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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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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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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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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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April 21, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
Vince Velasquez had not allowed a run this season in his first 15 innings. His first two starts with the Phillies were nearly perfect. A night like Tuesday's 11-1 loss to the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park seemed as if it was bound to happen. The Mets tagged Velasquez for a pair of home runs (on a night when they hit six) just 10 days after the pitcher had blanked them for six innings. The righthander allowed five runs - two of which were earned - in 41/3 innings. Velasquez threw just 74 pitches, perhaps still a bit worn out from firing a career-high 113 pitches five days earlier.
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April 20, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
Jerad Eickhoff's first full season in the majors will be filled with tests. He will log more innings than ever before. He will face teams for the second, third, or fourth time. And he will face adversity, from which the Phillies will allow Eickhoff to find his way out. Monday night's 5-2 loss to the Mets brought Eickhoff his latest challenge. Eickhoff walked opposing pitcher Noah Syndergaard with one out in the seventh inning, putting runners on first and second. The 25-year-old had already fired 91 pitches.
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April 18, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
Pete Mackanin put Darin Ruf in left field on Saturday night as the Phillies manager continues to search for offensive production from his corner outfielders. The team's primary corner outfielders - Cedric Hunter, Peter Bourjos, and Tyler Goeddel - are batting a combined .125 in 72 at-bats with a .160 on-base percentage and one home run. The manager said another change could come if the unit does not improve. The Phillies selected Goeddel in the Rule 5 draft, which means he is likely safe if the team makes a move.
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April 17, 2016 | By Marc Narducci, STAFF WRITER
After enjoying strong starting pitching in the previous six games, including several lights-out efforts, the Phillies were pounded by a Washington Nationals team that looks like it means business this season. Making quick work of starter Jeremy Hellickson, the Nationals defeated the Phillies, 9-1, Friday before 22,624 at Citizens Bank Park. That snapped a modest three-game winning streak for the Phillies (5-6), while the Nationals (8-1) have won six in a row. Where are the San Diego Padres when you need them?
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April 17, 2016 | By Marc Narducci, STAFF WRITER
Friday marked the 69th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers and the occasion was celebrated by every team. The Phillies held a pregame tribute and all MLB players wore No. 42. This is a day of deep appreciation and pride for major-league players, especially African Americans. "Everything he went through, the adversities, the turmoil, it is not easy for somebody to do that," Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard said before the game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.
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April 13, 2016 | By David Murphy, DAILY NEWS COLUMNIST
THE FIRST TIME Aaron Nola faced a major league hitter, Cameron Rupp was behind the plate. This was last March, at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., in the second inning of a Grapefruit League game against the Yankees. "He's the same pitcher I caught that day in spring training as he is right now," Rupp said, his bearded face breaking into a grin as his eyes drifted off into a flashback. Right now happened to be Monday evening, an hour or so after the Phillies sent a 22-year-old righthander to the mound to start the first home game of a season that they have marketed as the first step into a new generation.
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April 13, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
They packed into Citizens Bank Park on Monday afternoon for a glimpse of the future, and at the game's most crucial moment, the Phillies pinch-hit for the past. It is still arresting to see Ryan Howard, $25 million platoon player, but Pete Mackanin promised he would play the percentages. Home opener. Bases loaded. No outs in the sixth inning. "Well, I said I was going to do it and I did it," Mackanin said after a 4-3 Phillies loss to San Diego. "I thought it was the perfect time to do it, blow the game wide open.
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April 12, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
NEW YORK - For the majority of his seven-year career, Jeanmar Gomez has existed in the shadows. He failed as a starter for the Cleveland Indians, so he became a middle reliever. His most frequent appearances are in the sixth and seventh innings. He did his job so well last season - e.g., no one noticed the lean righthander - that the Phillies paid him $1.4 million to return. Now, he is their closer. "For me, I don't think too much about that," the soft-spoken Gomez said. "If you're thinking too much, you try to do more than you can do. Just try to get strikes.
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April 11, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
NEW YORK - The temperature hovered at 40 degrees, and a stiff wind made it feel even colder inside Citi Field on Saturday night. The Phillies unpacked an old duffel bag labeled "MITTENS. " Some players wore ski masks. Others donned hoodies. But there was Vince Velasquez, a brash, 23-year-old Californian, in short sleeves. His tattooed right arm, filled with promise, was bare for the baseball world to see. And, after six dominant innings against the defending National League champions, a modicum of hope darted back to Philadelphia.
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April 9, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
CINCINNATI - Daniel Stumpf's 12th major-league pitch landed in the fourth row of the left field seats at Great American Ball Park. Fireworks erupted behind the outfield on Thursday afternoon as the Reds celebrated their fourth-inning grand slam. The pitcher's big-league debut was spoiled. And another loss, this time 10-6, was sealed. The grand slam, which was smacked by Eugenio Suarez, highlighted a 35-minute half inning. The Phillies needed three pitchers to piece together three outs.
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