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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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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 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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September 14, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
It ended with one of those peculiar strikeouts in which bat actually makes contact with ball. After Jeff Mathis' sacrifice-bunt attempt rolled foul for the third strike, manager Ryne Sandberg emerged from the Phillies' dugout and asked Kyle Kendrick for the baseball in the top of the seventh inning. Kendrick's night was over, and as he headed away from the mound, the smallish crowd at Citizens Bank Park gave him a nice ovation for a job well done during the Phillies' 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins.
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September 14, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies have an imperfect roster, which could lead to compromise for the 2015 season. But it is impossible to predict those decisions for various reasons. There is muddled leadership atop the organization; the team's convoluted public plan changes by the month; and the rest of baseball declared the Phillies' current assets either overvalued or inadequate. A discussion at the micro level - like how the Phillies could best utilize some of the flawed pieces they possess - is incomplete without the macro strategy.
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September 14, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Ryan Howard's numbers are fascinating, and they are worth a longer look from any American League team that might be interested in adding the Phillies' first baseman as a designated hitter during the offseason. Obviously, the Phillies would have to eat a lot of the $60 million remaining on Howard's contract over the next two seasons, but if they swallow enough, it could be a nice move for an American League team based on Howard's ability to produce with men on base. The Howard statistic that has received the most attention this season is his number of at-bats with men on base and with runners in scoring position.
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September 14, 2014 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
CODY ASCHE has always been the kind of ballplayer who works his way into recalibrating others' expectations for him. Last night, he might have fired a warning shot. In only his third start in the last eight games, Asche crushed a two-run, walkoff home run off Dan Jennings to lift the Phillies to a 3-1 victory over the Marlins, capping off a night in which he also doubled while batting in the two-hole. "I've been waiting for that my whole life," he said. While top prospect Maikel Franco has gotten much of Asche's workload the past week, it would be a mistake to count the young third baseman out of the Phillies' future.
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September 13, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
It is unfair to blame one Phillies hitter for another lame night, because Pirates lefthander Francisco Liriano was that dominant Thursday in a 4-1 win. He struck out 10 batters on his first 75 pitches. He completed eight innings without permitting a runner to reach third base. But it is difficult to ignore one slumping Phillie, Ryan Howard. He walked twice and struck out two more times Thursday to make it 15 whiffs in 32 at-bats so far this September. He has one extra-base hit this month.
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September 12, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CHASE UTLEY was out of the lineup last night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, a night after both Carlos Ruiz and Marlon Byrd didn't start. Jimmy Rollins hasn't played since suffering a mild hamstring strain on Monday, and he won't be rushed back because, on a team going nowhere in the final month of a long season, there's no point in running older players into the proverbial ground. Meanwhile, Ryan Howard started for the 35th time in the 36 games the Phillies have played since July 31. The rest of the mid-30-somethings have rested more often, while Howard has played regularly.
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September 10, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jimmy Rollins lashed a 92-m.p.h. fastball to right field, and he thought triple the moment the ball landed. He raced around the bases in the fourth inning of the 143d game in a forgettable season. A half-empty stadium buzzed when Rollins struck second base at full speed; that is when his left hamstring hurt. Rollins beat the throw to third with ease. The Phillies shortstop grimaced as he popped to his feet. And after he scored on a Ryan Howard single, he was removed from Monday's 6-4 loss to the Pirates.
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September 10, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
WHEN HIS NAME was slotted in the eighth spot of Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg's lineup last night, Maikel Franco was two more starts away from a somewhat impressive feat. Franco, who arrived in the big leagues a week ago today, has started four games. With two more starts in the next 3 weeks, Franco will have started more games in his first month in the big leagues than Ryan Howard did when the current Phillies first baseman was a September call-up 10 years ago. Howard, similarly blocked from a starting spot with Jim Thome affixed at first base, was called up on Sept.
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September 9, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
WASHINGTON - With a surplus of players on his roster following September call-ups and his best starting pitcher on the mound, Ryne Sandberg opted to rest a few of his regulars and put his best defense on the field yesterday. And, as he said afterward, a better lineup to take on lefthander Gio Gonzalez, too. Darin Ruf started for Ryan Howard at first. Freddy Galvis played second base in place of Chase Utley. In the outfield, Tony Gwynn Jr. started in center and Grady Sizemore was in left.
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September 8, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - All of a sudden, the Phillies and Washington Nationals appear as though they have reversed roles. The Phillies are playing like a team gearing up for the postseason, while the Nationals, at least against the Phillies, haven't resembled the team that began Saturday with the National League's best record. A.J. Burnett allowed just one run in seven innings, as the Phillies beat the Nationals, 3-1, at Nationals Park. The Phillies have won 12 of their last 17 games. With Burnett's win, they clinched the season series against the Nationals for the first time since 2010.
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