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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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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 28, 2009 | by Michael Radano
Position: First base Height, weight: 6-4, 260 Age: 29. Birthdate: Nov. 19, 1979 Hometown: St. Louis Years pro: 5 How acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2001 amateur draft. This year: Howard is again in the middle of the National League MVP race after he hit .279 with 45 home runs and 141 RBI in the regular season. Even when he struggles to hit for average - he's a career .279 hitter - Howard has the ability to carry a team with his production numbers.
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July 22, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Phillies lefthander Cliff Lee, a longtime fixture on the trade-rumor list, didn't enhance his value while making his first start in more than two months. Lee, who had been on the disabled list with a left-elbow strain, made his first start since May 18 and showed plenty of rust in front of the many scouts at the game. The lefthander allowed six runs on 12 hits in 52/3 innings during Monday's 7-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. "I felt good physically, I just wasn't able to locate," said Lee, who will make one more start before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.
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July 15, 2014 | BY JAKE KAPLAN, Daily News Staff Writer kaplanj@phillynews.com
WHEN THE PHILLIES return for their first series at Citizens Bank Park after the All-Star break, they are expected to finally have back the services of their Opening Day starter. A week from today, in the opener of a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants, Cliff Lee is slated to make his first start in more than 2 months. Lee, sidelined since May 19 with a left elbow strain, will pitch in his final rehab outing tonight in High A Clearwater's game against Palm Beach, the Florida State League's St. Louis Cardinals' affiliate.
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July 15, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The notion that the Phillies do not have a plan for the future is misguided. It just depends on which future you're talking about. Exactly what the plan is for the impending trade deadline, which is closing fast on general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., remains a mystery probably even to him. The smart money, especially after another lost weekend at Citizens Bank Park, continues to be on the trade-the-veterans-for-prospects strategy. The long-term solution, meanwhile, requires a patience that has mostly grown thin for fans who had become spoiled by nine consecutive winning seasons and five straight division titles before the ongoing collapse that started in 2012.
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July 14, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Jonathan Papelbon said last week that he doesn't understand baseball players who are content to play with a non-contending team. It's not always easy to agree with the worldview of Papelbon, whose perspective rarely includes anyone other than himself, but there's no problem with that one. People here predictably jumped up and down, of course, because Philadelphia is so prone to civic insecurity that the moment someone suggests he might rather be...
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July 14, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies came back, but the effort wasn't enough to extend their winning streak to a season-high six games. After trailing 3-0, the Phillies tied the score before the Nationals pulled out a 5-3 win in 10 innings on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.  Washington scored twice against lefthander Jake Diekman in the 10th inning. Nationals closer Rafael Soriono earned the save with a scoreless bottom of the inning.  The Phillies, who entered the game with the longest current winning streak in the majors, fell to 42-52, nine games behind both the Nationals and Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
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July 12, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MILWAUKEE - The Phillies played Thursday for 3 hours, 6 minutes, and it was a maddening brand of baseball because a four-game sweep of the Brewers, who own the National League's best record, does not mitigate the pain of being a 41-51 team. That did not stop them from savoring a peculiar 9-1 rout. Matt Garza no-hit the Phillies for six innings. He buckled in the seventh and the Phillies scored seven runs in the eighth. Twelve Phillies batted that inning to sink a downtrodden Milwaukee team that has lost nine of 10. "It's crazy," Jimmy Rollins said.
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July 11, 2014 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
OFFICIALLY, Jorge Posada walked twice in the 2009 World Series. But to anyone watching, the frequent strolls to the mound by the Yankees catcher to calm his pitchers, slow opposition momentum and silence a raucous Citizens Bank Park crowd were enough to move the numbers on a pedometer. In the pivotal Game 4, for example, Posada visited starting pitcher CC Sabathia eight times. In one inning. The Yankees won, 7-4, to take a three games to one series lead. Posada's liberal use - Phillies fans would argue misuse - of baseball's lax rules was so pronounced that commissioner Bud Selig pledged to form a committee to examine it and other pace-of-play matters during the offseason.
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July 10, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MILWAUKEE - Manager Ryne Sandberg wrote Domonic Brown's name on his lineup card Tuesday for the 77th time in 90 games, a situation bred by despair and not merit. The Phillies must believe in Brown, 26, and nights like Tuesday rekindle the faint hope that Brown can overcome his malaise. He ranked 158th among 162 qualified hitters in OPS before the 9-7 win over the Brewers started. He walked and scored in the second inning, blasted a home run in the third, and smacked a two-run single in the fifth.
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July 10, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MILWAUKEE - Marlon Byrd plopped down on a black leather couch in the visitors clubhouse at Miller Park, and Ryan Howard had a question. Howard positioned his hands near his head, pretending to hold a bat, and wondered how soon he should lower his setup before the pitcher throws. This is an experiment for Howard, inspired by Byrd and encouraged by Ryne Sandberg. It is not the first time Howard has adjusted his swing mechanics; former manager Charlie Manuel often implored Howard to stand closer to the plate, a switch that never stuck because Howard felt uncomfortable.
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July 9, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MILWAUKEE - The Phillies, a .206-hitting team in their previous 16 games (13 losses), practiced their batting Monday afternoon at Miller Park. The man who constructed a flawed team watched from the visitors dugout. Ruben Amaro Jr. ascended the steps, eyed a pack of reporters, and decided this was the moment. He sought to motivate his roster before a 3-2 win over the Brewers with threats. He promised changes - not just in the form of trades - and questioned the status of entrenched but unproductive veterans.
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