June 18, 2013 |
DENVER - On May 7, Ryan Howard was hitting .282 after hitting his sixth home run of the season in a 6-2 win over the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. With six homers in his first 32 games, Howard looked like his old self after a long road of rehab and recovery from left Achilles' surgery in the fall of 2011. But Howard just went the duration of the Phils' 11-day road trip, which ended in the hitter's haven that is Coors Field, without a home run. He hasn't hit a homer in the month of June.
March 26, 2011 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The man who Ryan Howard put out of a job in Philadelphia six years ago can relate to the pressure of being a team's power hitter. "I think the one thing you really learn to appreciate is when you have really good hitters around you, like [Chase] Utley and [Jayson] Werth," Jim Thome said. "That's the one thing I can say through my career. Having guys around you that are good players, they make you better, and you're pushing them to be better. " It was an interesting assessment from the slugger now in the twilight of his career with the Minnesota Twins, because we all know that for the last half decade Howard has been baseball's quintessential power hitter - with some sensational complementary parts around him. Despite only briefly being teammates with Howard, Thome has admired the Phillies cleanup hitter from afar.
June 29, 2012 |
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Four hundred feet from home plate, where a large man wearing a powder-blue No. 52 jersey stood, was the No. 29 plastered on the center field wall with "HOWARD" arching over it. The man at the plate wasn't paying attention to that. The man at the plate was just trying to get solid at-bats against live pitching in the first game of his rehab assignment. The man at the plate was Ryan Howard - or at least the 6-foot-4 shell of the player Phillies fans came to know so well, and the shell of the man the Phillies hope will provide the necessary spark for a struggling team.
April 17, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Ryan Howard was smiling and chatting with his teammates while heading from the weight room to the indoor batting cages when he made a quick pit stop to grab a bat from his locker at National Park Thursday afternoon. "I'm working," he said, keeping his pregame comments brief. "Working. Got to get my work done. " Howard has been putting in the work for months. The results haven't showed on the field through the first 2 weeks of the regular season. As a result, Ryne Sandberg slid Howard's name down three spots in the Phillies' starting lineup for the 10th game of the 2015 season.
May 5, 2015 |
MIAMI - It's unknown if there were any broken bats or thrown helmets littered in the visiting dugout at Marlins Park yesterday afternoon, but Ryan Howard was not a happy person when he struck out for the second time in as many at-bats to begin the day against Jarred Cosart. He was angry. He was consoled by hitting coach Steve Henderson, who simply told him, "keep battling. " The frustration helped fuel the Phillies' come-from-behind win. Howard launched a game-tying triple in the sixth inning and added a run-scoring single in the seventh as the Phillies beat the Marlins, 6-2, ending a five-game losing streak and avoiding a three-game sweep in Miami.
October 18, 2009 |
In a shocking development, a group of sportswriters went out to a bar in Pasadena, Calif., the other night. This isn't the start of a joke. We were sitting there having burgers and beers when the discussion turned to Ryan Howard. That's when things got weird - which is saying something when you're on the road with that crew. Weird is pretty much the default position. One of the scribes - someone I like and respect - said there are a "gazillion" first basemen he'd rather have than Howard.
February 24, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - What's the point? That's the question the Phillies will need to consider over the next 40 days as they weigh the decisions that will determine the fashion in which Ryan Howard's career with the organization will arrive at its end. Does his presence serve a purpose? Does it have a realistic chance of contributing to the achievement of the objectives they've established for themselves? Last year, you could talk yourself into suspending disbelief. A hot first half and the Phillies might have been able to find a desperate American League team willing to take a flier in exchange for some marginal salary relief.
February 26, 2016
OPEN LETTER to Ryan Howard: Dear Ryan: I love you. Most Philadelphia baseball fans still love you, but some feel you are close to overstaying your welcome. Retire, Ryan. Please. You are one of two remnants of the glorious 2008 championship team that ended Philadelphia's humiliating, 25-year championship drought, bringing us psychological and emotional relief. You gave us j-o-y. Others we loved - Cole Hamels, Brad Lidge, Jamie Moyer, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Matt Stairs - have moved on to one greener pasture or another.
September 2, 2016 |
Ryan Howard's final August with the Phillies was a good one. Maybe it wasn't up there with his summer months of old, when he could piston the ball through the steamy air seemingly at will, but it wasn't bad at all. He hit .314 with six home runs and 15 runs batted in during 16 games. Given that uptick in an otherwise quiet year, Howard was surprised and disappointed to learn that manager Pete Mackanin intends to shave his playing time in the last month of the season in order to see Tommy Joseph get more at-bats against righthanded pitchers.
August 23, 2016 |
HE POINTS HIS BAT at the pitcher and says bring it - bring that weak stuff. This will be the indelible image of Ryan Howard in my mind, the mind of all of us here in Philadelphia who live and die with the Phils, or even those who chased that bandwagon and jumped on during the magical run. Such bad-assedness from a player was something that we hadn't seen here in the land of 10,000 losses in a long time, maybe never. With the extended bat pointed at the hurler, Howard readied to take all of Philadelphia's eyes on a magical arc to Ashburn Alley, the upper deck, or maybe to deep leftfield.