Tag: ryan howard (page 1 of 4)

Now Ryan Howard Hates Ryne Sandberg

I blame Ruben Amaro for this. It’s his fault that we have to see first Jimmy Rollins and now Ryan Howard passive aggressively refer to their Hall of Fame manager as a pronoun:

Voila_Capture 2014-07-24_04-27-52_PM Voila_Capture 2014-07-24_04-28-03_PM

This on the heels of Sandberg benching Howard two straight days and a report that Howard could be released after the seasonHey, uh, Mr. Montgomery, if you want to release me with $60 million and a lazy river in Florida, I’d be OK with that.

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Ryan Howard Sits for Second Straight Day, as Changes Actually Begin

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies have this habit during spring training of rolling out individual stars on given days, effectively giving each player a 24-hour news cycle of mostly positive publicity. But now, with the trade deadline approaching, the same concept inadvertently applies to whomever the media picks as their target for the day. The soup du jour today? Ryan Howard. He’s the soup of the day.

In today’s day game against the San Francisco Giants, Howard will ride the pine for the second straight day. Tim Hudson will take the mound for the Giants, and that is the weird part. He’s right-handed.

Darin Ruf gets his second-consecutive start at first base, and that points towards — for better or worse — actually giving Ruf a chance to get comfortable in the majors so we can really see what he’s got. Matt Gelb at the Inquirer thinks this also points towards Howard’s days being numbered:

“This, of course, is just another piece of evidence to support the notion Howard’s time with the Phillies is nearing a conclusion. The Phillies, Sandberg said, plan to audition other players with eyes toward the future. One of them is Darin Ruf. He will start at first base again Thursday and bat sixth.

Howard has not sat for consecutive games this season until now.”

In those spring training days, when even the team with the least potential can inspire excitement and confidence in the unknown, media and fans alike fawn over the stars they’ve come to know and love. But with over half of the season over on the schedule (and all of it over in terms of “hope”), the tide has fully turned. There is no positive outlook, no positive press remaining, because the potential of this team maxed out years ago. So every time Papelbon gives up runs, or Lee doesn’t have control over his pitches, or Jimmy Rollins goes down swinging, or Howard rides the pine, it’s pile on time. All of the eyes on the Phillies are viewing the games through a tarnished lens of “no future.” Even with the rare win, the highs are brought back down to middle-of-the-road level when you look at the team’s performance over time. Whether this is the end of the road for Howard is still yet to be seen, but it is, without a doubt, the end of this iteration of the Philadelphia Phillies. Even if the team stays mostly intact, this is not the team anyone (other than RAJ) wants, and that just breeds disappointment.

So sitting Howard makes sense. He’s not the first baseman of the future. Darin Ruf may not be either, but you have to at least try.

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The MLB Could Make the Shift Illegal Just in Time for Ryan Howard to Stop Hitting the Ball Altogether

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Well, could but probably won’t. Over at SI.com, Tom Verducci presents his case for the introduction of an “illegal defense” rule:

“Support of an ‘illegal defense’ rule – or at least the consideration of it – is gaining some traction in baseball. Such a rule might stipulate, for instance, that you cannot have three infielders on one side of second base. A shortstop would be able to shift as far as directly behind second base on a lefthanded hitter, but no farther.

Is it time for such a rule? My gut reaction is that it is time to at least think about it. All-fields hitting needs to increase.”

Of course, a change like this would likely take a few years to actually go into effect, and the blame for hitting into the shift could also be placed on one-dimensional hitters who were never taught or told or trained to hit to all-fields. But nahhhh … RULE CHANGE. For once, the most egregious example of the one-dimensional pull-hitter isn’t our boy Ryan (though if Ryan Howard adds that check-swing-opposite-field-bloop above to his repertoire, this won’t even be necessary):

“Because the inverse does not hold true – you can’t put the shortstop in short leftfield because the throw is too long – shifts are killing one type of hitter in particular: the lefthanded pull hitter with little speed. The most obvious example this year is Chris Davis of Baltimore. He hit .402 last year on balls in play to the pull field. This year, with shifts against him becoming more frequent and extreme, he is hitting .186 on balls in play when he pulls them.”

This isn’t all the fault of the shift, as Verducci points out, also placing blame (or credit) at the feet of “increased velocity from pitchers; the popularity of the two seamer/cutter combination; the winking acceptance of substances such as lotion and pine tar to help spin the ball; and the depth of bullpens [which] have helped make hitting harder than at any time in the DH era.”

You can put Ryan Howard’s drop-off in batting average on balls hit into the pull field on injuries or age or whatever you want — Verducci put Howard’s 2010 .364 average against his .207 2014 average — since I’m pretty sure defenses have been shifting on Howard since before 2010. But there is a trend among the other hitters sampled, including Beltran, Teixeira, Choo, Ortiz, and more. “The shift is driving to extinction the lefthanded .300 hitter with power,” Verducci says, “In 1999, 13 lefthanded hitters batted at least .300 with 25 home runs. This year, there is only one such hitter on that pace.”

Verducci sees a bigger problem in pace-of-play (as do many fans) but says the MLB is unlikely to adopt any rules that would significantly impact that. So, is it time to break the shift?

“We can all sit here and pretend nothing is wrong and count on the natural ‘ebbs and flows’ of the game to self-correct the decline in offense. Or we can do what the lords of baseball have done many times when offense was down, such as outlawing the spitball and putting a clean baseball in play (1920), lowering the mound (1969) and introducing the DH (1973): we can update the rules.”

Or, just making Joe Maddon illegal may have the same effect.

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Here’s Your Reminder That Ryan Howard’s House is Still Being Built and is Still Massive

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Photos via @mattstankowski

Photos via @mattstankowski

Reader Matt was spending some time down in Florida when he realized he was staying about a block away from Ryan Howard’s perpetually under-construction, so-big-it’s-silly, moat mansion. We’ve seen the GIFs before, and some other pictures, but these are probably the best shots of what the money from Howard’s 115 strikeouts in 2014 is going towards.

Really though, we cannot get over the size of this thing. There’s like a dozen pillars. A. Dozen. Pillars. This is the house of a drug cartel or a movie villain or a cartoon billionaire, not an overpaid athlete. Which number do you think is higher: The number of rooms in this house or the number of Howard’s career triples (20). My guess is the former.

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Ryan Howard Refuses to Deny That He Listens to Nickelback

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe he and Giroux could talk about it: Last night at Turner Field during the Phils v. Braves game, according to Hardball Talk, a fan held up a sign that said “Ryan Howard listens to Nickelback.” That’s rough stuff. Ryan, you gotta stand your ground on this one and come out saying “Hey, I had ‘Stanky Leg‘ (and DJ Khaled and Drake and Tyga) as my walkout song once, don’t come at me with that Nickelback shit.” But instead, Howard told Todd Zolecki this:

“Is it bad to listen to Nickelback? I mean, I’m not afraid to say that I diversify my musical portfolio. I didn’t know they could see or hear what … how do they know I listen to Nickelback? I listen to everything. I don’t know if there’s a specific song by Nickelback.”

While we appreciate Howard standing up for everyone’s right to listen to whatever the hell they want, Howard definitely protests too much when it comes to “I don’t know if there’s a specific song by Nickelback.” You know Ryan, you know.

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And Ryan Howard is Already Super Defensive About Your Skepticism

Photo credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking to the media today, Ryan Howard, via Ryan Lawrence, Philly.com

“In all actuality we’ve actually played very well this year. I disagree with everybody else. Our record doesn’t necessarily reflect that right now, but, you know, we’ve played well. We had three real bad games. So the only thing to do is go out there and try to win again.”

… and via Pat Gallen (@PatGallen_975):

“It’s 8 games. You guys are trying to start a panic attack. If you wanna panic go ahead and panic, but don’t bring it around here.”

Absurd, on several fronts: 1) Does Ryan Howard realize that the media isn’t panicking, they’re just doing their job, which isn’t to be a cheerleader? Not saying that they can’t be a little ridiculous sometimes (…), but Howard, a veteran, knows this. Right?

2) Howard has to understand that this isn’t a minor blip on the radar. The Phillies have been bad for two full seasons, they won nine spring training games, and they’ve started the regular season 3-5.

3) “… we’ve played really well this year… we had three real bad games.” They’ve played eight. Three were really bad. That’s not good.

52 Comments

Insanely White Kid Confuses Dwight Howard and Ryan Howard on WWTBAM?

Reader Matt just sent this to me from Cedric The Entertainer’s first day of hosting Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, which begs the question: WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT SHOW? There’s 400 different confusing lifelines and no linear progression, and now CTE is hosting? THE HELL, man?! Where’s Meredith? Why can’t they bring Regis back for throwback week? WHY IS THERE NOTHING ELSE TO BLOG ABOUT TODAY?

Anyway, this kid got his Howards, and his sports, mixed up.

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Today in Really Strange Craigslist Requests

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 5.17.20 PMNo, a Swiss hooker isn’t seeking a sugar daddy. Rather, one person is requesting a 5-10-minute video compilation of Ryan Howard striking out – and only striking out – for which he, or she, is willing to pay $35:

Seeking a Ryan Howard strike out compilation video, somewhere around 5-10 minutes long of nothing but Ryan Howard striking out (swinging and looking). This is for personal entertainment value, only. Would like the compilation to be overlayed with audio by any nu metal band, preferably POD or Drowning Pool, but I will ultimately leave that up to you. There should be no shortage of material for any part of this project.

That seems like a foolish request since one could just purchase the 2009 World Series DVD for a cool $14.24 and find what they’re looking for there.

H/T to reader Chris

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