There's a clamor all over the Phillies blogsphere concerning the Phillies "cheap-skate" Ryan Howard contract renewal. Here is the WSBGM's take.
Let's all calm down and remove our panties from the bunch they're in. None of us are Ryan Howard and none of us are in the Phillies front office (not even me, the self-proclaimed GM). Therefore, we have NO idea what transpired in regards to Howard's contract being renewed for the record $900k for a player of his stature (1+ year service time). $900k seems measly for the reigning MVP, and will be considering the future pay-days he will get. However, for the time being it is what it is...a record setting contract, but nothing spectacular. For all we know Gillick and company tried to hammer out a nicer deal, but alas ran out of time and just renewed his contract instead, with the understanding that a more lucrative multi-year deal is in the works.
So many people want to blast ownership and talk about how this contract was a slap in the face of Howard and how we might have just lost him. Hello...he's still a Phillie and will be for the next 5 years at least and possibly beyond. This organization has started to do "good faith" deals recently with players like Burrell, Abreu, Utley, and Myers. I believe they will do the same with Howard and Howard will accept it and be happy. And if indeed, Howard really is pissed at the Phillies and views his current contract as disrespectful, then he'll go about his business and leave Philly when his obligation to the city is up...in 2011. My guess is that Gillick will attempt to lock him up through his arbitration years and one or two years of free agency this offseason or possibly even during this season. The Mets did the same thing with David Wright and Jose Reyes last season, there is precedent for such business decisions. The Phillies have done nothing wrong so far, have not been cheap-skates in regards to Howard, and those of you getting yourselves all sweaty because of this are a bunch of crotchticular cowboys...CHILL OUT!!!
Anybody who wants to blast the Phillies for the Howard deal is a low functioning retard, of Fuqua-esque proportions. It would have been stupid to give Howard a huge contract now, as it would have been a huge waste of money.They don't have to get a deal done until 2011 when he becomes a free agent. They could have given him far less and told him to suck it up, but they didn't. What they did do is give him the most money ever received by a player with his service time. Read that again - MOST MONEY EVER!!! This the Phillies giving out record cash, not the Yankees. But speaking of the Yankees, look at how the cash-whores in the Bronx deal with their young players. Remember when that overgrown Muppet Derek Jeter was playing on his first contract. He accumulated three service years before the Bronx Butt-Bombers signed him to a long-term deal. And that was after 1 ROY, 1 world title, 3 playoff appearances, 1 all-star appearance, and 3rd place in the MVP voting, not to mention all his intangibles, which are worth at least as much as the others. This year the BBB's renewed the contract of All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winning second baseman Robinson Cano, who has 2 years service time and is coming of a year where he hit .345. He got a little over 300 grand and not a sniff at negotiating a new contract. Did that cause a ruckus in the Big Apple? No, because as stupid as New Yorkers are, they understand this as being part of the business of baseball and how things are done.
By renewing Howard with the highest salary ever for a player with his service time, they are sending a message that they will compensate Howard appropriately, both now and when it is time for a long-term contract to get done. Everyone is quick to put down the Phillies management and their decisions (I myself revel in blasting the often misguided front office...) but this should not be one of those times. I can only assume that the only reason this is being critiqued is that the beginning of spring training has fans interested but the play of scrubs in exhibition games has not given them enough to talk about, and so they are creating ridiculous controversy just for the sake of having a topic to discuss. While that is said, it is better than the alternative - these Special Olympic rejects really think the Phils made a mistake here.
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