Ryan Howard’s Extension One Year Later

Ryan Howard's five-year, $125MM extension doesn't kick in until 2012, but it has been exactly one year since the Phillies signed their slugging first baseman long-term. A year ago this time, the reaction to GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was critical. Why, analysts asked, would the Phillies commit nine figures for Howard's age 32-36 seasons when he doesn't play a premium position and figures to be well into his decline phase by 2016, the last guaranteed year of the contract?

The Phillies had their reasons for making the deal; Howard had reached 45 homers for the fourth consecutive season in 2009, further establishing himself as one of the premier power hitters in the game. Yet Rob Neyer, Keith Law, Dave Cameron, Ken Rosenthal and others argued that Howard's power didn't necessarily justify a five-year deal worth $25MM per season.

Since finalizing the contract, Howard has hit .278/.357/.508 with 31 homers, 111 RBI, 24 doubles and 5 triples. The 31-year-old made the All-Star team in 2010 and cracked the top ten in the NL MVP balloting, though he posted a career-low slugging percentage and hit fewer home runs than usual. Though his numbers are good, they aren't what we're used to seeing from Howard and the Phillies may have been counting on more (he has just 2.4 total wins above replacement since the beginning of 2010).

Howard remains an above-average first baseman, a key player for a perennial contender that currently has the best record in the game. But he's older and less productive than Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, the two premier position players who will hit free agency after 2011. If Howard had not signed his extension, he would have hit the open market this offseason as the third-most appealing player at his position.

His career numbers would have generated lots of interest, especially if he continues producing in 2011, and there's no doubt that he would have been in line for an impressive free agent contract. $25MM per year, however, would likely have been out of reach for Howard. We won't know for another five years whether the initial reaction to the deal was fair, but at this point it appears that the analysts were right: Howard and agent Casey Close are looking smart for signing the $125MM contract a year ago.

120 Responses to Ryan Howard’s Extension One Year Later Leave a Reply

  1. WisBrave 4 years ago

    One year later I’m still loving this deal.

    • Hopefully you will still be saying this in 3 years. The Phillies definitely overpaid for Howard and I have had Howard in my keeper league for that last 4 years. He isn’t worth more than 18-20mill and 20mill per year would still be pushing it imho.

      • Cosmo3 4 years ago

        I think he was saying this as a Braves fan, Lamar. Just a guess

      • I think he earned the deal. It’s a lot like Derek Jeter and the Yankees. They paid him not for what he’s going to do, but what’s he’s done. He’s not worth 25 million dollars to any other team but the Phillies.

        • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

          Ehh, that’s not an accurate comparison. Jeter is clearly on the decline. Howard can still beast for a few years before hitting a sharp decline. And I don’t think Howard has the same connection to the Phills as Jeter does with the Yanks. They’re both overpays, but they Yanks paid Jeter for his past entirely, while Howard has potential to justify that contract in the future, at least in the next few years.

      • I think WisBrave said that because he is a Braves fan. I think it kind of gave it away since “Brave” is in his screen name. Just a guess.

  2. iorekk 4 years ago


  3. jays2thetop 4 years ago

    Not worth 25 per I would say 15-19

    • …. That’s ridiculous to think that a team would not have given him at least 20 million dollars per. Besides, he was already making 20 million a season, so after hitting the open market he would take a pay cut?

    • Jason Klinger 4 years ago

      That’s a realistic range. Ruben obviously had the love goggles on at the time – Howard had mashed for a few years, the fans were gaga over him and the WS glow was still permeating the park. I admire Ruben for rewarding Howard so well, but as a business decision, it was totally nutso.

  4. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    double masted failboat

  5. chicothekid 4 years ago

    Not me. I hated the deal then for the Philth, and I hate it now. Anyone that looks at this realistically knows that the Philth overpaid, in a big way, to keep him in Philly for a long time. We can get into the argument of past accomplishments vs future contracts, but everyone knows he won’t be able to live up to that contract when those last few years start rolling around. This contract was all about keeping the team in tact while their window was still open, and I get that.

    The problem that I have with this contract is because I’m a fan of baseball. I don’t like paying $30 to get a nosebleed at a baseball game, and it’s these contracts that make that a necessity if I want to see a game in person.

    If Halladay wants his millions, I’m not gonna cry about that if he’s in his prime. If Howard wants his millions, while he’s in his prime, okay. But I HATE paying top dollar to see past their prime players, because it just isn’t worth it.

    THAT’S the issue I have with the contract. I don’t mind paying to watch Ryan Howard, David Wright or A-Rod. I don’t want to pay the Zitos, Rowands, Zambranos, and Mathews Jr’s of the world though, and that’s precisely what this contract is going to become in a couple of years.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      “The problem that I have with this contract is because I’m a fan of baseball. I don’t like paying $30 to get a nosebleed at a baseball game, and it’s these contracts that make that a necessity if I want to see a game in person. ”

      nope. you have simply swallowed whole this propaganda from the owners

    • Frank Tangorra 4 years ago

      These are great points and this is what Howard is going to turn into. I think in 3 years he will be a DH type player stuck in the NL. This contract will be unmovable for the Phils.

    • johnsilver 4 years ago

      Good points and gonna catch fire over this, but some of youn that remember what baseball was LIKE when it was treated like a game and there WAS loyalty mat agree:

      The game went downhill when the UNION and MARVIN MILLER entered the arena. Payrolls went up, of course bidding went up as well. Call it free enterprise, the American way, or whatever, but the late 60’s/early 70’s was the death knell of baseball as far as tradition is concerned.

    • Do you really think that owner’s wouldn’t charge 30 bucks a seat if everyone on the team was making the league minimum? Come on now.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        do you really think the owner’s are guaranteeing huge contracts before they have to money to pay for them?

    • TapDancingTeddy 4 years ago

      Unless I find a crazy bargain on StubHub, $30 will get me cheap binoculars that I could use to see into Yankee Stadium from a neighboring building.

  6. Frank Tangorra 4 years ago

    This can turn out to be a crippling contact for the Phillies. He already had a decline from 2009-10. In 3 more years he’s going to be a DH. Your lucky if a team picks up pennies on the dollar on that contract. I still think Howard is a great hitter and is the only player on the Phillies that isn’t a product of that park. Bur all in all it’s gonna turn into a bad deal.

    • “[…] and is the only player on the Phillies that isn’t a product of that park.”

      …..Have you *SEEN* us in “that park” lately…?

    • Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

      Its like the Lee deal really, more money over less years. If Howard hit the market odds are he would of recieved a seven year offer and with Werth gone, Rollins and Ibanez free agents after this season and Victorino after 2012 the Phils offense had the potential to be Utley and 8 other guys. So the qeustion is would you rather sign Howard to a 5yr/$125 Mil deal or something like 7yrs/$150?

    • He didn’t have a decline. He sprained his ankle and missed a month of the season, a month that historically is one of his most productive months.

  7. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    Ryan Howard’s Extension, Still Stupid One Year Later

  8. jarg8 4 years ago

    ya they way over paid. I feel like whenever ruben has his mind set to accomplish something he does it, but makes huge lapses in judgement in doing so, e.x trading lee for peanuts while obtaining halladay. Howard is a great player and I don’t mind paying him 20mil as of right now but odds are when hes at the end of this contract he will be only a .250 hitter with 30homer 100rbi below average fielder making over 25mil. He has a great glove, but he still can’t throw the ball to second base.

    • They’re paying him 5 million more than he was already making.

      • jb226 4 years ago

        $5MM is more than the average player salary for 26 MLB teams this year. It might even be 27 if we pulled Howard’s salary out of the Phillies and recomputed, but I’m too lazy to bother with that math right now. Already this year I bet $5MM would look awfully good with question marks about Utley and in the outfield. Who knows what the questions, or the payroll, will be moving years forward.

        Can a team like the Phillies absorb a $5MM mistake? Sure, but that doesn’t mean they should be happy that they made it — or that they should have bid against themselves for the honor of having done so. Particularly if one could question whether $20MM/yr is too much too. “I gave a bad contract so I have to give an even worse one on top of it” is, shall we say, not the best logic.

  9. Steve Mancuso 4 years ago

    Howard made the All-Star team because his own coach was naming the backup players. It was pretty widely known that Manual hacked for his own player. He sort of admitted it. Can anyone really defend Manual’s selection of Howard over MVP-to be Joey Votto?

    • Cole Hamels got snubbed from the All Star Game in 2008 by Clint Hurdle who took his own guy. Can you honestly sit here and say that if you were managing the all star team today and you’re guy is putting up good numbers that you wouldn’t take him?

  10. Lets not forget the fact the Phillies got a bargain his first 2 years, 2005, the year he won Rookie of the Year, he made the whopping minimum. 2006, the year he won MVP he made the large sum of $355,000 and in 2007 when he hit 47 HR’s n had 136 RBI’s he made a whole $900,000. So if anything the Phillies are paying for back wages. He’s made them more money than they have paid them. So just relax ppl. He is still in the top 3 of first baseman in the NL.

    • top 3?

      1) Pujlos
      2) Fielder
      3) Votto

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        last year he wasn’t even top 10. over the past 3 years he’s #7. in the NL

      • Lets look at the stats of Howard, Fielder n Votto. Pujols is the best obviously.
        Howards line 8 Seasons 925 H/ 256 HR/ 767 RBI/.279 BA/ .371 OBP.
        Fielders Line 7 Seasons 855 H/ 195 HR/ 558 RBI/ .281 BA/ .386 OBP.
        Vottos Line 5 Seasons 542 H/ 94 HR/ 310 RBI/ .318 BA/ .406 OBP.
        Howards 162 game average 167 H/ 46 HR/ 139 RBI/ .279 BA/ .371 OBP
        Fielders 162 game average 161 H/ 37 HR/ 105 RBI/ .281 BA/ .386 OBP
        Vottos 162 game average 183 H/ 32 HR/ 105 RBI/ .318 BA/ .406 OBP

        So I dont see how Howard is not considered in the top 3? Votto is more consistent with hits but Howard has way more RBI. Fielder is good but not as productive as Howard. Votto HAD ONE GOOD YEAR! ONE!!!!!!! Howard has been consistently the same every year of his career!

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          why would you look at career numbers? your claim was that he IS STILL a top 3 1st baseman, not that “his career considered beside other NL first basemen’s careers is top 3″

          look at the last 3 years – and also look at defense, since 1st basemen have to play it. he’s not even top 5

          • thats y i put the yearly average too. But if you want to look at last 3 years?
            Votto 2008 156 H/ 24 HR/ 84 RBI/ .297 BA/ .368 OBP/ .991 FLD%
            2009 151/25/84/.322/.414/.991
            2010 177/37/113/.324/.424/.996

            Fielder 2008 162/34/102/.276/.372/.988
            2009 177/46/141/.299/.412/.995
            2010 151/32/83/.261/.401/.997

            Howard 2008 153/48/146/.251/.339/.988
            2009 172/45/141/.279/.360/.990
            2010 152/31/108/.276/.353/.990 Missed 19 games

            What exactly is your point? Im not seeing it?

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

            Sticking with your 2008-2010 timeframe:

            2008: .373 wOBA, 4.0 fWAR
            2009: .439 wOBA, 4.6 fWAR
            2010: .488 wOBA, 7.4 fWAR (16)

            2008: .370 wOBA, 2.7 fWAR
            2009: .420 wOBA, 6.9 fWAR
            2010: .380 wOBA, 4.1 fWAR (13.7)

            2008: .366 wOBA, 3.1 fWAR
            2009: .393 wOBA, 4.8 fWAR
            2010: .367 wOBA, 2.0 fWAR (9.9)

            Obviously Pujols is the best. Howard just isn’t in their class.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            the yearly averages you cited are based on career stats, friend

            PLAYER – wOBA – wRC+ – UZR – WAR


            votto: .373 123 +11.7 4.0
            fielder: .370 125 -9.2 2.7
            howard: .366 120 -0.8 3.1


            votto: .418 155 -1.1 4.6
            fielder: .420 160 +1.7 6.9
            howard: .393 140 +0.2 4.8


            votto: .439 173 +1.6 7.4
            fielder: .380 137 -7.4 4.1
            howard: .367 125 -12.6 2.0


            votto: 16.1
            fielder: 13.6
            howard: 9.9

            Weighted Averages

            votto: 414 154 +3.7 5.6
            fielder: 389 140 -5.3 4.5
            howard: 374 128 -5.6 3.1

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            if you insist on using triple-slash lines and OPS, at least use OPS+, which is adjusted for park factors and scaled to league average (100). over the past three years:

            votto: 152
            fielder: 145
            howard: 131

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            ah, i now see someone has already tried to explain statistics to you below. your immunity to knowledge is impressive

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

            Pretty much the entire community is trying. He must have opposite pheromones for knowledge.

      • Prince Fielder is not better than Ryan Howard.

        • Thank you! I will agree on Joey Votto if he can stay consistent but so far he has had 1 good year previous years are average

        • tacko 4 years ago

          Yes he is. Remember, Howard plays in a minor league stadium. Looks at their OPS+ instead.

          Over the last 3 years:
          Howard: 124, 141, 128
          Fielder: 130, 166, 137

          • Give me a break! Thats like saying Torry Holt is a better wide receiver than Jerry Rice because Rice had Steve Young. Its professional sports so dont give me that bull crap bout “Howard plays in a minor league stadium”

          • tacko 4 years ago

            Then calm your tats and look at the stats. OPS+ adjusts OPS for ballparks and leagues. Need more?

            Look at their WAR the past three years.

            Howard: 2.8, 4.8, 2.2 = 9.8 wins
            Fielder: 2.1, 6.4, 3.8 = 13.0 wins

            Btw Votto, who you described as an average player with one good year:
            OPS+ over the last three years: 125, 156, 174
            WAR: 3.0, 4.5, 6.3 = 13.8

          • I like to go by stats that some man at a computer didnt just make up. Who cares about WAR when you can go by REAL stats. There is so many stats that are just made up now a days.

          • “blablablablabla I can’t heeeeeear you”, huh?

            Seriously, grow up and accept that Howard isn’t in the top 3, and there are stats that prove it.

          • tacko 4 years ago


          • HAHAHA nice.

          • Jason 4 years ago

            “REAL” stats can be calculated by a computer too. ERA, OBP, SLG, just to name a few.

          • I don’t think you can ignore them but I think people put too much stock into these stats. It goes both ways, and to be honest with you I don’t even understand half these stats now a days and the vast majority of people don’t.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            what goes both ways? i’ve never seen anyone who claimed “too much stock” is put into advances stats demonstrate an understanding of them (which would be necessary in order to know how much stock ought to be put into them)

          • Because some people blindly follow advanced sabermetrics and believe the people who don’t know them to be ignorant is what I’m getting at I guess. Some people just ignore stats like home runs and rbi’s which are important stats to the game of baseball.

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

            And when the argument turns to this, it usually signifies that they lost.

            Stats are there because they don’t lie.

          • Not going to lie, I got smoked. BTW I’m not accusing anyone on this site or in this discussion of that I’m just saying some people do. No one here did that, I made myself look ignorant if I came across that way.

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

            It’s cool. Only once have I seen notsureifsrs lose an argument on here, and the world nearly ended.

          • Apples and Oranges, you CANNOT compare a Wide Receiver in football to a batter in baseball (besides having a good QB is A LOT of being a good WR)

            and CBP is a band box how can someone with even a little bit of power hit not hit a home run almost weekly playing half of their games there, I’m a Yankees fan I admit that the Stadium is a band box too (i mean Gardner hit 2 home runs this week! come on!) I’ve also seen Howard go deep in the Stadium. I’m in no way doubting his power, or prowess as a hitter. But he does not deserve all that money, and his handcuffing the Phillies for the next few years to build a team around him, Lee, and Halladay (but of course the pitchers are the best at their craft and deserve the money)

            Edited for clarity

          • So what is Miller Park?

          • tacko 4 years ago

            How about you read the parts of my posts that actually prove something instead of putting your hands on your ears and screaming?

          • You called Citizens Bank Park a minor league stadium when Miller Park is just as much of a hitters park. That’s what I replied to.

          • tacko 4 years ago

            And my point was that OPS+ and WAR proves that Fielder is a vastly greater player than Howard is. Way to ignore.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Miller park is about as neutral as they come actually.

          • Bender44 4 years ago

            To support your argument and compare it to CBP

            Park Factors- 2010 – Miller Park (15th in overall runs/6th in HR)
            Citizens Bank Park (16th in overall runs/10th in HR)

            2009 – Miller Park (27th Runs/10th in HR)
            Citizens Bank Park (12th Runs/16th in HR)

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            another fact! he is breaking out in hives

          • I stand corrected.

        • Give me numbers that prove that! there are a ton of stats (all listed above) that prove he is in fact better then Howard. Howard has had better teams around him (to date) then Votto or Fielder but that doesn’t make him better.

          What about ISO? (SLG-AVG)

          Howard: 07: .316 08: .292 09: .292 10: .229
          Fielder: 07: .330 08: .231 09: .303 10: .209

    • tacko 4 years ago

      That’s not how contract negotiations work. In an extreme case, Barry Bonds produced an excess of millions in worth for the Giants. Should they resign him for $20 million per year (if he/they would/could) just because he’s given them more production than they paid him for?

      • Your basing that off of a different era. in the past few years the salarys have went WAY up. I never said thats how contract negotiations work. Im not a idiot. It was a way to look at it. Not saying that Howard went to the Contract table saying you owe me im just saying its a way to look back on it.

  11. ultimate913 4 years ago

    Everyone is doing it, Ruben. Extend him even further.

  12. AmericanMovieFan 4 years ago

    I try to not look at it from the team’s perspective. I mean, sure, this contract hampers them in a few ways- they can’t get rid of him, they have to play him and it will look progressively worse as he continues a precipitous decline. However, as far as Ryan James Howard is concerned, this is a fantastic contract. He never has to worry about free agency ever. He never has to take less money. He’s got his payday locked in no matter what. All he has to do is not retire and he’ll collect his cheques for the next 6 years. Good for him. Honestly.

    The Phillies will have paid him $190MM for just 11 seasons of baseball. Not bad for a guy who didn’t break into the majors until he was 26.

    • fitz 4 years ago

      I’m not sure if it was meant to be humorous but that first sentence made me crack up!

    • He didn’t break into the majors until he was 26 because the Phillies had a guy by the name of Jim Thome (in his prime) I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of him.

  13. Let’s look at last year. No question Pujols and Votto Were better. Ryan Howard missed a month with a sprain ankle that never healed.

    Prince Fielder
    161 Games
    32 Home Runs
    83 RBI’s
    .261 BA

    Prince for his career has hit for more of an Average than Howard but Ryan’s put up better power numbers and is the fastest player to either 200 or 250 home runs I forget which.It might be both.

    Ryan Howard
    143 games
    31 Home rUns
    108 RBI’s
    .276 BA

    • tacko 4 years ago

      What are you, from the 90’s? You’ve managed to put up every useless stat to compare the two players. Why don’t you mention how many errors they’ve had while you’re at it?

      • How are they useless? OO yea I forgot the team with a higher OPS wins the game not the team that scores more runs (which is where Homeruns n RBI’s come in)

        • Thank you it’s ridiculous to say those stats are meaningless. Ryan Howard is a run producer. I do agree with him on though.

          I don’t care if he strikes out 200 times a season. What difference does it make if he strikes out or hits a weak pop up in the in field, an out is an out.

          • tacko 4 years ago

            Has the whole city of Philadelphia just become baseball fans and never read anything about baseball outside of posts about the Phillies?

            Luis Castillo hit .300 two years ago. Was he a better player than Adrian Gonzalez or Ryan Braun?

            Was Bautista a better hitter last year than Pujols, Hamilton and Votto because he hit more big flys than them?

            Was Guerrero a better hitter than Hamilton, Cano, or Longoria last year?

            And I guess Jeter deserved his gold glove last year, huh?

          • He made some ok plays…


            I also wanted to add that I’m trying to learn some of these new stats and I’m keeping an open mind but I don’t believe in them and I think people put too much stock into them these days and I think most fans of ANY baseball team don’t even know half of them. Also, how many times do you see the Analysts on, for instance, MLB Network say oh this guys putting up a WAR of… they don’t.

            I believe baseball is a game of producing runs. Which Ryan Howard is one of the best in the league. Does that make him a better hitter? No.

            Someone posted earlier that Ryan Howard isn’t a top 5 first baseman in the NL. That’s a ridiculous statement.

          • Id like to see you compare Lou Gehrig’s WAR to Albert Pujols. If the stats are useless I guess that we need to throw out all the stats from Ruth/Gehrig/Mantle and all the other guys from back then because they didnt have the stupid stats like WAR n stuff.

          • tacko 4 years ago

            You’re kidding, right?

            link to baseball-reference.com

          • tacko 4 years ago

            Look him up on Baseball Reference. They do have his WAR. Do I really have to explain this to you? Am I being trolled?

          • I apologize I did not realize it was on there. But I feel like all the sabermetrics are a little ridiculous. I bet 99% of baseball fans couldnt tell you 2 sabermetric stats or tell you wut the abbreviations mean. They have gotten a little crazy with it

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            Don’t mock what you don’t understand.. Its called evolution.

            I don’t understand the theory of relativity.. but it doesn’t make it false.

          • FunkyTime 4 years ago

            I love how stats are automatically “stupid stats” if they aren’t easily understood.

            Maybe you should put more effort into it?

          • ejr 4 years ago

            in defense of…myself, I guess — not all Phillies fans think things like WAR and VORP are useless.

            I will admit to some weird feelings about park adjustment formulas, but I don’t reject them just because I can’t calculate them in my head.

            Also, Howard has value to the Phillies as a team — he will sell shirts and fill the seats. Will it be worth it at 25/year? As the article says: maybe not, but we’ll find out. projections say no.

        • Fifty_Five 4 years ago

          Dude they’re completely usless, don’t even get people started on this site.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          “How are they useless? OO yea I forgot the team with a higher OPS wins the game not the team that scores more runs (which is where Homeruns n RBI’s come in) ”

          ohhh, you were trying to measure team performance? RBI are ok, then! though personally i’d just go with runs…

          we’re all here talking about individual performance though, silly billy! and RBI are not a function of one individual’s performance

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

          RBI’s are useless since it’s 100% relied on the rest of the team to get on base. Bautista has 8 home runs, and 11 RBI’s. He must suck.

          • “Bautista has 8 home runs, and 11 RBI’s. He must suck.”

            WOW. Kinda hoping he ends the season at 50 HR and around 75 RBI

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

            Not gonna lie, that would be kinda funny in a tear-inducing kinda way.

          • Hmm… Lets look at this season. The Cardinals, Brewers and Reds all have higher team OBP than the Phillies, yet Howard has more RBI than Pujols, Fielder and Votto.

        • There are so many holes in that argument. We’re not talking about which team was better (because clearly, the ’10 Phillies were better then the ’10 Brewers) we’re looking at single players. When it comes down to it it doesn’t matter how many home runs a player hits, or how many runs they’ve driven in. What matters is how many runs they CREATE, how often they get on base, how often they help the team win. And all of that is taken into account with the advanced stats. The adjusted stats are even more important because hitting 31 HRs playing 81 games in a hitter friendly park is less impressive then hitting them in a pitcher friendly park/league.

      • Twinkilling61 4 years ago

        I wouldn’t say the stats are completely useless, but I get your point. I’m still not completely sold on zone rating though. It’s the best thing we have, but it is still far from perfect. Anyone that watched Carlos Gomez knows that he is not one of the best outfielders in the game. I also know that RBI’s are largely dependent on where you hit in the order, but there has to be some value to someone who continues to drive people in different situations.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          you think people here believe RBI is a bad stat because driving in runs is not valuable? come on now. think it through

          • Twinkilling61 4 years ago

            I don’t think that any stat is perfect. Please enlighten me on your opinion on why RBI is a bad stat.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “no stat is perfect” is what someone says when they want to make the whole thing a wash. but it isn’t a wash. even though no stat is perfect, some are clearly better than others. and you should prefer the better ones

            RBI is bad because it purports to measure individual performance but in fact measures much more than that. no player controls who is on base when he hits and he can never deserve credit for it, yet he is given credit for this by RBI

            when you then also account for the fact that no two players are presented with the same opportunities to produce RBIs, you come to realize RBI is just way too messy to be a useful measure of an individual’s skill. there is too much other stuff reflected in the numbers

            example? ruben sierra’s 1993 season: 101 RBI! woohoo! great year!

            no, not at all. awful year. .233/.288/.390 – .296 wOBA

          • Twinkilling61 4 years ago

            Didn’t I mention that RBI is largely dependent on where you hit in the order? Also, I am not saying that all stats are a wash, I just said that no stat is perfect. I agree that RBI’s aren’t the best indicator of a player, but you it seems that you are saying it is useless and it’s not. It may not be the best way to indicate a player’s skills, but it still has it’s place.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            what place is that? what is it useful for? what does it tell us better than any other stat can?

          • Twinkilling61 4 years ago

            I don’t know if it’s better, but it does give an insight into situational hitting that I feel many stat-heads do not appreciate.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Not so much situational hitting as it is hitting situation.

          • Twinkilling61 4 years ago

            But they still have to come through in the situation to gain the rbi. It seems to me that you are diminishing the player’s ability to hit a long fly ball or to hit a ground ball to the right side.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            The point is someone else has to put them in that situation, or their flyball/groundball would just be another out.

          • Twinkilling61 4 years ago

            Yes, but you’re still diminishing the fact that the player could change his approach at the plate.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            But simple RBI’s don’t tell you anything about whether he did or not. A guy with more RBI’s could have hit better in those situations, but he could just as likely have simply been in that situation more than another guy.

          • Twinkilling61 4 years ago

            True. That is why I feel that a rate of converting on rbi chances would be more valuable.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            it does tell us what one player did on one team during one season. but it’s not useful for comparing players. and it doesn’t even tell us the rate at which a player converted RBI opportunities. so a 80 RBI player on one team could have better “RBI skill” than an 110 RBI player on another team, and RBI would give no indication of this at all

            this is a huge, huge problem that you simply cannot avoid. the people who are denigrating the use of RBI aren’t suggesting that you stop caring about situational hitting or run production. to the contrary, they care very much about these things and would like the skills related to them measured as precisely as possible. RBI is one of the worst tools available for this task

          • Twinkilling61 4 years ago

            Oh, okay I see where you’re coming from now. I do agree that a rate for converting rbis would be better.

          • Yeah I can also see where you guys are coming from. I just don’t think that stats like RBI’s and such can’t be thrown out. I think they’re all a part in the evaluation of a player. If Ryan Howard played for Seattle, he probably wouldn’t be a top player in this league.

            What is you’re opinion on stats like RBI’s after the 7th and stuff like that because certainly you can get you’re own game winning RBI with a solo homer in the 9th? Or Average with RISP stuff like that, that break down those situations. Is there a really good stat to measure “clutch” hitting?

          • it has nothing to do with where a player hits. Eventually the 9 hole guy is going to get up with the bases loaded ya? how many times do we see a pitcher up with the bases loaded? a lot. This isn’t some little league where the crappiest hitters are put last (hey i was one of them!) RBIs are great for determining how many times a guy got a hit with runners on base, but pointless for telling who is better. It’s great to keep track of everything like this, but to compare players properly you have to take into account the ball park they play in, LHP vs RHP, the league averages, and to a (MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH) lesser extent how lucky the guy gets (BABIP)

          • Yeah. I stand corrected and you guys proved Fielder is the better player. I’m big on saber metrics in terms of pitching and defense. I’m not completely sold on them from the offensive side, but you guys definitely raised some good points and I’m going to try to do some more research on them and get a better understanding for them.

          • jb226 4 years ago

            It’s useless because without consulting other stats, you have no idea WHAT it is telling you. Like you say, it’s going to vary based on where in the lineup you hit. It’s going to vary by the particular lineup you’re in. It’s going to vary based on luck, both the hitters in front of you and your own. It’s going to vary based on the defenses you hit against in those situations, and the pitchers.

            If you had 100 RBIs, the only thing we can say is that that’s good. We have no idea if it was you or your team or what combination of both; whether it is a particular skill you have or just dumb luck. Are you really good hitting with RISP, or did you just get an abnormal number of chances? Were the hitters in front of you fast enough to score from first an abnormal number of times? You can run off and look those things up and get a clearer picture, of course — but if you’re looking up some other stat just to tell you what the hell your first stat is saying, isn’t that the definition of a useless stat?

          • But you’re just oversimplifying things back the other way. You need to look at a variety of stats to tell the whole picture. A batting average of .300 doesn’t make a great player either.

            The Phillies have had good lineups around Howard. But you can’t say that his consistent RBI production year after year hasn’t been astonishing. There’s something undeniable about that fact, and people won’t admit it.

            Now, show me a new sabermetric that gives a % of potential RBIs weighted by players on each base, their speed, the outs, the game situation, etc. Then we can settle the NL first basemen argument at least from a run producer standpoint.

  14. Twinkilling61 4 years ago

    Unless it’s a productive out, like advancing a runner to third with no outs, or a sac fly.

    • That’s smart baseball. I’ll be the first to admit I hate when players strike out in gimme RBI spots like a man on third less than two outs or something like that. But I’m just saying that if Player X strikes out and Player Y pops out in the infield what is the difference. They’re both un productive outs.

      • Twinkilling61 4 years ago

        Oh, for sure I know where you’re coming from. I do think that a strikeout can have more of an impact psychologically on a player and at certain levels on a team, but you are absolutely correct that an out is an out.

  15. Of course Howard’s contract raises eyebrows. He is after all a very one dimensional player. Realistically though he is historically outstanding in that dimension. He averages more RBI/HR/R over a 162 games than Fielder and Votto, and more HR/RBI but fewer R than Pujols. Pujols is a stand out, but Howard is very similar to Fielder and Adrian Gonzales.
    The Phillies saved money by signing him first. Gonzales already has a bigger contract.
    In the end, we as fans tend to look at players’ salaries comparatively. I’m sure organizations do the same but they also have to consider their own situations. There may be 6 First-Basemen in the league including Howard who could produce similar numbers in the Phillies lineup(and park). I don’t think they could count on signing any of them for less than $125m if they had waited until after this season.
    So unless Howard’s production falls off the planet(which some have predicted), instead of gradually declining, I don’t see this contract being a huge mistake.
    Think of it like this, if Howard’s option is picked up, he will make $23m and be 37 in 2017, Jayson Werth will make $21 and be 38. Before you’ll get excited about Werth consider the point I’m trying to make. $25 million today is top tier- but by 2017 it will probably be more practical.

  16. I never said Ryan Howard wouldn’t be a major reason, just that he’s not one of the best first basemen in the game.

    As for opening it as such, I was summarizing what Bill Berry was saying. Hence the quotes.

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