The Phillies and Ryan Howard could not agree on a one-year or multi-year deal, so the Phils renewed his contract for $900,000:
It's believed the Phillies offered Howard a one-year proposal that would have guaranteed him slightly more than the renewal amount, plus incentives that could have increased the value substantially if Howard had a year anything like last year (.304, 58 homers, 149 RBIs, one All-Star appearance and that MVP Award).
Okay, let's assume that Ryan Howard is not taking steroids or HGH (I know that's a big leap in today's MLB), and he will have near the production this season as he had last year. If this happens, he will rightly be compared Aaron, Dimaggio, Williams, and . . . what's that other dude's name, oh yeah, Babe Fucking Ruth. Howard's average may not compare as favorably with past great sluggers as his power numbers do, but only the Latin, right-handed Stan Musial will garner the same attention in today's game.
That point is likely to arrive a year from now, when Howard is eligible for arbitration, and the Phillies can use Pujols' long-term contract (seven years, $100 million, after his third season) as a guidepost. For now, though, the Phillies will have to answer questions about why they took the stance they did on a player [Phillies assistant GM Ruben] Amaro repeatedly described as "special."
Amaro is right (we assistants have to stick together), Howard is "special", and if Philly doesn't want him to go to the Bronx, I imagine Howard will soon be sporting the Liberty Bell on a 24kt. gold rope, wiping his ass with the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, and holding up cheese-steak lines all over the city by ordering any way he wants. My fifth-grade memories of Philadelphia are now exhausted. -KD