Baseball, Essays, Sports

Ryan Howard Sucks. Okay?

It’s really no secret that I’ve been terribly hard on Ryan Howard, of the Phillies, or a while now. From my perspective, he’s the most outrageously overrated big-time, big-money slugger of this era. And after the previous two postseasons, it’s becoming really difficult to fight me on this one. In fact, the final outs of the two previous Phillies’ seasons have come on his failed attempts to do something of importance. It’s embarrassing.

But I’m the bad guy in all of this. The one with a silly vendetta against the Phillies. Now, it’s true that the Phillies are not my team (I wear the pinstripes), but does the sad hope that a player (one you’ve invested so much in) will eventually elevate his team to something other than a plane ride back home cause delusion? This is a case where it’s being called like it’s seen. The guy went without a hit for his last 15 at-bats in this year’s NLDS. But Phillies fans (i.e. those who throw batteries and force themselves to throw up on children) just keep the brotherly love flowing for the big man…at least the ones I talk to.

How can a player – who recently inked a 5 year, $125 million contract – fail so much in the clutch and still maintain fan loyalty? Many of my dissidents immediately bring up Alex Rodriguez, and my response is simple. I, along with most other Yankees fans, knew his absurd contract was a bad idea many moons ago. We absolutely despise him when he sucks, and he’ll hear about it. The same goes for any other overpaid jackass in pinstripes. But Howard still seems to have most of the city behind him, and it baffles me. As if he walks the dogs of the entire Phillies fan base on the weekends…for free!

Let’s cut the shit. Any player who joins the $20m+ club needs to be ready and able in the clutch, because that’s where championships are won. Howard is not that guy. At least, not yet. Personally, I doubt he’ll ever be that guy. He’s origami. He’s a joke. He’s the guy who hits the ball when you don’t need him to. And he’s not worth anything near the amount of money the Phillies are giving him, with or without an torn Achilles. I hope this city finally bucks up and admits that its next championship will not be obtained with significant help from Howard.

With the most impressive starting rotation of the past 20 years and a payroll the size of Ryan Howard’s strikeout totals, this is an embarrassing failure for the Phillies. And while not all of the blame can be placed solely on Howard’s shoulders, I think most of it has to. This is the second postseason in a row where Howard has failed miserably and completely disappeared when his efforts were most needed. He’s had far too many chances to prove me wrong, so I’m just going to go ahead and declare myself right here. That doesn’t happen often.

Hey, AROD sucks, too. But I’m over it.


3 thoughts on “Ryan Howard Sucks. Okay?

  1. Not many people share this opinion with me, but I don’t think Pujols is that guy anymore, either. Which is why I’ll be disappointed if the Cards sign him at $30 million a year in the offseason.

    • I remember when the Howard-for-Pujols trade rumors were rumbling around the sports world. Looking back on it, if it did get done, I don’t think either team would have gained/lost much. If I had to choose between paying one of these guys $25m/year, it would probably be Pujols in a very short term deal. Howard’s numbers are clearly declining, and he just is not the clutch guy the Phils need.

      Regarding Pujols, though, I think his future depends very much on where the Cards end up in the postseason. If they win it all, does he maybe consider taking a bit less money and finishing his career in St. Louis, where he won a championship? Dunno (though I would like to think so).

  2. Den Den says:

    I have noticed that when Ryan Howard signed that hefty contracts the numbers went down. He seems to be the Donovan McNabb of the Phillies. I am sick and tired of people saying, well he’s a home run hitter. Forget that, give me a guys who can put the ball in play and hit singles and doubles when it means something. Or give me a guy who can bat 290 plus. That player would have 160 RBIs batting 4th for the Phillies. R. Howard is not a good hitter and cannot make adjustments. The whole league knows how to pitch to Ryan Howard. Bottom line, you can’t win if your not on base. Forgot to mention, he is not a great thrower to second base. 25 million per year WOW.
    He may be the most overrated over paid player in the majors!!!
    It’s so sad. Wondering what Ruben Amaro is thinking for next season. At least Ruben Amaro is trying to bring this city another championship. Hope it happens before the Phillies really get too old.

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