The end seems near for Phillies’ legend Ryan Howard. Currently Howard is batting .149, easily his worst season of his career. He does have 10 homeruns, which is good for second on the team behind only Maikel Franco, but there really is not anything else good on his stat line. But is it time for him to be released? That is the real question.
There is no doubt; Ryan Howard has had one of the best careers of a Phillie, EVER. He does not deserve the tremendous amounts of criticism he receives due to the large contract given by Ruben Amaro. Yeah, he never lived up to that contract, but can we really blame Howard? He was given a bad contract by a GM who never lived up to his potential.
Watching Howard’s play this season has been abysmal, and it is sad that this is what we will last remember of him in a Phillies uniform. But we cannot forget the Rookie of the Year season he had in 2005, or his sensational 58 homerun MVP season in 2006, or his helping us win a World Series in 2008 and almost another in 2009. Howard has the 2nd most homeruns in franchise history with 367, he’s 3rd all time in RBI’s with 1,156, has the most grand slams in team history with 13, and has a better at-bats per homerun ratio than Mike Schmidt, at 15.1 (subject to change). Howard has done so much for this city, on the baseball field and off it in the community.
It is a shame that in this city some people treat Howard like he has done nothing. Yeah he is a shell of the player he once was, but give the man the respect he deserves (AKA don’t throw beer bottles at him). Once he leaves, and eventually retires, people will begin to remember all the good he has done. We will all look at the big homeruns he hit into the upper deck at Citizen’s Bank Park on YouTube.
Yet, if Ryan Howard does not begin to produce, it may be his time to go. What do you think? Do you think the Phillies should release Howard, or do they have nothing to lose in keeping him on the 25-man roster and as a bat off the bench?
Photo Cred: philliesnation.com
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.comAuthor: Alex Whitney (Twitter Handle: @awhitney23 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)