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Bill Conlin opines on Ryan Howard

Jan 22, 2008, 10:10 AM EDT

Howardcurtaincall
Ryan Howard is the best power hitter in the majors and the Phillies should ditch their business-like approach to his contract and buck up like they did with Utley last year when he faced arbitration.

There.  A one-sentence, less colorful summary of Bill Conlin’s article in today’s Daily News.

I’m starting to agree with him, too.  Maybe I’d think different if the Phillies opened the bank during the offseason for  free-agents and felt like there wasn’t enough "financial flexibility" to sign The Big Man long term right now — but they haven’t.  And if you paid Freddy Garcia $10M for 1,040 pitches last year (none of which broke 87-mph on the radar gun, btw) you mightaswell open up the wallet and throw Howard the extra $3M that will make him happy.

It only makes sense.  And you can’t compare this to any other arbitration case for a 3rd year player, either.  Unless, of course, you can name me another who already has a ROY and MVP trophy to his name. 

My favorite part of the article, Conlin being Conlin:

After perhaps the greatest first full power season of any player in
history, Ryan Howard last winter butted heads with the service-time
ogre guarding a shallow moat around the pastime’s only citadel of
control over its finances.

That service-time ogre sounds like an asshole.

>> Get the pitch up [Conlin]