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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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November 21, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Before Ryan Howard's twin brother sued him for $2.8 million; before his father, who helped manage the Phillies slugger's money, allegedly requested a $10 million separation payment; before Howard claimed his parents and brothers conspired to defraud him, Howard planned a mansion with eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. The sprawling Florida home was a place for the family - especially Corey, Ryan's look-alike confidant who moved from St. Louis to Philadelphia in 2008 to live with Ryan.
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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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January 7, 2016 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Ryan Howard has filed a lawsuit against Al Jazeera network, according to a statement released by the Phillies first baseman. "Today I authorized my attorneys to file suit against Al Jazeera and its reporters," Howard said. "Their irresponsible reporting forced me to take this action to protect my name and to fight back against the spreading of these lies. I will have no further comment as the filing itself contains all I need to say. " The defamation suit was filed Tuesday in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. Al Jazeera is being sued by Howard for a report it ran last month that connected the first baseman and other professional athletes to the performance-enhancing substance Delta 2. The suit also names the two reporters involved.
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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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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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July 14, 2016 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Larry Bowa was the manager of the Phillies in the top of the 21st century when performance-enhanced home runs were flying out of major-league parks at a record pace. Bowa wondered at the time why his team did not have more sluggers. The Phillies finished 12th out of 16 teams in the National League with 169 home runs in his first year as manager. Fast-forward eight years and you can hear Bowa talking about home runs again. This time, when he was the third-base coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bowa's team was the victim of all that power the Phillies wielded on their way to consecutive World Series appearances.
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July 13, 2016 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
THE FEEL-GOOD stories come at you nightly these days. June call-up Zack Eflin bounces back from one of the worst-ever pitching debuts to vie with Vince Velasquez as the Phillies most anticipated starter. In barely more than two weeks time, Peter Bourjos morphs from a player batting behind the pitcher to someone intentionally walked with the game on the line. Jeanmar Gomez pitches so well as the team's closer it's hard to imagine he will be doing that in August. No longer damned with the interim tag, Pete Mackanin shows he is both capable enough and tough enough to manage in this town, handling praise and criticism with the same self-deprecating smirk, steadying a team filled with players who still aren't sure who they are as players, or what they can be. Freddy Galvis wins a game with a clutch home run. Cameron Rupp hits a 465-foot home run and Maikel Franco hits one 471 feet on the same day, a day after Tommy Joseph hit his second in as many games.
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July 12, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
DENVER - The Phillies packed their bags Sunday afternoon as hip-hop music blared from a sound system in the center of the visiting clubhouse at Coors Field. Their 10-3 win over Colorado was the team's 10th win in 13 games. They will enter the all-star break with 13 more wins than they had at the break last season. It is the best improvement in baseball. Sunday provided one last celebration before a young team that began the season with zero expectations goes its separate ways for the four-day all-star break.
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July 11, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
DENVER - It was simple to pinpoint the moment on Saturday night when Jerad Eickhoff began to unravel. The Phillies pitcher had cruised through the first four innings and looked to be working on another strong outing before the all-star break. And then Eickhoff faced the opposing pitcher with two outs in the fifth. An easy third out turned into a two-run homer. Eickhoff's night - the worst start of his career - started to spiral out of control, and an 8-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies was sealed.
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July 9, 2016 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Who's on first? That's a question Phillies fans have rarely had to ask since Ryan Howard arrived in the middle of the 2005 season and blasted his way to the National League rookie of the year award. Sure, there was that time at the start of the 2012 season when Howard was sidelined by a leg infection after undergoing offseason surgery to repair the torn Achilles tendon that brought the 2011 season to a crumbling conclusion. Charlie Manuel tried to temporarily replace the Big Piece with Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, John Mayberry, and Jim Thome, but all were fruitless attempts.
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July 9, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
DENVER - A trip to Coors Field proved once again to be a welcome visit for Ryan Howard. The Phillies first baseman homered in second inning of the game against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night. It was his 10th homer in 34 games at the hitter-friendly ballpark. Howard's homer rate at Coors - one per every 3.4 games - is his fourth-highest rate in active ballparks in which he has played at least 30 games. The homer, which tied the score at 1, was the 369th of Howard's career, tying him with Ralph Kiner and Todd Helton for 78th on baseball's all-time list.
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July 8, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
The Phillies crushed two more homers Wednesday, and that is why they swept Atlanta with a 4-3 victory, but when they needed the tying run to reach base in the eighth inning, Maikel Franco did not swing. A 100-mph fastball zoomed past him for ball four. Franco flicked his bat toward the Phillies dugout, a challenge to the rest of his teammates to keep mashing the ball like they have for weeks. "He looks like he's more under control," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "It could a byproduct of the fact that other guys around him have started to chip in, to where he doesn't feel like he has to do it all by himself.
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July 4, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
PHOENIX - It was here where Maikel Franco began thinking about the future, how an 89-mph fastball to his wrist last August helped persuade the young Phillies slugger to later take a meeting with a San Francisco start-up that sells stock in professional athletes. He had signed for $100,000 as a teenager in the Dominican Republic, made a few thousand for five months a year in the minors, and had attained a label as one of the better young hitters in the game. Franco recently played his 162nd major-league game, and the fastball that broke his wrist stands as an inflection point.
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July 4, 2016 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. - You could see why they wanted him. Anthony Hewitt took batting practice Wednesday, and everything looked right. Hewitt is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, his beefy upper body tapering to his feet like a giant V, and at each pitch he took an easy inside-out swing from the right side of home plate. Still, the ball rocketed off his bat: a line drive to the right-center-field gap, a deep fly ball to the warning track, so easy. As a senior in high school, Hewitt had put on an awe-inspiring batting-practice display that had helped persuade the Phillies to select him in the first round of the 2008 Major League Baseball amateur draft.
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June 30, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
PHOENIX - Sixteen years ago, Ryan Howard and Brad Ziegler forged a friendship as teammates at Southwest Missouri State, a relationship so close that Ziegler once admitted he cried as Howard captured a championship in 2008 with the Phillies. The two men have seen almost everything in baseball, and on Tuesday night, they stared at each other with the bases loaded in the ninth inning of a tie game. Howard did not blink. The Phillies were 0-41 when trailing after eight innings until they beat Arizona, 4-3, because Howard drew a seven-pitch walk against his old buddy.
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