Big Money, Big Problem: Why the Ryan Howard Contract Was a Bad Idea

Michael AkelsonCorrespondent IApril 27, 2010

If you look up powerhouse in the dictionary, chances are a picture of Ryan Howard won't be too far away.

If you look up all-or-nothing on google, chances are Ryan Howard's picture will quickly appear on your screen.

It's no secret that Ryan Howard drives in runs like they're going out of style.

It's also no secret that he comes up empty more often than any other big league hitter.

As the later portions of Ryan Howard's new five year, $125 million contract near, the latter will likely overtake the former.

Ryan Howard is a big boy, to say the least.

As the years go by big boys like Ryan Howard age in dog years.

Before you know it he'll be a liability in the field.

Next you'll see a huge dip in average for baseball's most powerful player.

Soon after that his power will take a dip below the norm, dropping him to 20-25 bombs a season.

All of this could happen to Howard within a period of three years. And it could come without warning.

I doubt this would go over well in the city that booed Santa Claus.

In my opinion at least, Ryan Howard was already overrated as it is. Sure, he can hit homers at will, but if I had a dollar for every time he struck out since 2005 I might have enough money to rival Howard's new contract.

If the Phillies were an American League team this deal wouldn't bother me as much, but that's not the case.

I just can't imagine Howard playing the field much longer without being a liability to his team.

In my mind Ryan Howard is very similar to David Ortiz.

Both of them got a late start.

Howard was blocked by Jim Thome in the Phillies organization until his 25th birthday.

Ortiz didn't decide to show us that he was Alex Rodriguez's little brother until he signed with the Red Sox at the age of 27.

They both peaked right away, and they peaked high.

Ortiz hit 31, 41, 47, and 57 homers in consecutive seasons.

Howard hit 58, 47, 48, and 45 homers in consecutive seasons.

However, much like his peak, Ortiz declined fast and unexpectedly. That decline started around the age of 32 for Ortiz, which is when I expect it to happen to Howard.

Howard has already shown that he hits lefties about as well as Charles Barkley hits golf balls (okay maybe not that bad). Can you say PLATOON?

Because in a few years you might have to.

We've all seen it a few million times. When will teams learn that hit-or-miss power hitters like Ryan Howard don't last?

Still don't want to take my word for it?

Why don't you ask Mo Vaughn, Jack Cust, or Richie Sexson how quickly they lost it?

Ryan Howard is a great power talent, but he's no messiah.

So why is he being paid like one?

In about three years The City of Brotherly Love certainly won't be in love with what they're getting out of their $20 million man, I guarantee it.



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