Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Say Hello to Your 1st Place Philadelphia Phillies …

… starring Ryan Howard as … the MVP?

Don't look now, but guess who's in 1st place. Really, do it. I dare you. What's that? It says the Phillies are right there in the headline? Well, that can't be right. Let's see what our good friends The Fightins have to say about that:

Well I'll be! I could have sworn that just yesterday the Mets were sitting atop the NL East. What a difference a year makes. And what's that? The Phils have retaken the division thanks to who? Ryan Howard? Surely you jest. You mean the same Ryan Howard that some people (idiots) were turning on earlier in the season? The same Ryan Howard who strikes out all the damn time? Couldn't be him.

No, it's not that Ryan Howard. It's the 2006 edition. The MVP edition. The man who, with the Phils down 7-6 to a terrible Atlanta team that they've handled all season long, calmly stepped to the plate, worked the count and absolutely bombed the game-winning home run deep to left field. Right now, ladies and gentleman, Ryan Howard is not only on fire—he's the National League MVP.

And before any of you get all up in arms about the 190 strikeouts and .249 (and rising) batting average, not to mention some defensive shortcomings, let me explain something to you. Baseball is about scoring more runs than you're opponent. Period. And Ryan Howard produces more runs than anyone else in baseball. Hands down. And in September, he has been the best player in the league, carrying his teammates on his massive back.

Plain and simple, Ryan Howard was awarded a record $10 million in arbitration because the man hits bombs and drives in runs. And he does it better than anyone. As we speak, the big man has 45 home runs, eight more than anyone else in all the land. He has 136 RBIs, 10 more than Justin Morneau, quite possibly the AL MVP, and 22 more than *choke* David *pussy* Wright *choke*, the closest man in the National League.

And when it's mattered the most, Howard has delivered. With the Phils trying to duplicate the end of the 2007 regular season, it's been Howard that's led the way. Sure, he's gotten help from Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Curbball Ruiz (!). And yeah, the pitching has been pretty solid. And Brad Lidge (despite his Mitch Williams-esque, heartstopping save last night) has been flawless. But Ryan Howard has been flat-out amazing. In September, he's hitting .396 with 8 homers, 22 RBI and 16 runs. Hell, he's even played great defense of late. Something I didn't even think was possible from the guy.

If Howard can keep this up and lead the Phils to the playoffs for the second straight year, it would be difficult to award the MVP to anyone else.

And oh yeah, that gagging sound you hear is coming from the north. I'd say about 100 miles north.

Special thanks to We Should Be GM's for the great photo above.

And one last note: The time has come, Charlie. Pat Burrell should not start another game the rest of the year. He's been the worst hitter in all of baseball the past month-plus, and last night's 0-for-5 with 5 freakin strikeouts against pitchers that were throwing straight, slow fastballs was all the evidence I need. Pat is done. It was a nice little run he put together there at the end of last season and the beginning of this year, but Burrell is back to his horrible, strikeout-laden self. Put Jenkins in. Or Stairs. Or Golson. Anyone. How about some Dobbs in left? That is all.

Ryan Howard. MVP!


  1. I believe I brought up this Howard for MVP talk a week or 2 ago. Everybody scoffed at me then, I'm scoffing now.

  2. When you're right, you're right. You called it. You are smart.