ESPN’s Keith Law on 97.3 ESPN FM – Phillies Nation

ESPN’s Keith Law on 97.3 ESPN FM MLB analyst Keith Law joined the Sports Bash with Mike Gill earlier today and bashed the extension the Phillies gave to slugger Ryan Howard.  In the interview, Law said Howard was being paid like the second best player in the game, but might not even be the 20th best player in the majors.

Law said that he doesn’t see the logic in giving him that many years in a deal when he is so far away from free agency.  He also bashes Howard ability, or lack thereof, to hit left handed pitching saying the decline is well under way.

Click here to listen Listen to Keith Law discuss the Ryan Howard deal on ESPN Radio



  1. Eric

    April 27, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Keith! I guess your prediction of Howard is on par with your prediction for brad penny when he was brought back last year. I remember seeing you at a game sitting in the scout section….commmon man where’s your head at rippin Howard?

  2. Trent

    April 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Keith…..ur a total crumbag!!!! u should get a life before u say that kinda garbage! HOWARD will be good!

  3. Philly Texan

    April 27, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    This is my favorite quote: “A flaw in Howard’s game has been exposed. Now managers know that all they have to do late in the game is bring any lefty in with a decent curveball and they have a good chance of getting Ryan Howard out.”

    Wow, what a revelation!

    It’s not as if managers havent been doing that to Howard for years, and yet he still manages to thrive.

    I also like his assertion that Howard is “in decline” even though his numbers have been steady — if not going up.

    WHo is this a**hoe anyway? He worked for two years in the Toronto Blue Jays front office — you mean the team that hasn’t had a sniff of postseason in 17 years — well, if that doesn’t qualify you for genius status, I don’t know what does….

  4. NJ

    April 27, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Keith Law rubbishing the Phils go figure… Where have the Phils finished the last two years Keith? How much depth does our farm actually have in conjunction with the needs on the major league level Keith? How have the teams you rave about been doing the last couple of years Keith?

  5. Manny

    April 27, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Not among the 20 best players in MLB?


  6. BurrGundy

    April 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I hope someone plays this to Ryan Howard. I cannot see where Howard is on the decline. His numbers are huge. The fact that he strikes out and does have some difficulty with lefthanders tells me that he has things to work on to get even better. Thirty years old is not on the decline. Perhaps 32 or 33 are ages when the skills rust. This interview may be a big motivator to Ryan Howard and I hope it is. Personally I like Keith Law, but I think he approaches baseball as more of an academic prude sometimes, and this is one of those times. The Cardinals, Brewers and Padres are crapping in their pants at this signing and you really have to ask if this signing is good for the financial health of baseball. THAT IS A MORE IMPORTANT QUESTION, in my mind.

  7. Manny

    April 27, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Even though I agree with some of their arguments, sometimes I feel that Keith Law and others who ONLY look at “advanced” stats come off as arrogant. It’s an “I’m right, you’re wrong” attitude that’s so annoying, as if they absolutely knew more about baseball (or the business of baseball) than others, including GMs all around the league…

  8. Morris Buttermaker

    April 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    “Now managers know that all they have to do late in the game is bring any lefty in with a decent curveball and they have a good chance of getting Ryan Howard out.”

    Yea, that is much better than the manager bringing in the righty who leaves hanging curves. How come Keith Law does not a job managing?

  9. psujoe

    April 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    What a tool. Phils probably could’ve waited, but then Werth was Gonzo. By locking up Howard for 20 mil 2010-2103 they can find a way to resign Werth.

  10. Brian Michael

    April 27, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    You know how ESPN commentators like to talk about Ryan Howard to stir up controversy….just like Buster and the Pujols trade.

  11. WFC010

    April 27, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Werth’s agent just made it sound like him resigning with the Phillies is unlikely but “still a possibility”

    But really, didn’t we all reach the conclusion Werth was likely to be gone after this season anyway?

    I said it a few months ago, but i’d honestly rather they either extend Jayson RIGHT NOW or trade him to a team that has a reasonable chance of extending him.

  12. BurrGundy

    April 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    One good reason why we don’t trade Jayson Werth now: We want to win another championship and it would be easier with Werth.

    And if we don’t sign Jayson now, and he has a huge year, just think of his value on the open market?

  13. Jeff Dowder

    April 27, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Most of Law’s points are valid. This was not a good contract. The Phillies would have been much better off letting Ryan play out his current contract and letting him walk after next season.

  14. The Dipsy

    April 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    If we’re not gonna sign Jayson…trade him at the all star break. Keith Law is not a real knowledgeable/credible baseball source. Its Peter Gammons or nothing.

    The Dipsy

  15. The Dipsy

    April 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    If we’re not gonna sign Jayson…trade him at the all star break. Keith Law is not a real knowledgeable/credible baseball source. Its Peter Gammons or nothing.

    The Dipsy

  16. psujoe

    April 27, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I’m no baseball genious, but a lineup with Utley, Howard, Brown and Ibanez back-back-back-back is suicide. The Victorino signing was more puzzling to me. Could’ve used his money for Werth if needed and went with Werth in CF until Gillies or Gose was ready.

  17. WFC010

    April 27, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Yeah, I never understood the point of extending Shane when they did…considering that we have a number of good to great quality CF prospects in the minors, but no right-handed power options that are anywhere even close to being in the majors in the next few years.

  18. psujoe

    April 27, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    how many years of arbitration did Vic have left, 2? if 2 then they should’ve let him rollover in arbitration. If only 1 I can at least see the reasoning.

  19. WFC010

    April 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I think(although i’m not certain) that he only had 1 year left of arb, and to be fair…it’s unlikely we’d see either of Gillies or Gose in the Majors before mid 2011 at the earliest, so Shane did have to stick around long enough for somebody else to take over. But then again Jayson has shown himself to be more than capable in Centerfield, so they could have just extended him and let him man CF until Gillies or Gose is ready, and then move Werth back to one of the corners.

  20. Chris.I

    April 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Whats this guy smoking? In all honesty he had a point, but that point got broken off at the tip. I agree that Utley is a slight better player (only because he’s more clutch) but come on Mr.Law..Does it occure to him that we have 2 guys in our team that are BOTH on the top 10 list? You can put his last 5 year numbers up to anyone in baseball…His numbers DO NOT LIE. He might not be the ”best” player in baseball, but I can almost guarentee that Howard will make Law eat his words in years to come….I just cant get over this idiots remarks. Thats such an insult!!! Where are you Howard? Turn that switch on in your bat. ”Grab your bags, it’s on” lol

  21. j

    April 27, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    yeah this is ridiculous. i read a scouting magazine two years ago that said Howard was on the decline and hes still putting up big numbers.

  22. Phyan

    April 28, 2010 at 9:49 am

    OK, so none of you listened to it then. It’s actually quite reasonable, and of course nobody’s going to post a logical criticism. Keith Law is not a random sports writer, he’s a former front office analyst and scout. These kind of analyses were and are his job.

  23. Phyan

    April 28, 2010 at 9:51 am

    And the fact that you all take it so personally, like an “insult,” pretty much tells you how pointless it is to try and get any of you to look at it objectively.

  24. Dave

    April 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Law is essentially right, but saying that Howard is not among the top 20 players in baseball is a stretch. He more or less asked for this.

  25. Phan in the outfield

    April 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    First, let me say that I like Ryan Howard, I appreciate his skills, and I’m happy he’s in Phila to stay for a while.

    However, let me also say that I get it Phylan. I get what you have been saying and I get what Keith Law said in this discussion. I understand and to a certain degree I agree.

    But I also think we had to re-sign Ryan. He’s a necessary part of the team both for his skill set and emotionally (whether or not anyone wants to admit that – it is the truth for a variety of reasons). No one seems to be able to find a logical reason behind them signing NOW unless it was at least in part emotional. The timing is bad. The lame excuses used by RAJ so far have been almost insulting.

    I also do not, at all, understand the $10mil buyout at the butt end of an older guy’s career, esp when history is proven to repeat itself, and this kind of player does not age well. We know this organization will have to pay him. It’s nonsensical from almost every standpoint except Howard’s.

  26. Phan in the outfield

    April 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Anyway – having beaten this poor horse to absolute death – can we pls treat it like the Cliff Lee story it is: Stick a fork in it, it’s done. Nothing we can do about it. Can we move on and address figuring out how to get Werth signed pls? Although, at this point, I might be the only one left who is hopeful. Maybe RAJ needs to visit Oz and mug the scarecrow & the tinman for their brain & heart.

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