Making The Case For Ryan Howard, Why He Deserves The Long-Term

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IJanuary 6, 2009

The Philadelphia will most likely be headed to arbitration hearing regarding their superstar World Series champion first basemen Ryan Howard. This is something that the Phillies nor Howard want to experience every year until 2011.

The main problem with this is the following:

1. The hearings give the Phillies brass every opportunity to demean the worth of Howard and how much he has truly done for this organization.

2. This doesn't improve the player-management relationship very well. When a player of Howard's caliber is on your squad, it would be best to make him feel like there is no other team that would take care of him like Phillies.

3. Other teammates will look at this as a problem, which can cause a ripple affect. Players such as Cole Hamels, and Shane Victorino both deserve massive pay raises can look upon this negatively.

Now, if I was Ruben Amaro Jr., I would invite Howard into my office and ask him what he wants. I have heard reports come out that he wants Alex Rodriquez type money. Absolutely not true.

If someone reading this goes and looks up Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Beltran and see their money numbers, please come tell me that they deserve to make more than Ryan Howard. You wouldn't dare.

Since Howard has became an everyday player in 2006, he has completely dominated the sport as a power hitter. In 88 games his rookie year,ended up winning the Rookie of the Year award. The following year he defeated the sophomore slump talks with not just a massive season, but a season that won him NL Most Valuable Player.

In three full seasons with the Phillies Howard has averaged; 155 games, 51 home runs, 144 RBI, and a .277 batting average. To me that's an MVP like season every year. Major League Baseball hasn't seen a player like this since Babe Ruth as shocking as it sounds.

Over three season nobody in baseball has more home runs than Howard (153), and RBI's (431). That alone is worth to me, more than Mark Teixera, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, and other hitters not named Alex Rodriquez.

The whole "Howard strikes out more than anybody in baseball," aspect is watered down. Last I checked, on Oct. 30 the man with the second most strikeouts in baseball was raising the World Series trophy and finished second in MVP voting.

The Phillies have to put their ego's aside and pay the guy who was a major help in bringing you to the dance. If this doesn't happen Phils fans, then we all have about two seasons left to see number six walking out to first base and grabbing that wood stick and smacking homers that cant be measured at Citizens Bank Park.