Opinion

Despite Disappointing Final Season in Philadelphia, Ryan Howard Isn’t Ready to Retire

Ryan Howard’s time in Philadelphia has been filled with a lot of success, as he helped the Phillies become contenders in the National League and two World Series appearances, winning one of them. However, due to his age, huge salary and his declining skills, this is Ryan’s last season with the Phillies. Since the Phillies have been eliminated from the playoffs race, they aren’t favored in online MLB odds, but since the season is almost over, the fans aren’t worried about it.

While most people are expecting Howard to retire after the season, the 36-year-old believes he can still be a productive player in the league if another team gives him the opportunity, so he isn’t approaching the last games of the season as the last of his career.

In the American League, Boston’s David Ortiz is going through a similar situation, after announcing this would be his last season before the 2016 season started. After getting off to a hot start, Ortiz said he was reconsidering his retirement decision because he is still playing at a high level, but ultimately decided to stick to his plan to retire.

Ortiz, who put up big numbers during his career after signing with the Boston Red Sox, is hoping the numbers and the fact that he led the team to three World Series wins should be enough to get into the Hall of Fame. However, the fact that Ortiz was a designated hitter, who never had to field during his career, and was also implicated in the Mitchell Report on players using PEDs, might pre vent him from entering the Hall of Fame with the other legends of the game.

Howard on the other hand seems like a shoo in for the Hall because he was already a fringe Hall of Famer after his first seven seasons in the league. During his career, Howard won the 2005 NL Rookie of the Year award, the next season, he won the NL MVP award. Howard was also selected as an All-Star three times, and as previously mentioned, won a World Series with the team.

With all his career accolades, a lot of fans are wondering why Howard hasn’t decided to call it a career, but people close to him say it’s because he struggled this season and doesn’t want to go out like that.

This season, Howard hit for an average of .194, with 24 home runs and a .257 on base percentage, which were significantly lower than his career averages. Howard’s play got so bad that he was benched in favor of a younger player, further signifying his time in Philadelphia was all but over.

Despite his struggles, if Howard wants to play next season, there will be a few teams that will be interested because he was still able to hit 24 home runs this year most of which came in clutch situations, which is something a few teams won’t mind having.

If he still wants to start, his best bet would be to sign with an American League team as the designated hitter, that way he won’t be a fielding liability for the team. One thing is for sure, if Howard doesn’t retire at the end of the season, expect to see him in another uniform next season.

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