2010 Year in Review: Ryan Howard – Phillies Nation
2010 Player Reviews

2010 Year in Review: Ryan Howard

Three balls. Two strikes. Two outs. Bottom of the ninth. One run down. You’ve played the scenario out in your head hundreds of times as a kid. Maybe you were Ken Griffey Jr. Maybe you were Michael Jack. Hank Aaron. Brooks Robinson. Whoever. You know the situation – we all dream of being in that spot as a kid and launching a longball deep into the lights like Roy Hobbs once did. It didn’t happen that way.
San Francisco Giants

Ryan Howard had an opportunity to send the Phillies to a Game 7 with the swing of a bat. It didn’t come off his shoulder.

Howard’s 2010 season will always be remembered as a disappointment because of that moment, fair or unfair. Overall, it was a huge disappointment, even before he was unable to come through when they needed him the most.

Check these numbers out: .276 avg, 47 home runs, 138 RBI, .944 OPS

That’s Ryan Howard’s career average over roughly six seasons in the league. Needless to say, he didn’t come close to those power numbers in 2010. Really, it was a product of a dysfunctional offense from head to toe, although Howard didn’t help the cause much himself.

Howard’s .276/31/108/.859 stat line was by far the worst of his short, but illustrious career. At one point during the season, Howard went 15 games without a home run. He had only two (two!) multi-homer games. His OPS crept above .900 for just a short period before spiraling into the mid .800’s.

A freak ankle injury took Howard out of 16 games, but lets face it; he wasn’t the same guy before the DL stint.  Save for a super hot start to the season, he was unable to put together stretches of brilliance like we’d seen in the past. Even his normally fantastic September was sub-par by his standards. Howard hit only seven homers during Sept/Oct, a month in which he previously hit 52 through his first five-plus years in the league.

Something just was not right. Then the postseason came.

Howard’s playoffs were forgetful, to be nice. Everyone points to his .303 playoff average, but come on. Don’t be blind. Howard was downright awful with the stick and the glove. He did not have one RBI in the postseason. He struck out 17 times in 33 at-bats. He had only four extra base hits. All unacceptable.

Then came that final at-bat when he could have re-written the story of his season, and to a certain degree, his entire career. It didn’t work out that way. And in summation, it was by far Ryan Howard’s worst season start to finish.

PAT GRADE: 7.4/10

NICK “THE BEERMAN” STASKIN: 6.9/10 – Howard just never seemed to hit a groove this year. The power numbers weren’t really there, and in the blink of an eye he forgot how to take a walk. It is alarming to wonder what kind of production awaits us as he has already cashed in one a megadeal that could be crippling.

Tomorrow: Chase Utley


50 Comments

50 Comments

  1. Adam

    October 27, 2010 at 10:11 am

    No question Howard had a down year. I often wondered this year where he went astray from seasons past. If you look at Howard in 2006 he had a more crouched batting stance and looked more athletic when he hit. This year, under the tutoring of Barry Bonds, he was more upright and it seemed that standing more upright prevented him from lifting pitches down in the zone.

    It seems the league has figured out all of Howard’s weaknesses (fastballs up and away, breaking pitches away, pitches middle in but just off the plate). His rate of ground outs to the first basemen were simply alarming. There were many games this year where he would go 2-5 with two singles and an RBI. That is a great game for Shane Victorino but not a great game for Howard.

    Additionally, Howard must see a league high percentage of breaking pitches. He has to adjust to that. Also, I don’t remember him hitting any absolute bombs this year. He really just had a horrible offensive season and yet he still hit 30 homeruns and drove in nearly 110. That certainly shows how good of a player he is but he is capable of 50 and 150.

    I hope he goes back to having a crouched stance and learns to lay-off those tough breaking pitches and high fastballs.

  2. jim

    October 27, 2010 at 10:24 am

    he was exposed in WS last season. a nonfactor in the late innings because of his vulnerability to lefties. i think he has shortened his swing and been less selective with pitches to avoid striking out so much, and its taken away from his power. probably a more valuable player while striking out 200 times.

  3. Ted Bell

    October 27, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I’m sure Ryan will have it all figured out between now and 2017.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  4. Dave

    October 27, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I am still disgusted by his watching the season go away without even swinging, at a pitch right sown the middle, I guess he needs them to bounce a foot outside, because we all know had it done that he would have swung, and now Werth is probably leaving. I know one thing Jayson would have swung at the pitch.

  5. The Original Chuck P

    October 27, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I somewhat disagree with this post although I think that Pat’s grade is probably close, in terms of what we expect out of Ryan Howard versus what he gave us. In terms of player production, it’s hard to pinpoint a value because numbers were down across MLB and Howard missed time due to injury. At the end of the day, he finished top 5 in RBI and top 10 in HR in the NL… no one reached 120 RBI in the NL (when is the last time that happened in a 162 game season? 1992, when Dutch lead the NL with 109 RBI).

    Howard was hitting .292 before he hit the DL. If he doesn’t go down with that injury, he hits 35 HR and drives in close to 120 RBI. He finished 4th in RBI despite missing time and it’s not like the guys in front of him were setting the world on fire so the “Anyone can knock in 120 RBI with this team” argument doesn’t really work.

    Those number might fall below his career averages but this was the year of the pitcher. Only two men in all of baseball hit more than 40 HR… Jose Bautista and Pujols. Howard gets his high OPS by hitting HR’s – he’s not a doubles hitter or a high average guy. More than anyone else, he relies on the HR to put up monster numbers. In a year where HR are down, his numbers will be down . Do you grade on a curve because the rest of the league is down? Should we temper our expectations? I think that each player plays a distinct role in this lineup… Howard is the RBI and HR guy. Top 5 in RBI and top 10 in HR… it’s hard for me to say that he had a bad year but it was definitely far short from what we are accustomed to seeing. The eye test tells me that he could have done better but if the league is turning into a pitcher dominated league, I think that we all have to learn to temper our expectations.

    I think that we’re seeing the shift- from an era defined by long balls and phenomal run producing to pitching and defense. Defensively, Howard was ok. Highest RF/G and RF/9 of his career but too many errors. Overall, I think that Howard did his job and fulfilled his role during the regular season. He did some decent things in the postseason but he didn’t fulfill his role… second highest OPS and one of the better batting averages but he didn’t drive in the runs that we needed.

  6. PalmettoPhilly

    October 27, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Ryan Howard and I had the same number of RBI’s in the postseason. And I had no errors. ‘Nuff said. Fail.

  7. Joe

    October 27, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Howard is the most over-rated, over-paid player in baseball.and should be traded to an American League team where his stone hands will not hurt for a good prospect for first base. GOOD PROSPECT not like the ones Amaro got for Lee!!

  8. branderson

    October 27, 2010 at 11:11 am

    As said before in my comments, maybe if Utley, Victorino and Polly got on base for the man who hit .303, he would have had more RBI

    I love Utley more than anyone on this team but I will be first to say I was most disappointed with him.

    Good write up. I was aching for a monster September out of Ryan that I’ve become so accustomed to. I guess that got pushed to the back burner when the Phils were simply killing it the entire month.

  9. Bart Shart

    October 27, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Big mistake by Amaro to sign Howard one year early to a megadeal. This deal will tie the Phillies’ hands for years to come. We saw the beginning of the downhill ride of Ryan Howard in 2010 and it will get worse while he gets richer. I hope I am wrong. Too early for this type of megadeal. Very dumb move by Amaro, jr.

  10. NickFromGermantown

    October 27, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I need to do some research, but the most alarming thing was that his hits seemed to be less hard and his fly balls seemed to be hit less far. That is a major problem if that is indeed the case.

    His plate discipline is bad and doomsday may be around the corner – when more managers realize that he’s not 2006 or 2007 Ryan Howard and force their pitchers to pitch to him. I always laugh when they intentionally walk him to get to Werth. It doesn’t seem to make sense when all you have to do is throw breaking balls.

    Overall, it ALWAYS comes back to the contract. If Ryan Howard was making $10MM, $15MM, or even $20MM, then maybe the case would be different. But he’s going to be making $25MM per year and they are going to have to pay him $10MM to sit in his final year if he gets to the point where it’s worth $10MM to make him sit. It seems like every year he is paid more, he gets worse. The numbers don’t quite support that, but that’s what it seems like.

    This is really a bad, bad situation and I hope we are all proven wrong by Howard. He’s the only one that can do that.

  11. Philly Texan

    October 27, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Ryan Howard will be fine.

    His power numbers were down, but as others have said power was down across baseball.

    He was having a very good season at the plate—hitting OVER .300 at one point in July—until the ankle injury. He wasn’t the same after that. His postseason wasn’t good, but wasn’t terrible either, especially compared with others on the team. I expect Howard to bounce back next year.

    Ryan Howard is the least of this team’s concerns right now.

    The bigger concern is: What will we see from Utley in the future?

    In the past 18 months, he simply hasn’t performed like a No. 3 hitter should.

  12. Manny

    October 27, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Yup, classic example of tying up your own hands.

  13. Chuck

    October 27, 2010 at 11:46 am

    That month off really hurt him. No question he would have had 35 HR…I actually think it would have been 40…if not for that DL stint. I had been saying that all along when people on here were criticizing his production. And that was BEFORE the injury that I predicted a .280 avg, 40+ HR, and 120-130 RBI.

    Unfortuantely, that last at-bat was the last thing that people will remember about his year….so, unfairly, he gets points deducted because of it. It’s like the equivalent of a big chapter test in a school semester. It carries a heavier weight towards the final grade.

    And can we please stop it with all the “downhill ride” talk?! Smart money is on Howard to get his a$$ to Clearwater real early and come back stronger than ever….EACH YEAR moving forward. No doubt in my mind that he more than earns that contract. He’s not in the same mold as John Kruk and Greg Luzinski who were lazy slobs all winter.

  14. Tim

    October 27, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Zero RBI’s in the NLCS. No hits when needed. Yes he had an above average season for most players, a below average season for what he has done and what he is being paid to do. Don’t get me wrong EVREYONE of them with the exception of maybe Werth, irony intended, was useless in the NLCS at the plate. Chase has a subpar defensive series on top of that. There is more then enough blame to go around, even a little for Charlie, so please don’t think I am laying it all at Ryan’s feet, but come on man, we teach kids, two strikes, anything close you have to SWING THE BAT!!!

  15. Jenn

    October 27, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Blargh!

    Was I hoping for a hero moment? Yes. Did I want more? Yes. Do I think Howard is what to worry about? No.

    Two things that have been relatively ignored are:
    1. No one was on base for those alluded RBIs and when they were in that disappointing Game 6, they hesitated and Perlozzo held them at third (Run number 3 should’ve came then)
    2. Howards defense significantly improved this year. I’d like to believe that in effort to make himself a more well rounded player and less well rounded in the stomach, that’s why the hitting took a hit this year and things will be back next year.

  16. PhillyFoodFeed

    October 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Chuck has some great points. The only thing I have to say though is that when Howard came up in the 9th, I was not looking forward to it and I know I’m not the only one. Your 4 hole hitter is supposed to be the guy you want coming up in that position. Your franchise guy is your franchise guy because of situations like that and this year I had ZERO confidence in Howard filling that role.

  17. NickFromGermantown

    October 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    “And can we please stop it with all the ‘downhill ride’ talk?!”

    ABSOLUTELY NOT. Ryan Howard’s best season ever was his sophomore campaign in 2006. Since then, he has simply not been as good (2009 was close) yet everyone thinks that he will always been that guy. Pitchers are figuring him out and now he doesn’t even have to play for a contract any more. It would be dumb not to keep the pressure on. His walks are down so much. He really needs to step it up.

  18. Andrew from waldorf

    October 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Ill go with 0
    to match the rbi total

    Before you do the Utley. Heres some help. Go with 1

  19. Next Year

    October 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Donovan Mc-Howard.

  20. The Original Chuck P

    October 27, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    The shortsighted nature of this fan base is frustrating sometimes… I kind of wish that you would have started with someone else.

    Again, his numbers were down but all numbers were down across MLB. The major league average for total runs scored/allowed was 4.32 per game. It doesn’t seem like much but that’s the lowest average run total in a long time (since 1992).

    He makes the big money because his role is something that requires God given tools- not everyone can hit home runs at the rate that he can. He’s a home run hitter… he’s also a very good run producer. That’s what he is paid to do and he finished top 5 in RBI and top 10 in HR despite missing time.

    He failed to do his job in the postseason and that’s obviously not acceptable. Did the ankle have something to do with that? Maybe… I don’t see how anyone on here can act like they know what was going on with Ryan Howard. Is there any reason to feel like he’s not going to be successful in 2011… I don’t think so. All this guy does is go to work. His defense was a problem… he worked on it. I think that the biggest criticism of Ryan Howard is his batting average… his average was up for the 3/4 of the season that he was healthy. If he gets healthy, I think we’ll see more progress in 2011. He’s earned my trust.

  21. Jon

    October 27, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    The entire offense (not just Howard) will show up next year. Don’t worry about it. All this talk of “It was too early to sign him to a big deal” and what not, is ridiculous. That bats will be back, and everyone will have forgotten this years disappointing end.

  22. DRS

    October 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Let it be known first that I thought they should have signed Mark Tex and traded Howard for other needs.
    This was long prior to the 58 million lottery ticket Ruben gave him.
    Now bottom line he still has not learned how to hit a breaking ball, and probably never will. My old ball coach could probably K him with his 55-60 mi/hr two big breaker.
    I say now it is time to restructure his contract and use the money to sign Jason Werth. Don’t think the Phillies will go after Carl Crawford do you?

  23. biz

    October 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Everyone points to his .303 playoff average, but come on. Don’t be blind. Howard was downright awful with the stick and the glove.

    _________

    How can one be “awful with the stick” while batting over .300.

    Ok, he had no HR’s. It was 9 games, 6 against the best pitching staff in MLB and 3 in a huge park. And it’s hard to knock runs in when the 3 men in front of you are batting .200.

    I can think of 6 guys who were worse than Howard this series. And the Golden Boy second baseman was the absolute worst.

    Speaking of “downright awful with the glove”…..
    Utley was disgraceful, taking grounders off his thigh and under his glove. For whatever reason, the official scorer was calling those routine grounders hits, but it doesn’t change the fact that his fielding alone cost us 2 games. By my count he had 8 errors. 8! In 9 games.

    And here we are pointing at a guy with a .303 average.

    Tomorrows piece ought to be merciless. I won’t hold my breath. Chase seems to walk on water in these cirlces.

  24. Kate

    October 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I pretty much agree with Biz. Yes, Howard had a down year, but he’s not the biggest goat of the group.

    I can’t wait to see Golden Boy’s numbers. And I really like Chase Utley. I mean, REALLY like him. But he deserves worse numbers.

  25. Mike from DE

    October 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    4.5

    Howard is disgustingly over-rated. 2006 was a banner year because he was fresh on the scene and nobody knew how to pitch to him. 4 post seasons later and now the entire league has a book a mile long on how to pitch to him and get him out and it all starts with a left-hander. Is it any surprise to see him struggle in October against quality pitching? This guy inflates his numbers every year by hitting dingers off of the terrible pitching of the Nats and Marlins. Until he learns to lay off the breaking stuff in the dirt and not chase the high heater, he’ll never put up 2006 numbers again.

    Another issue, and this goes for the entire team, is they have a TERRIBLE approach at the plate being GUESS hitters. Why do you think they all stare at fastballs down the middle in 0-1 and 1-1 counts? Teams realize that the Phils are looking for fastballs 99% of the time and have started to pitch them backwards, ie: off-speed stuff in fastball counts. And it makes sense with our lineup…anyone 1-8 can put the ball in the seats so why take the risk and groove a fastball? It makes more sense to walk them and the Phillies have shown that they lack the patience to lay off pitches out of the zone. Until they learn some discipline and change their approach, we’ll continue to see a decrease in offensive production across the entire team.

  26. Ellis Tokay

    October 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I too am sick of the Yankees – they play by their own rules. Their arrogance is unbelievable and it takes no talent to manage or gm the Yankees. If you need something to put the team together – GO BUY IT. Baseball needs a hard salary cap then let’s see what the Yankees, Red Soxs, Philadelphia and the big $$$ team can do to compete on ability not $$$.

  27. The Original Chuck P

    October 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I agree with you biz but you’re kidding yourself if you’re trying to convince yourself that you were happy with Howard’s production in the playoffs. The average was great and the OPS numbers were great but he left more men on base than anyone else in the postseason… his job on this team is to drive in runs and he failed at that.

    Since we’re grading the “year,” you can’t just look at the postseason… he put up solid numbers, relative to the rest of the league. We pay him to be top 10 in HR and RBI… regular season and postseason, that’s what we need him to do. Sometimes, we can live with him hitting for average and not driving in runs but when we need him, he needs to step up.

    Utley had a bad year… at the plate, in the field and especially in the postseason. If his numbers aren’t much worse than Howard’s, there’s a problem.

  28. Chuck

    October 27, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I’m reading a book right now about various baseball topics…things, events, situations from the past…and the part I am on right now is about Cal Ripken and the Streak.

    Cal’s offensive numbers TANKED when he was 29 years old and there was tremendous pressure on him to sit down….that the Streak was causing his extended slump. I think at one point his average was down to .209. (he ended the season at .250)

    That was in 1990. In 1991, Cal was MVP, hit 323, and silenced the critics. And he went on to play successfully for 10 more years.

    Was he tired? Was he injured? Neither? Both? We’ll never really know. But it reminds me so much of the Utley situation here. Sure Chase’s production and his defense is concerning. But I would be willing to be that he bounces back just like Ryan Howard will. These guys are professional athletes. They have a strong work ethic. You don’t think THEY want to correct what’s wrong?

    Everyone just needs to take breath and relax. Stop thinking that these guys can just have “career years” ever single season. It doesn’t work that way.

  29. Kate

    October 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Just remember.

    Howard’s “bad” years are most other people’s career years.

    Same with Chase Utley.

  30. Phan in the outfield

    October 27, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I don’t have a problem w/Ryan Howard. In some way he’s the face of the team, or he’s the face the FO has chosen, & I’m ok w/him.

    Numbers are great, they’re finite, perfect, they tell us a lot. But I also think intangibles come into it. A player’s contribution is more than straight numbers: when hits were made; when defensive plays were made (big or ineffectual) did offense or defense fuel the team; attitude; work ethic; emotion in the dugout. A ‘Jimmy Rollins factor’, for lack of a better analogy.

    I was kind of bothered by Howard’s type of production. It’s my impression a player like Howard gets paid-the-big-bucks to hit big & to hit in clutch situations. He wasn’t doing either prior to the DL or after the DL. He didn’t do anything to get us into the playoffs & he didn’t do anything during the playoffs. It seems like other players came through when we needed them. But Howard got the money, ALL the money.

    Also, I’d love to see this much energy put into the same number of excuses for the other players who earn less than Howard when Pat evaluates them.

  31. The Original Chuck P

    October 27, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Howard says, “Just get me to the plate.”

    I guess that wasn’t a big moment. He HAS carried us… think back over the past few Septembers. Maybe, just maybe, we could find it in our hearts to give him a free pass this September/October since, you know, he was playing on a bad ankle.

    I don’t know… I think everyone is crazy. Everyone is still struggling with the fact that we won’t be participating in the big game tonight and it’s driving us all nuts. Now might not be a good time to evaluate a year’s worth of work. A season is 162 games plus two postseason series and the only image that we all have in our head right now is the one that brings us an early exit from the playoffs.

  32. Lefty

    October 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I believe reasonable arguments have been made by Pat,OCP,PhillyTexan,Chuck,Biz,Kate and Phan.

    No need to repeat what’s been said, so I’ll just give my grade.
    Ryan Howard one of my favorite Phils gets a 7 for this season, it could have been an 8 if he’d come through big in the LCS.

    However, I’d give him a 100 if he’d willingly offer to give $5m a year back to contribute to the Jayson Werth cause. I know how ridiculous that sounds but it is not unprecedented in team sports!

  33. JAY-AKA-PHILLYBOY

    October 27, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    RYAN HOWARD WILL DO WHAT HE DOES EVERY YEAR WHAN 100% healthy-270-45 HR-135+RBI’S……..NO OTHER FANBASE WE COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT,WHY ARE SOME OF YOU????????

  34. JAY-AKA-PHILLYBOY

    October 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    WOULD COMPLAIN….SRY

  35. Chuck

    October 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    “Just get me to the plate”

    Do all you complainers realize that once he’s actually TO the plate….based on this year’s postseason average….he has a 70% chance of failing??

    And, yeah…maybe the ankle is still bothering him. So he gets a free pass from me.

  36. Kate

    October 27, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    The only reason I’ve been so tough on Utley is because everyone’s so focused on demolishing Ryan Howard, they’re not bothering to look at the fact that it’s only because Howard’s put up such phenomenal numbers in the past that we’re calling this a “down” year for him.

    And then they forget to demolish Golden Boy or are simply too tired from the effort they expended on demolishing Howard.

    That being said, most of the big guys who have struggled this season (Howard, Utley, Rollins) do deserve something resembling a free pass because they HAVE produced well in the past when they haven’t been plagued by injuries.

    Next year will be funner. Take that to the (Citizens) Bank (Park).

  37. Manny

    October 27, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Original: “We pay him to be top 10 in HR and RBI”

    I guess it’s all relative… I believe we pay him to be top THREE in HR and RBI.. so fans like me will normally set the bat higher for a player like Howard… that also makes us more prone to disappointment.

  38. Manny

    October 27, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    set the bar* haha

  39. Phan in the outfield

    October 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Chuck: He IS getting a free pass to the tune of $19mil this yr. And it’s going UP soon. When you make that much money ppl are going to ask for a return, esp when you’re really kind of paid for exactly the type of situations that you pointed to. When you have even one season that doesn’t live up to your paycheck, then I don’t think it’s too much for ppl to discuss what they consider to be a lack of production or a lack of the right kind of production.

    Re: my post, I wasn’t talking about last yr, which was when that endlessly discussed ‘Get me to the plate …’ incident happened (and it was only once). I was I thought plainly talking about this season. He just wasn’t clutch.

    My gosh, other guys on this team have just almost been beaten by fans for far less. Nobody is bashing Ryan Howard. I think we’re all hoping he’s back to normal next yr. Or maybe if he’s no longer a power hitter, then perhaps his hitting will be more consistent & he’ll strike out less. When you hit fewer HRs, you’d better strike out less.

  40. Phan in the outfield

    October 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Kate: At some point over the summer (just can’t remember when – it was before the DL) I made the hideous mistake of talking about what I thought at the time was an inordinant number of errors from Utley. I said I thought he was always backing up into CF & RF to catch balls (& in HS softball we’d call him a “ball hog” I thought it was funny – omg, mistake), & how nobody was allowed to say a bad thing about him.

    I wouldn’t say I got ‘blasted’ but the responding posts weren’t pretty. Heh heh. I’ve tread carefully through the minefield that is ‘The Golden God Utley’ since then.

    Seriously, I think he’s great – he’s always been, will always be one of my baseball favorites of all time. I’m proud that he’s a Philadelphia Phillie. But he’s HUMAN. Come on.

  41. Chuck

    October 27, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    The ONLY thing I will even remotely “bash” Ryan Howard for is his absolute failure to swing at that last effing pitch. And I’m sure it’s gonna bother him all winter long. Probably a lot more than it’s gonna bother me.

    Other than that, I understand the lack of production this year based on the injury and because this was an off year for power production across the board.

    Again…. .300 avg in the postseason means that he’s gonna fail 70% of the time. So…in clutch situations….he…or anybody worth their salt… has a much greater chance of NOT being clutch.

    It’s simple math.

    And it’s baseball.

  42. ActuallyChilled

    October 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    who are we kidding, ryan howard hit more home runs when he was fat. its that simple. physics.

  43. ActuallyChilled

    October 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    that being said, i hope he finds a way to pound them out in his current shape. athleticism should beat apathy.

  44. Lefty

    October 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    JPB- I was at the Vet when people were booing and complaining about Mike Schmidt. Believe me, we’re capable of doing the same to Ryan. Seems kind of silly doesn’t it?

    Chuck- In general, I’ve had a tough time making others understand that in baseball if you fail ONLY 70% of the time, you’re probably going to be on the ballot for the hall of fame.

    Kate -If Ryan has down years like this every year for the rest of his career, (which he won’t) he’ll have 500 HR’s and go to the hall of fame.

  45. Ryan H.

    October 27, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    I completely disagree with beerman’s assessment of Ryan Howard’s season. What the hell are you talking about he wasn’t the same guy before the ankle injury. He was having his best year since his MVP year and was the only consistent presence in the Phillies lineup prior to his ankle injury. He only missed 16 games but he came back too early and never found his rhythm again at a time in the season when he’s usually just starting to take off. I am absolutely positive that if he stayed healthy he would have had 40+ homers and 140 rbis. at the time he went down he was so far ahead in the NL for the RBI lead that he was still at the top for over a week after he was out.

  46. Rick S.

    October 28, 2010 at 9:22 am

    To all you na-sayers out there,we’ve witnessed 4 years in a row of the best baseball the phillies ever had.2 MVP’s,almost 3,Home Run and RBI Champ,Home Run Derby Champ,Lidge’s perfect season,4 N.L. East Division Championships in a row,4 play-off apperances in a row,2 N.L.C.S. Championships in a row,2 World Series apperances in a row.2008 World Series Champs and MVP,2 No-Hitters this year.I’m sure i missed something,oh yea,how bout Charlie Manuel,coolest cat in all of baseball.All 4 of those years the Phillies over came injuries,slumps,come from behind division wins,un-known players stepped in and stepped it up when the team needed it.The Phils could have easily crumbled when they were 7 games back,i live in braves country now,and didn’t see a braves hat until june.Barely saw one after sept.I’m sure Howard was one of the most dissapointed guys in the world last sunday morning,but i’m sure everyone of his team mates gave him a pat on the back and thanked him for a great season.I know i would have!Thank you Phillies,win or lose,i had a blast watching this season.

  47. Bob in Bucks

    October 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Kate has it right. Howard’s down year is a super year for anyone (like Jayson Werth?).

    His strengths and weaknesses are well known, yet he still was in the top 5 in RBI. I can’t get upset about one series or one AB. Howard is a quality player. He is adjusting to the fact that he is being pitched around. He is hitting what they give him which means fewer bombs. He will continue to develop. The only thing keeping him from true greatness is dealing with LH pitchers. He needs to take a totally different approach to those ABs. When he does his numbers will rise again.

  48. Dave

    October 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Howard should be traded to an AL team. He can’t field, throw or hit. Heck, he doesn’t even hit fastballs down the middle of the plate anymore! All that for 20 million a year. What a bargain! And don’t tell me that his ankle was still bothering him. If it was bothering him so bad that it affected his fielding and hitting that much, then he shouldn’t have been playing.

  49. Dave

    October 29, 2010 at 9:47 am

    And the journalist who said he was the best 1st baseman to put on a Phillies uniform is an idiot.

  50. Adrian

    November 8, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Way after the fact, I know, but I agree with Pat’s grade and his overall assessment. Your job as the cleanup hitter is to drive in runs, and with Howard’s massive power, that’s expected even if there’s no one on base. The only reason for his respectable batting average this season was he finally began beating the defensive shift. Most of those exta hits, however, were dribbling singles to left.

    Even with the Year of the Pitcher, I personally think pitchers across the NL took notice of the Yankees’ strategy against Howard in the ’09 Series. An entire season of whiffing at breaking balls that tail out of the zone will result in the drop in production.

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