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Ryan Howard

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December 31, 2008
What? Ryan Howard, Mr. Phillies, finished fourth in a year when the Phillies won the World Series? Well, yes. So much is made of what Howard does too much of that sometimes what he does do seems underappreciated. It is appreciated exactly the right amount. In a two-horse race, Howard finished second in NL MVP voting, well behind Albert Pujols, mainly because Howard, the 2006 MVP, struck out 199 times and hit .251, lower than any MVP winner. Howard, in his third full season, led the NL in home runs and RBI, but with all the whiffs and the laughable .215 average through June, finishing second was justice served.
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September 11, 2010 | By Ray Parrillo, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - Ryan Howard either can't explain it or would prefer not to even try. After all, superstition is in just about every baseball player's DNA, so why invite a jinx? But for whatever reason - sharper focus, pennant-race adrenaline - September has been Howard's most productive month since he took root as the Phillies' full-time cleanup hitter in 2006. He's at it again. Howard hit an impressive bases-empty home run to tie Friday's game against the Mets at Citi Field, 3-3. It was his fifth homer in 10 games this month and third in three games.
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April 15, 2009 | By Andy Martino and Jim Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Ryan Howard has made a number of changes since the Phillies won a World Series championship last October. He signed a multiyear contract. He dropped about 20 pounds. He labored to improve his defense. And, canny observers may have noticed, he began wearing a mouthpiece during games. The first baseman, 29, is always seeking ways to improve. When he saw Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez sporting a clear mouthpiece on his lower row of teeth last season, Howard was intrigued.
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July 21, 2013 | BY BOB VETRONE JR., Daily News Staff Writer vetronb@phillynews.com
WHEN HE WENT on the disabled list earlier this month with a torn meniscus in his left knee, Ryan Howard had just surpassed the 5,000 mark for career major league plate appearances. So we thought it convenient to break his career numbers down into five segments, each ending with the game where he accumulated another 1,000 PA. And, as suspected, the early Ryan Howard was by far the best, as virtually all of his numbers below show: Plate Bat. On-Base Slug. HR SO From To (Age)
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July 3, 2013 | By Dick Jerardi, Daily News Staff Writer
THE PHILLIES had been so sorry for so long that it really seemed their forever fate. Ryan Howard intervened. Your baseball team had been in the playoffs once from 1984 to 2006. They were mostly bad, usually boring and without imagination or inspiration. Ryan Howard intervened. He was the accidental Rookie of the Year in 2005. When Jim Thome got hurt, Howard got called up and went for 22 homers and 63 RBI in just 88 games. You wonder if Phillies management of that era ever would have understood what they had if Thome had not been injured.
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April 11, 2007
It wasn't hard to score Ryan Howard's appearance on the the "Late Show with David Letterman" last night. The Phillies first baseman hit a grand slam. Howard, while obviously more at home on the baseball diamond, more than held his own. Time after time, Letterman lobbed softball questions that the Phillies star hit out of the park to the delight and laughter of the audience. In one lighthearted exchange, Letterman discussed whether Ryan anticipated pitches. "You're a tremendous hitter," Letterman said.
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August 22, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
IT ALL COMES back to the first baseman. As vehemently as Ruben Amaro Jr. shot down reports that the Phillies had discussed releasing Ryan Howard in the offseason, the organization's immediate and long-term futures are very much tied to their decision-making with regard to their $25 million-a-year slugger. Since his 3-day benching in late July, Howard is hitting just .202/.298/.348 with three home runs and 29 strikeouts in 89 at-bats. With every fastball that he sends to the warning track in leftfield, it becomes increasingly clear that addition by subtraction is something the Phillies will have to seriously contemplate this offseason.
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July 13, 2011
ON THE DAY AFTER the All-Star Game was played in Phoenix without Ryan Howard, this column is directed at the haters and bashers who have been coming out of the woodwork in larger numbers than usual. They are predictable as smog in a heat wave. They pretend to be knowledgable baseball fans, but trip themselves up every time because they are dead wrong. And egregiously stupid. I hear the reason why he was not voted into the All-Star Game by the fans - and Phillies fans basically ignored him while stuffing the ballot box for an injured Shane Victorino - is because the National League has all these great first basemen.
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October 16, 2008 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Staff Writer
LOS ANGELES - Professional at-bats, Charlie Manuel likes to call them. Ryan Howard kept getting them last night. Three singles, all to right field, an early run and RBI, followed by a professional walk. That postseason slump? That headline on Philly.com? The one that said, "Howard's vanishing act. " Take it off the Web site. On the night the Phillies punched their ticket to the 2008 World Series, Howard had himself some professional at-bats. Like the one in the third inning when the Phillies got a little cushion.
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October 22, 2014 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
Vince Gennaro is a smart man. He's a consultant to several franchises around Major League Baseball, advising them on how to remain relevant and competitive and financially responsible. He wrote a book years ago called Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball , and in the late 1970s, before the acronyms WAR and FIP had become part of mainstream baseball lexicon, he created his own player-valuation system. Again, Gennaro's sharp. He answered his phone Monday, on the eve of the World Series, to field a couple of seemingly simple questions: What can the Phillies learn from the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals?
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October 17, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
REPLACE "DODGERS" with "Phillies" and see how it feels . . . Los Angeles Times : "Dodgers' hiring of executive Andrew Friedman signals a cultural shift. " ESPN.com: "Dodgers stepping into 21st century with Andrew Friedman" Baseball Prospectus: "The Rich [Dodgers] Get Smarter" Anyway, heeeere's Johnny. (crickets) Johnny Almaraz. (crickets) You know, the Phillies' new amateur scouting director. Anyone? (crickets) Hey, he might be the best damn scouting director in the history of major league baseball.
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October 16, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
PERHAPS BECAUSE he was (and still is) the greatest player in franchise history, the question of who would take over the reins for Mike Schmidt at third base became an easy story with each passing year since the Hall of Famer retired. With the exception of Scott Rolen, whose own tenure in Philly and ugly exit out only adds to the story line, third base really has been a black hole for the quarter century since Schmidt's retirement. While Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard filled the rest of the infield for the last decade, third base has been a revolving door.
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October 15, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
THERE IS a glaring flaw in the logic that the Phillies must "get younger. " The four most productive hitters in the lineup in 2014 were also the four oldest. Marlon Byrd, who turned 37 on Aug. 30, led the team in OPS (.757), OPS+ (110), home runs (25) and slugging percentage (.445). Chase Utley, who turns 36 on Dec. 17, finished second in OPS, OPS+, on-base and slugging percentage (.746, 109, .339 and .407). Carlos Ruiz, who turns 36 on Jan. 22, finished third in OPS and OPS+ (.717 and 102)
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October 10, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Marti Wolever thought his job was safe when he was stopped outside the press box at Citizens Bank Park a few days before he made LSU pitcher Aaron Nola his final first-round selection for the Phillies in June. There had been some rumblings that the assistant general manager in charge of amateur scouting could be in trouble because, after years of hitting in the draft, and sometimes big (Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley), the Phillies found their draft well running dry. Too many Anthony Hewitts, Joe Saverys, and Larry Greenes.
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October 10, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
BUSTER POSEY and Madison Bumgarner. Matt Adams and Trevor Rosenthal. Eric Hosmer and Yordano Ventura. Manny Machado and Zach Britton. The first two already have World Series rings with San Francisco, the second two helped lead a new wave of Cardinals into another World Series appearance 12 months ago, and the last four are all key contributors to the rousing successes in Kansas City and Baltimore this season. While 26 of baseball's 30 teams have hit the road, those eight players are still playing in the postseason.
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October 1, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The last gasps of the 2014 Phillies filled the room while Cole Hamels spoke. He stood in the middle of the clubhouse Sunday afternoon as his teammates packed boxes and hugged. The exits for most were quick; no one wanted to dwell on this disaster. Hamels is not a man tasked with making franchise-altering decisions - "I'm glad I don't have to make those changes," he said - but his answers about the current state were more forthcoming than the rhetoric of his bosses. The 30-year-old ace agreed that the last two seasons are evidence of how far the Phillies are from contention.
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September 30, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
COLE HAMELS left Citizens Bank Park for the final time this season with a fat lip. He took a hard one-hopper off his face earlier in the day. "Sometimes," he said, "that happens. " It was the perfect souvenir from a season that was statistically the best of his career, but also forgettable since he had little to show for it when it all mercifully came to an end yesterday afternoon in South Philly. In the midst of retiring 20 straight Braves batters - and 24 of the final 25 he faced - Hamels took a comebacker off the bat of Tommy La Stella off his face to begin the second inning.
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September 30, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
THE HOME clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park was littered with boxes yesterday morning. Before taking the field for the final game of the 2014 regular season, Phillies players packed up their things so they could exit quickly and head to their offseason homes before the end of the day. There were handshakes and hugs all around, and even some applause for rookie reliever Ken Giles, who got engaged on Saturday. Despite a season ending with the Phillies in last place for the first time in 14 seasons, the mood was pretty upbeat.
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