk back to the dugout TIME AND TIME AGAIN with that arrogant smirk on his face is almost as bad as seeing mcnabb laugh off season-ending interceptions like its just a funny accident. eric lindros was the same way.

    those types of athletes are NEVER the driving force of a team. theyre just that overpaid overhyped superstar that NOONE else in the locker room really considers a friend…

    i mean ive been mad at j-roll before, but the guy is undoubtedly the engine of this team – along with shane victorino – someone who i was mad at for a shorter period of time until the manager pulled him aside and got him to focus…thats the guy who still needs more credit for all of this – charlie manuel – for getting some of these guys to focus on their role.

  19. Memphis

    January 29, 2009 at 11:58 am

    We may be splitting hairs with “heart” and “leadership.” If there had to be one guy, one captain, if you will, I think it would have to be Rollins, and it’s as much about his swagger, mouth, and tenure as it is about his on-field performance. He has given this team its identity as it evolved from contender to “team to beat” to champion. He just *seems* to care about winning more than most of the other players.

    But, for me, the true heart of this team is Utley. He’s a baseball equivalent of a gym rat. You need a home run, a stolen base, taking an extra base, a big play in the field to change a game’s momentum, Utley provided it time and time again. He’s relentless. Doesn’t care about the media. Just wants to play ball. Just wants to beat you.

    Howard, as good as he can be, just strikes me as a big kid. I can’t say he doesn’t have heart, but he doesn’t strike me as irreplaceable. Replace Howard with Tex, or Berkman or Derek Lee, for instance, and I don’t think we miss Howard that much. Rollins and Utley, however, for the many things they bring to the table, are much harder to replace. And they just happen to play in the heart of the diamond.

  20. Georgie

    January 29, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Geoff, Eric Lindros was absolutely NOT like that, I never, ever saw him smirk when things were going bad. Just because he doesn’t shout and scream and jump up and down does not mean he didn’t care. Eric was a quiet, introspective type of guy, misled by his dad, no doubt, but it WOULD be kinda tough to fire your dad as your agent. I can’t get into this on here, so this is all I’m gonna say on the subject, but I will defend Eric with all the strength this old lady can muster!

  21. Manny

    January 29, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I definitely agree with your last post, Memphis. (That is, if you’re talking just about players, not including Charlie)

  22. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Manny, for the sake of your arguement… we’ll make it official that Howard isn’t a verteran, and isn’t in his 30s. So we’ve got that cleared up now.

  23. Georgie

    January 29, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Oh, yeah, and if McNabb had some receivers who could actually catch a football….

  24. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    You are really comparing Ryan Howard with Donovan McNabb….and Eric Lindros really?? Seriously?? … Didn’t Howard just lead us to the postseason, where we just won the CHAMPIONSHIP ???

    Gutless, Heartless, and Arrogant… alright..

    This is my biggest problem.. I understand people getting mad and saying things about players when they don’t perform.. I understood the outrage with Myers THEN.. but I didn’t understand your stance two weeks, nor what made you switch your stance on him today.. and then why this assault on Ryan Howard.. are you really THAT angry at him for wanting to get paid a lot of money?

  25. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I’ve said all offseason that I fully expect Myers to be with the team for the entire season..

    If he pitches well enough to have good trade value, you’ll want to keep him and resign him because he’s then that valuable to have on your own team.

    If he pitches poorly, he won’t have any trade value, so why get rid of him when you know that at any point he could be good again..

    He’s frustrating as hell sometimes, but I can’t see them getting rid of him this season, for the reasons above

  26. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    There is no doubt that Jimmy Rollins is the engine that gets this team going. He is the guy that will say what needs to be said to get the guys going and he has the tools to back it up on the field. But when the game begins, Ryan Howard is the most valuable player on this team.

    Our fans have one flaw; unreasonable expectations for players that aren’t “Philadelphia” guys. Ryan Howard is a perfect example of that. Not known for his grit or determination or coachability, Howard thrives on his larger than life persona and it is ultimately his self-motivation that is going to get Ryan Howard out of a funk (not spending three extra hours in the batting cages). He is supremely confident but when he’s in a funk, he has no one to blame but himself and that manifests itself in the way he carries himself… and we hate it.

    But the guy is worth every penny…

    Sure, Howard is mildly inconsistent… still, in my opinion, a career .279 is not too shabby. Last year was his worst year, in terms of batting average, but if his primary goal is to drive in runs, you cannot argue with 146 RBI. The guy does his job… he does his best in the field (seen him fumble a few easy ones and make a few tough ones) and in the end, nobody is really worried about his fielding.

    So why don’t we appreciate what he does?

    His personality bothers us… when he has an ugly strikeout and casually walks off the field shaking his head, it agitates us. We want to see him dust it off but we also expect him to show emotion (which he rarely does). He’s a bit of an introvert; it seems like he doesn’t care at times but I think he really does. I think that it eats him up… when he’s hitting well, he’s a media darling. When he’s not hitting well, you don’t get much out of Howard. Unfortunately, when Howard’s not doing well, the team is not doing well. When the team is under duress, we expect him to step up and give us something to cling onto but he’s just not that guy (some players, regardless of their individual performances can say the right things, in the right manner to make us feel better… Howard is not that guy). Rowand only batted .262 in that season he went face-first into the wall and yet we treated him like royalty because he said the right things and played with grit. Say what you want, Howard is not the guy that’s gonna change the culture of the clubhouse but without him, we don’t even make it into the playoffs in 2008.

  27. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Chuck P, uhmmm that’s one of the best posts i’ve read on here, maybe EVER..

    good work

  28. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Wow… my posts are getting longer and longer. I need to do some real actual work. I was a little bit fired up; I didn’t even get to read half of these posts but now that I did, I see that everyone is heading down the same road that I traveled.

  29. maxhole

    January 29, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    what, you do not like my analogee? maybe you like a lamb and tuna fish?

  30. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks, Don.

  31. Richie Allen

    January 29, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Chuck P for president!

  32. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks, but no thanks… who in their right mind would want that job right now?

    By the way, I meant to comment on what you said about the state of the nation… I was thinking about how remarkable it is that the stuff that gets said on here inevitably always ends up on CSN/ESPN. Great job, everyone… especially Tim, Rob and co.

  33. John Fire

    January 29, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Not related, but rumor has it the Cubs are looking to trade lefty Rich Hill. It wasn’t too long ago (one year ago, in fact) that Rich Hill was considered to be very close to Cole Hamels in terms of talent. He’s older – 29 – and “lost is feel” for pitching last year… still, worthy of taking a flyer on him maybe, depending on what the Cubbies are looking to get in return, right?

    Only started 5 games last year, was 1-0 with a 4.12 and 15/18 k/bb ratio. Still held batters to a .191 average. Look back one year and you’ll see those Hamels-like numbers: 11-8, 195 IP, 183K / 63BB, 1.19 WHIP, .235 BAA…

  34. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    I’d imagine that they have to be asking more than the Phillies would be willing to pay..

    Anyone see this yet, more from the Torre book:

    “The story comes courtesy of Yankee trainer Steve Donahue who told Verducci about what Roger Clemens did as part of his usual routine to get ready for facing the Mets in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series. Donahue said Clemens’ usual pregame preparation included taking a whirlpool bath at the hottest temperature possible.

    “He’d come out looking like a lobster,” Donahue said.

    But here’s the money quote:

    Then Donahue would rub the hottest possible liniment on his testicles.
    “He’d start snorting like a bull,” the trainer said. “That’s when he was ready to pitch.”

    Man, talk about way too much information. That must be why Roger was such a crotchety bastard on the mound. Well, that and the steroids.”

    That is priceless!

  35. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I like Rich Hill. I think that young pitchers probably have a difficult time dealing with Piniella and Wrigley’s a tough place to pitch and a change of scenery might be just what he needs. I also think that he’s one of the key components of the Peavy deal.

  36. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    WHAAAATTT!!!! That is one of the craziest things that I have ever heard.

  37. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    How can you call Howard, “Gutless and Heartless?” Just because hes not the vocal leader like Rollins and Hamels, does not mean he is heartless and doesn’t give his all. Burrell never was the outspoken leader, but if you talk to any1 on the team they would say he is looked up upon as a team leader along with JRoll.

    Im sick and tired of hearing people bitch about the money “Howard” is asking for. People don’t realize that he has an agent, and other people that work with the agent to analyze the situation, compare him to other players that have put up the same numbers he has, in the amount of time, and thats how they come up with the number. It’s not like he walks into the room and says, i want 18 million, and if i dont get it, im not going to work my ass off this spring/summer. How can you diss a person because he wants the money he believes he deserves.
    For his career, he averages a .279 BA, 144 RBIs, and 51 HRs since he has been a full time starter at First Base for the phillies.

    Now try and tell me he doesn’t deserve the money that Alfonso Soriano, Torrii Hunter, Carlos Lee make, when last time i checked, they haven’t one a World Series, or carried their team to the playoffs, give me a break. Now yeah say he doesnt deserve the money, trade him to some garbage team, for some slop minor leaguers who more often then not, will never become a player in the MLB, let alone the caliber of player Howard is.

    Don M:” Also, He’s so streaky, and totally a HR/RBI or Strikeout guy.. because “THAT’S WHAT A SLUGGER IS” as someone said two weeks ago”- that was me who said that lol, just pointing it out

    Thank You

  38. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Correction: Howard led the charge into the playoffs with a big september, yes. But he didnt lead anybody to anything during the playoffs save two games. werth, victorino and the pitching staff were the driving forces there for much of the postseason…

  39. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Thats crazy, roger clemens is a sick maniac…

  40. Monktavian

    January 29, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    We are really going to miss Howard when and if he leaves the Phils for another lucrative contract. In a market economy, despite my difficulties dealing with it, a player should get all they can get. This will be the case until the rules change. Howard is, put simply, the gold standard for home run sluggers. He can look awfully bad, just like Reggie Jackson and Jim Thome did, but when he’s hot, he is simply awesome. I always look forward to him coming to the plate.

  41. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    But if it wasn’t for that “charge” in September, would the phillies be in the playoffs and have a chance to win that big trophy? NO, the defense rests your honor

  42. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Also, Howard is 29, and he probably wants to get his money now, because he is starting to get old, its not like he came into the league in his early 20s like Hamels, Rollins, Myers, Burrell.

  43. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    And yes I am legitimately mad at him for wanting that much money, its still not as bad as CC/tex/burnett but its bad. we. are. in. a. DEPRESSION. Were like “oh lets sign this guy or that guy for cheap because of the market”…and by “for cheap” you mean for 5 million dollars. five. million. dollars…FIVE MILLION CHEAP!!!! what is wrong with us that we even think that?

    from this point onward any player that becomes this difficult about money during this economic situation is ABSOLUTELY out of touch with the people who buy tickets to see him play…AND will all equally be disparaged by me because they are taking for granted things that most “real” people wouldnt even know what to do with….

    i mean…say howard “loses” arbitration. how totally apart from reality is baseball if a player considers a one year 14m deal “losing.”? what would you even do with 14m?

    i mean, ryan madson is a scott boras client and even HE signed a contract extension buying out TWO FA years…

  44. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    but is that “charge” worth 18M? 20m? absolutely not…EVER.

  45. Bruce

    January 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I agree with the views of a few posters such as Don M and Chuck P on Howard and Rollins. I’m not sure why there is a need to debate and split hairs on the intangibles of heart vs leadership and apply to the two previous MVPs in Rollins and Howard. After all, Tim NEVER used the words “heart” or “leadership” in his latest blog. It’s all about their contributions ON the field that made the difference between a contender and also rans. As Tim pointed out, their personalities are put aside when it is time to give 100% of themselves on the playing field where it all counts.

  46. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Haha your out of your mind my man. Everyone goes on slumps and cold streaks, look at Rollins, Burrell, and even the Golden Boy (sarcasm, but everyone thinks he is immortal) Chase Utley. What did he do after the all star break? Bum hip or not, he never made it an issue, but he was slumping in the second half, when howard started to turn it on like late May/Early June. so basically your telling me he hit 48 homers and 149 RBIs all in september, stop hating on him, you sound like a moron

  47. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    If Ryan Howard is hanging out with Snoop Dogg.. then you know Chase Utley has some Cali. chronic connections..

    And that means that our Phillies only smoke the stickiest of the icky.. fa sho. holla

  48. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I agree 150% Bruce

  49. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    they said the other day on hotestove that willie mays would command 30M a year as a free agent nowadays. If willie mays came into my office as a GM and asked for that much money a year…id tell him to get the hell out of my office IMMEDIATELY and that he should pack his bags because he is going to get traded by the end of the day.

  50. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Whats with your obsession of trading away great players? Howard, Mays?

  51. Monktavian

    January 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Geoff, I agree with you on many of these points. However, a player is judged by peers and the public largely on two things — his stats and his paycheck. Unless the system changes, then it will continue to spiral out of control. Agents, the system, owners, and greed are responsible for this trouble. I hope it changes soon, before it is too late. Soon, baseball will price itself out of the market. It is simple supply and demand. The cost of going to support my team will be out of reach for the average schmoo like myself. A damn shame. I should start following arena games.

  52. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Also, Pat Burrell made 14 million this past year, compared to Ryans 10 million, who had the better year? Howard. But no one bashes burrell saying he didn’t deserve the 14 mil, granted it was in his contract, but still, if Burrell made 14, Howards 18, seems rather plausible

  53. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    because great players may be great, but that doesnt mean they deserve 30,35,30 million dollars a year…to play a SPORT for a living. thats just stupid and a bad way to run a business. because giving someone that much money takes away the hunger that they used to attain it. thats why the yankess have been a bunch of overpaid layabouts for years now..ever since they REALLY went off the wall with money a few years back..

  54. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Geoff… but then don’t hate the playa… hate the game

  55. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    i agree monkt…which is why the best way to prevent that is for teams to say no to this type of money. and finally because of this depression youre starting to see it. my only hope is that it doesnt return to insnaity if we get out of this depression.

  56. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Whose to say they dont deserve 30 million dollars? You? If owners/teams are willing to pay players that much money to them, then it looks like they deserve it. I agree that players should be making 25-30 mil a year, but thats the the players faults, thats the leagues fault for not implementing a salary cap. Granted they do play the hardest sport in the world, and if they consistently put up hall of fame numbers year in and year out, how can you deny them the money they deserve?

  57. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Should Not* be making, my fault

  58. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    thats not the players fault*, damn i cant type today

  59. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    the game is severely flawed in that way, yes. but the way to fix it is to NOT comply with the wishes of the players that want oturageous money. teams that do like the yankees and cubs are a disgrace beyond any amount of arrogance that any player could have.

    thats what you do, and if enough teams do it then theyll drop their demands like yorue seeing now. if the dodgers or ANY team gives manny ramirez that kind of money…that is FLAT. OUT. DISGRACEFUL!

    hed better be getting blackballed by the GMs for this, im all for collusion of that type. like when a-rod opted out, they all said: NO! youre going to go crawling back to your team begging for forgiveness because NOBODY is bigger than the game.

    teams that are weak and cave in deserve the ire of their fans for it because theyre only hurting their fans financially in the end because thats who pays for it all. this manny thing is key right now. NOBODY should cave in to this guy. i hope the dodgers stand firm and say, you know what? were going to sign someone else now sorry pal….i want this guy to be sitting on his ass in march and april thinking about why he doesnt have a team to play for….

  60. Richie Allen

    January 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    To Chuck P ..I swear Michael Barkan is looking at Phillies Nation on his computer when he asks his panel those questions on the Phils.Every question is eventually on this blog every day .

  61. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    because the play a game for a living…if someone wants to give it to them…go right ahead, but with that 30 million i can go get 3-5 good players for the amount of money youre paying ONE guy…not all GMs can do that though, so they cave in..

  62. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    SO uhmm again, why are you made at Ryan Howard.. he’s just trying to get what he’s got coming to him..

    There are LOTS of bad contracts in baseball.. but Howard does in fact deserve to be paid as one of the best in the game..

    If the best in the game happen to make $18 M + per year.. that ain’t his fault

  63. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    because hes the addict…you dont ENABLE the addict. you deny them the substance (18m) and rehabilitate them….

  64. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I agree with what your saying geoff in regards to manny, but i have to also agree with Don, he is just basing what he thinks he deserves on what other people make, that havent put up the same numbers as he has, and addict? lol iunno about that analogy

  65. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Geoff you’re too much

  66. Georgie

    January 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    So , essentially Geoff, you expect Ryan Howard to go in to Amaro’s office and say, “well, I think I’m worth 18M, but because there’s a recession and I like it here, I’ll take the 14M”? On what planet does that happen? That would pretty much be admitting he doesn’t think he’s that good, and major league players in any sport can’t do that, it’s not the way it works.

  67. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    because part of this is the teams saying no to this kind of money too…if he asks for it you say no, you explain to him that that era of baseball is over. that those were bad contracts, and that if he wants that money he can go waste away in new york. if he still wants it then you promptly trade him to new york.

    so here…if you lose arbitration and he gets the 18M, you HAVE to turn around and try to flip him. you gotta put your foot down as an owner of a team and say this is enough. we think this is out of control and we would like to move on and get good players in return to help our organization who WANT TO BE HERE for a reaonable amoutn of money…

  68. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    um..people with character do that…but hey this is america…since when do we care about character and doign the right thing?

  69. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Enough is enough, you’re making $18 M instead of $14 M, so we’re going to trade you, just to prove a point to nobody in particular, and we don’t care that our lineup will suffer greatly without the HR and RBI leader in baseball..

  70. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Geoff, is their THAT much of a difference in the phillies paying him 14 MIL or 18 MIL? So if he wins in ARB, and gets 4 more million, they should promply trade him to either the Mets or Yankees, because they are the only teams in baseball that can afford to pay someone 18 million dollars per year. You are indeed, out of your tree.

    The phillies trade howard, watch the fan base explode on Amaro, criticize him in every aspect, and watch the team fail to compete for another title.

    It says something that everyone on this forum, disagrees with you, lol

  71. Georgie

    January 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Geoff, some people DO care, that’s a crappy thing to say.

  72. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I would applaud Amaro for that…of course. Thats why youre hired as the GM. Part of this is the Phillies failure as well. they have also failed, with howard, to come to an agreement of any sort. even though they have been MORE than reasonable. they have bent over backwards for him and he has laughed it off as an insult. anyone with that attitude has no character and thats something we dont need.

    now you put a different face on in trade negotiations…you act like this guys the greatest player of all time and that you dont have to get rid of him and you SQUEEZE every last good prospect out of them that you can manage…

  73. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    well its nice to know some people care…coulda fooled me…

    watch: if howard wins arbitration someone will approach the phillies about a trade. im not sure if theyll be open to that idea yet but someone will at least approach them…

  74. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    How is this the phillies failure? They control him till 2011. They are in no need and or rush to trade him. I believe if they phillies were smart, they would go to him and either offer him like 3/20 or 5/100 mil, then he would be happy and get his money, you would also have the core of the team locked up long term. But i believe the phillies will do that, because they made that mistake with burrell giving him a monster contract early in his career to appease him, and they thought they were locking up a future MVP, but as we know he was a good and solid player, but not at the money he was signed with, they should of kept him for less.

    It would save them money in the long run to lock him up, since if he continues to put up the numbers he has been, his ARB number will just continue to rise, but i dont think they want to get burned by giving him a long term deal, incase he does flare out, which i doubt he will

  75. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    it would save them money in teh long run to trade him and find someone cheaper but effective nonetheless.

  76. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    3/60* sorry, i need to proof read, you wouldnt know im in college

  77. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    They might find somebody cheaper, but he wont be nearly as effective, and that will hinder the entire lineup, which as of now, is quite leathly

  78. Memphis

    January 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Any player seeking a long-term deal has to assess the situation and ask for want he/his agent thinks is right, assuming a lot of risk if they don’t agree to a long-term deal and play year to year. You could argue that Hamels took a deal that is below what he might get in a better economy. He chose stability over the chance at getting more. Madson did the same. Does that make them right and Howard wrong? Does that make them “team” players and Howard not? No, Howard just has a higher tolerance of risk.

    Howard is playing year to year because he wants more than the Phils have offered for a long-term deal. That’s his right, he’s obviously comfortable with the risk of not signing a long-term deal, and utilizing the current system in place to set his salary year to year. He gets hit by a pitch, busts his wrist, he’s jeopardizing his long-term revenue potential. That’s his choice.

    I don’t have any problem with Howard’s stance. He’s team controlled, I think (could be wrong), for 2 more seasons. If that’s all we get out of him, assuming he’s healthy and productive, I’m not gonna cry about it. From the team’s perspective, going year to year isn’t terrible, and all the risk is on Howard.

    Part of my take on Howard is that — no matter how well he hits it now — guys his size typically don’t age well, the bat slows down, the legs get worse, and he won’t get any better in the field, so would we really want him in a salary-eating 5-7 year deal anyway? The answer may be, maybe at 15-18M per, but no more than that. So he plays 2 more years, even at 18M, hits the market and heads to the AL to DH. For me, not the end of the world. Certainly we would miss the production, there’s no question about that, but power-hitting 1Bs are relatively easy to find, like aging corner outfielders.

    And I’ve read some places (Neyer included) that leads me to believe that Howard will not likely win his case and get the 18M. But even if he wins, it’s not the end of the world. To me, this is not just about his salary in 2009 or 2010, it’s about how badly do we want to take on the risk of a long-term Howard deal, and my sense is that Rube is only interested at the same reasonable-to-low rate, shortish term that we offered to Hamels and Madson. Howard would rather go year to year? Cool. Maybe it’s to his advantage in this particular depressed year, but long-term, it’s still a big risk.

    Geoff — what sort of reasonable long-term deal would you like to see the Phils offer and Howard sign? I could see the Phils offering 5/90. But that looks absolutely ridiculous next to 8/180 for Teixeira, and Howard, a year older, has an MVP, home run crowns, and a championship.

    You’re asking Howard to ignore what other players are making and say, hey Rube, players make way too much money these days, it’s crazy out there, but I’ll sign for way less than Tex. Really hard to blame/pile on Howard for not doing that.

  79. Memphis

    January 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Sorry, longest post ever.

  80. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    3/60, 5/100. wow. first of all he would balk at that since he specifically states he wants more than that. second, even that is absolutely outrareous. if he gets 20M a year with this team and strikes out that much throw a full drink at him…from the nosebleed section.

    you have to find a suitable replacement. they may not be as prolific with power but they also might not strike out as much and consequently still help the team with a better batting average….

  81. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    The most important thing that Geoff seems to keep forgetting is that they don’t have to do anything with Howard anytime soon..

    once a suitable replacement comes along.. we should start this conversation again

  82. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    see thats the problem with the yankees. the yankess are bad for baseball because they screw this whole thing up. howards size does indeed indicate hell be a stiff…i mean, DH in a few years anyway so you try and keep him through age 32. Id offer (now, i mean) 4 years 60M, which is VERY reasonable. thats compeltely generous. but the DAMNED yankees go and offer insane money over the years escalating contracts and ressetting the market almost every year. so ebcause they overpayed for texeira you go and say “this deal for tex is illegitimate because the yankees are a wreckless team. we dont consider their behavior indicative of a rational entity, now…we have given you a very generous offer and youd be set for life even with “just” 60M. if you want to be paid the same amoutn of money as mark texeira and youre adamant about that we will happily make your wish come true and trade you to the yankees so you can talk to them about that type of money because we dont do business that way.”

  83. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    they do have to do something becauise this arb is getting expensive…money they could use to sign others to extensions or bring in a bat or an arm who could contribute in some kind of positive role. but they have to wait on this guy….thats why im saying, they still have a need for a reliever and a RH bat and they may not be able to afford that if howard wins 18M….so expect them to at least listen to an offer for howard.

  84. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    “bring in a bat or an arm who could contribute in some kind of positive role”

    …. NO bat in baseball is as productive as Howard, and to get a difference making pitcher, he’s going to demand just about the samen money that Howard wants..

    A reliever and a RH bat don’t matter one bit, because if you trade Ryan Howard.. you won’t be playing in any meaningful postseason games anyway. boom.

  85. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I wouldn’t do anything with Howard… I know that I made the case for what he has done and I have always said that he has been underappreciated but that doesn’t mean I think that he’s worth the kind of contract that he’ll command. Would it be nice to see him retire as a Phillie? Absolutely, but investing long-term in Howard is not worth the risk. If you’re looking at it from a GM standpoint, you have to expect that his production will fall at some point; let’s say that he can do what he does for another two or three years. That means, if Howard wants a five or six year deal, you have to discount years four, five and six significantly. If you don’t factor that into the equation, you end up with a contract that is damn near crippling. Of course, the Yankees screw everything up because they can afford to take that extra risk in years four, five and six. If the can afford it, that’s on them. It’s Steinbrenner’s prerogative. It’s on Selig to structure the money stuff so that all teams can be competitive (higher luxury taxes and penalties for exceeding the cap). Many teams would be willing to pay Howard big money now but few teams are willing to pay him big money five years from now (when he could be a stiff).

  86. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I love how people trash the Yankees for how much money they spend, blah blah. They make the money, and then they spend the money to try and put a championship product on the field, whether you agree or disagree with it is up to you. But, Geoff, i bet that if the phillies had the revenue that the yankees have, and were able to spend all that money, you wouldn’t be trashing the phillies for doing what the yankees do, if the roles were reversed, and who cares how much money they spend, they afford it and its not like its coming out of your pocket.

    Memphis great post, totally agree with you.

    I dont think its about how much money howard gets, whether its 100 mil or 200 mil, i believe he just wants to be recognized for what he puts up, the money isn’t all of it, its just the recognition, becas he believes he is in the same category as Tex.

    Also with the strike outs, hes a power hitter, he is going to strike out a shit load, but he also is going to lead the league in homers and rbis, would you rather him hit .320, 20 homers and 85 rbis with less strike outs or .260 50 homers 150 rbis and 150+ k’s, ill take the latter. His power makes him who he is, and you cant argue with the production, awards (MVP,ROY, and top 3 in the MVP in years he didnt win it, and WS Ring).

  87. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Actually no, I would be very upset at a team spending 400MM and change on three guys when they made the taxpayers pay for half the stadium…abotu 400MM & change AS IF THEY COULDNT AFFORD IT THEMSELVES! i hate to break it to you, but thats called fraud and it used to be a crime but in America if youre wealthy you can get away with anything, which is true everywhere.

    act6ually if you went into the season prepared for life without howard then you would have constructed yoru team to cope with that loss AND youd be playing in the postseason again providing everyone stays healthy….tahts right. sort of like how boston got rid of manny but still went deep in the playoffs in teh very same season…and since ryan hoawrd only showed up for two postseason games then, y know, you can work around that.

  88. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I don’t blame or fault the Yankees… like I said, that is Steinbrenner’s prerogative. If that is their business model (overpaying for the big-name free-agents), then so be it… I think that MLB needs to keep an eye on the situation (with respect to the slowed economy). In its current form, baseball has been successful; having the highest payroll hasn’t guaranteed anyone a championship but it’s hard for small markets to generate a fan base without big names. I really think that Selig understands this and is ok with this. Baseball is set up to allow for four or five perpetual big market competitors and two or three small market challengers… the big market teams are always going to be competitive because they can afford to buy competitive teams. Otherwise, you could have dynasties in places like Kansas City and Milwaukee (which is fine if you live in KC or MIL). The danger is that the Yankees will eventually spend themselves into bankruptcy. What happens if people stop buying merchandise? The Yankees and their luxury tax payments are critical to the success of baseball. So far, it has worked but times are a bit different now, aren’t they?

  89. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Yes they are….I agree..I do think the Yankees will eventually spend themselves silly…and theyll really suffer for it.

  90. Jh

    January 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    yo tim, what ever happened to the nickname thing

  91. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Geoff, I’m just curious, who would you like to see replace Howard and his 146 RBI??

  92. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    a bucket of baseballs…who cares?

  93. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    “who cares” …. that pretty much sums up your entire arguement for the day

  94. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Id prefer Kevin youkilis…but hes signed long term. Youd basically have to make sure Michael Taylor is ready and them move Ibanez to first. If not, youd have to bring in a guy. too far in teh future to tell gotta see whos available..

  95. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    believe it or not, teams can win without ryan howard…its happened before for yknow, a very long time…

  96. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I could have guessed that… are you a Red Sox fan? You post about the Red Sox an awful lot.

    Youkilis is one of the most underrated players in the game… and he still comes up short. They’re easy to compare because they have had similar careers so far but they’re not on the same level. Youk is a good player… Howard has proven to be a historic player. Youk’s deal is great for him but Howard is just better. Howard will not be able to live up to his contract but you can’t argue with what he’s done… it’s unprecedented in baseball.

  97. Richie Allen

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Memphis had the best explaination of the Howard salary question so far,Memphis for president!

  98. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    And that’s the part that I don’t get… he has done something historic and we act like those numbers are easily replaceable… well guess what, they’re not. Can we win without him??? Sure, but you have to go back to Ted Williams to find a guy that has had as many HR/RBI as he has had in his first few years’ in the bigs. Would we have won without him?? I’m not so sure.

  99. Manny

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    In Wall St., the rules allowed people to basically exploit the system and get tons of money, offering poor people homes and crazy loans. The system allowed them to do that… Fine. The system is at fault. But that doesn’t take away from the the fact that those who did that were unethical and greedy bastards.

    Same goes for the Howard case. He’s still playing within the rules, and he can file for his 18M, but that’s just simply not the proper way to go. To ask for 18M when he just made 10M is simply pushing the system to it’s limit… it’s being greedy.

    Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean that you have to.

  100. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I hate the Red Sox actually…and teh Yankees. The red sox spent almost as much as the yankees sometimes and act like they dont…youd have to replace howard with a solid guy like youk coupled with even more pitching as well i think. you cant ignore the numbers. im not saying you can replace him with anyone, but I mean its not the end of the world either if hes moved.

  101. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Its def being greedy. I thought hed ask for 14 not 18…anyways, even though i cant stand the red sox youkilis is one of my favorite players to watch though. i like the way he plays the game.

  102. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Just because you don’t have to, doesn’t mean you’re wrong if you do either

  103. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    If I didn’t have a set salary in my job, and Im better than anyone has been in my position.. but people that do half as much as me are making $18 an hour…last year I made $10 an hour, and if I ask for $18 I might get it.. If I don’t get that, i’ll get $14 an hour, which is good… but if those other guys are making $18 an hour, I feel that I should make at least that…

  104. Manny

    January 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    We see the Howard case from completely opposite viewpoints. I think his actions so far show that he’s one greedy guy, while you defend his actions on the basis that he CAN ask for whatever he wants. I’m sorry but I don’t see the world the same way you do. We’ll never reach a commonpoint.

  105. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I don’t think that Howard is being greedy… his agent writes down the number and tells him why he deserves it. Howard is a baseball player; he’s going to go along with whatever his agent says because he doesn’t really know any better. $14 and $18 million… they’re both unfathomable to a guy like Howard. If his agent told him to ask for $14 million, he would have went along with that. If his agent had told him to ask for $20 million, he would have probably went along with that, too. I’m sure that the MLBPA had something to say about this number, too. I mean, they wouldn’t want him to request anything less than $xx because that has a ripple effect on all future negotiations. I imagine that they’re paying very close attention to his case.

  106. Manny

    January 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    That said, I still want him on my team and wouldn’t trade him for now. He’s very valuable to this organization, and I recognize that. But I can’t admire the guy that much, I’m sorry.

  107. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I agree with Manny, Im personally disgusted by his actions and behavior, agents included, and theres really no way were ever going to see eye to eye on this. I mean, Im so digusted I want him soon as a practical trade can be arranged, so that tells you the level of my displeasure. i mean, this situation makes him look like a total pig even if its not all his doing.

  108. Geoff

    January 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Coincidentally, Jason Variteks behavior is DISGRACEFUL. hes considering retirement or sitting out the season as opposed to accepting millions of dollars? really? you know what? retire…d-bag, get out of this sport. what a piece of trash. thats SO extreme. thats like 5 times worse than howard, and I think howards behavior is extreme.

    it goes howard then varitek then manny ramirez in terms of total arrogance in this market and this situation. althought howard could be worse because hes still in arbitration and hes doing this, hard to tell which is worse sometimes.

  109. Manny

    January 29, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Chuck: seriously? This is money we’re talking about, not peanuts. The agent can say all he wants but the players has to have something in his head to know what’s a little outrageous and what’s not. Maybe he could just check his very own case a year ago where he set a RECORD for arbitration…a RECORD. But maybe he’s just a big kid after all. You give him a lollipop and he asks for a new car. He gets it, and then he asks for a house. Seriously, there has to be a STOP sign somewhere. I hope the arbitrators make the right choice…

  110. Manny

    January 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I’m just dissapointed in his behavior… guess I was expecting a humbler attitude from someone I really, really liked in sports.

    Don’t get me wrong. That’s it. I don’t want him crucified or anything. haha

  111. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    To me it comes down to the simple fact that Howard is better than most of the players that make more money than he does.. so how do you determine what he should be paid? That is what arbitration is for.. Greedy? Wouldn’t EVERYONE like to make as much money as they could? Pay off a house, help your family be squared away for life..

    I completely understand people being mad about the fact that certain players get paid too much money.. but be mad at the fact that there is no salary cap, or that the owners and agents, etc. come up with these figures.. don’t be mad at the player for seeking what he feels he is enabled to, based on what his co-workers make.. he’s trying to make the most, just as we all would.. and anyone that says otherwise is lying

  112. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Are you disappointed in the dollar amount?

    Would you be disappointed if he asked for $16 M ?

    I don’t think it has anything to do with him being humble or not… he’s said to be one of the nicest guys in professional sports, regardless of what Geoff or anyone else wants to say

  113. Manny

    January 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Not only in the dollar amount, but in his willingness to go to the final instances without the slightest desire to compromise. The ‘my way or the highway’ attitude. The ‘I’m God,’ and ‘irreplaceable’ behavior.

    Doesn’t click with me that well. Definitely, NOT humble.

  114. Chuck P

    January 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Ryan Howard understands that it’s a lot of money but I don’t think that he knows what he’s worth. How would he know whether he should be asking for $14 million or $18 million? His agent has told him that his numbers are unprecedented… which they are. There is nobody to compare him to and that
    is why he WON the arbitration case last year (record and all).

    Is $4 million worth labeling Ryan Howard the antichrist??

    The Phillies played hardball and lost last year… doesn’t that tell you something? The arbitrators sided with the kid so his demands are obviously were not out of line. We’ll see what happens this year but everyone is wayyyy too amped up over this.

  115. Don M

    January 29, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    $7 M offer to him last year was low…. $14 M even seems a little low, I figured he’d get about $15…. I don’t blame him one bit for trying to get what he, and his agent, and common knowledge think he’s worth

  116. Memphis

    January 29, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    If you were Howard, how much would you ask for? You’re a player for which there are almost no modern historical comparisons. You’ve already smashed the mold (and bank) once in arbitration. You’re coming off another near-MVP season.

    Do you be “proper” as Manny suggests? Maybe the 14-15M as Geoff suggests, basically the same value the Phils submitted? Nothing wrong with that number. This is the Pujols-Berkman-Chipper-Magglio-A Ramirez level, slightly more than Ortiz-Soriano-D Lee-Beltre. As a near-MVP, you’re essentially as good or better than most of these guys – right now. You can argue that you contended for the MVP against Pujols and Berkman, and should be considered in their class.

    Or do you go for a higher, but still reasonable number? After all, you argue, you’re on the upswing of your career. 15-16M level: Guerrero-Delgado-Thome-Helton-Abreu. 18-19M gets you to Beltran. Above that (all of these numbers are 2008) are guys like Manny, Jeter, A-Rod, Giambi. In 2009, you can add Teixeira – don’t know his year by year number but an average of 22.5M – and Giambi, Abreu drop out. For the purposes of this debate, let’s not even look at the Yankees-Red Sox influenced guys over 20M.

    I think it’s reasonable to say, looking at the comparables, wow, 18M is pretty high. But is it greedy to go for 18M, rather than 14-16M? To me, no. To others, yes. I do think it’s customary to stretch it as far as you reasonably think you can go, so 18M is high, but not crazy high. Not with Howard’s resume. Still, I think he’ll lose. The Phillies didn’t low-ball and set themselves up to get burned, like last year.

    Check out Stark’s take:

  117. dan

    January 29, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    anyone hear about the Manny Rally met fans are having tonight outside of SNY studios @ 7, while Mets Hot Stove is on?

  118. jan

    January 29, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    yea and were geint him too!

  119. Malcolm

    January 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Geoff, gosh brother, it’s professional sports. In what way has Howard acted that is really so extreme and disgusting? In all of baseball history, how is he any different? The lack of respect some of our fans show him is sometimes head-turning. He was a major cog in our championship machine. Every little thing he does is magnified because of the scale of public exposure. Can you really blame him for the actions he has taken in his particular field of work? If I was in demand by an employer, I’d act the same way, but unfortunately, I’m not. Sports are a dream life, as with all forms of celebrity. Sure, players are overpaid, but we all know that, and we still watch, we still have heart for the game. That’s not going to change. You’re just making a bigger deal about it this year because of the economy. Well, I’m dealing with my own problems like everybody else, I want to be here to enjoy the Phillies- to thank them with my love of the game. I love having an intimidating hitter like Howard on the team, but I’m not going to judge him as a man. If the country wasn’t in a recession, Ryan Howard would be a 20+ mil guy. This year, I think he will make 16.5 and play his hand another year and gamble on the economy regaining strength. I think mostly everybody here has done a really great job making a counterpoint to support Rhyno. I’m just hoping he doesn’t pull a Mo Vaughn.

  120. Malcolm

    January 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Well, not 20+. . I’m going with Memphis on that.

  121. Brooks

    January 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Amazing, I thought the number of people hitting this site was on a slight. This has to be one of the highest responses, ever.

    Some terrific points by a lot of you. I am wondering this; what are Ryan Howards individual goals? Aside from the monetary gain, what does he have in mind personally? Does he want to be the team leader? Most of us agree that he is not, his persona does not lend one to believe that he is one to lead. If Ryan displayed a determination to be a team leader, it might draw him to be more aggresive as a player specifically as a batter. More aggresive would mean hitting with more authority, hopefully to the left side of the infield –

  122. Pingback: Links of the Day: 1.29.08 « We’re the Team to Beat

  123. metsblow4show

    January 29, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Would someone please call Geoff’s doctor, he is definetly off his meds again. geez

  124. metsblow4show

    January 29, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    It’s a good thing that we don’t charge Tim for each of our posts, because Geoff would be making Ryan Howard money ! LMAO

  125. shag beta sigma delta

    January 29, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    OK enough of all you idiots who want to trade Howard. You have him for two more years of arbitartion right? So you win or lose this year pay him 14 or 18 million, he carries the team for the last two months of the year and gets them back in the playoffs and strikes out 200 times 45 hr 140 rbi. And now he asks for 22 mil and phillies offer 19, again win or lose you pay. Smart Phillie fans knew this two years ago that he would go year to year until his arbitration was over, then and only then do you discuss trading him in his last year of arbitrartion, or just let him go who cares if he gives you two three more solid power hitter years, including strike outs, and let get what he can on the open market you get one or two more world series titles and he walks no problem he got paid and would be considered a great phillie. Stop all this bashing the guy. I knew he was going year to year you accept that, like another post said it is his risk, not the phillies, God forbid he blows out a knee what will he get on the open market next year 8 mil plus a bunch of incentives. Why must we always bash these guys they just gave us a great season and a world championship. I dont think he will be all pouty if he loses arbitration, he will go out and still play hard and hit home runs and drive in runs. I mean seriously, he had a bad average last year but isnt he a career 270 hitter I ll take that with 200 strikeouts. The core of this team is controled by the team until 2011 any way right. So sit back and watch the big guy carry the team for a couple of months for the next few years. And I dont know who you are watching at first base when you say he has no heart, he hustles, plays hard and from all accounts I have heard he is great in the locker room. So stop bashing the big guy and cheer when we win it all again next year with this team

  126. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I can’t get over how discusted Geoff is over Howards “actions”. Did any1 see his interview on CSN with Leslie Gudel? He was in Tampa, as laid back as hell. And when he was asked whether he would like to sign a long term contract and retire as a philly, he said, ” that be wonderful” and when asked if he thinks he could sign a long term deal he said ” hopefully”. So i dont believe that his actions are out of line whatsoever. He isn’t pulling a TO and saying how its a disgrace and how he doesn’t have enough money to feed his family. His agents are doing their job, and its not like they pulled 18 million out of their ass, they did research and believe that with his numbers hes put up, the awards, that 18 mil is what his agents believe he is worth.
    Why on Gods earth is that so out of line?

  127. Kev

    January 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Shag Delta, everyone agrees with you besides Ge-Off.

  128. Chuck P

    January 30, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Good point, Kev. Obviuosly, he’s trying to get paid but that’s not his motivation and he’s certainly not TO. Regardless what happens, he’s not going to complain about what he gets… $14 million or $18 million… and some guys wouldn’t take that stance. He could hold a grudge against the Phillies but he doesn’t and he’s geniune about his desire to remain in Philadelphia. In hindsight, it’s pretty obvious that he could have been called up earlier; they probably wasted a year and a half of his major league career. Other teams were salivating over Ryan Howard… we handcuffed ourselves to sell tickets at the expense of Ryan Howard. We all know how it feels to be working for, or playing behind, someone that is less talented than you…

  129. Richie Allen

    January 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    When I think of years past..because I’ve been a fan since the 60’s,I think this whole argument with Howard’s contract is kind of ironic.Its amazing to me not that we’ll pay him either 14 or 18 mil,But that all these players want to stay here or come to Philly.
    I’m not used to that.But I like it…
    As long as he hits 45/145..homers/RBI..I’ll be happy year to year.(I think with his body,he’s crazy not to sign a longer one)

    Some of you may not have been around long enough to remember the times when no one wanted to come here or stay here.But I remember ,and I’m so happy that we have the present situation.

  130. bigmyc

    January 30, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Tim, gotta say that this was a slightly odd (not a necessarily a bad thing) piece. There is no disputing the influence that these two marquee names, or rather, personalities have on the Phillies. However, just as many have already mentioned the California Perfectionists of Cole and Chase, you could make a great case for the supply line of Dobbs, Werth, Ruiz, Feliz and even Jenkins as perfect for the job they had to do. The bullpen, though so NOT underrated, should get clubhouse points big time.

    My point; everybody had a job to do and everybody’s job was crucial to the total goal and everybody held it up.

    Jamie Moyer might be a guy who I wouldn’t pair with anyone because what he did, he did on his own, he was just given one hell of a canvas to work upon.

    I just don’t believe that JR and RyHo are much more important than the BP itself or Utley and Rollins or that durable, consistent starting rotation or RyHo and Burrell or the twin pronged spark plug of Vic and JRoll and etc……

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