Thursday, February 21, 2008

Leaving Aside The Riches

Ryan Howard is a very rich young man today following an arbitration panel's decision agreeing with the big first baseman's representatives that his true market value is $10 million not the $7 million the Phillies were offering. Were the arbitrators obligated to take into account the impact of their judgment on baseball's salary structure? No. Will their decision have a major impact on that structure? You'd better believe it. Professional sports don't operate in the realm of cost-of-living adjustments.

What does this mean for both sides? Who knows!? Will Howard be "content" to sign a series of one-year deals with the Phils until he becomes a free agent four years hence or will the two sides eventually agree to a long-term contract? Everything is speculation. (For what it's worth, I doubt Howard will be a Phillie in 2012.).

What I do expect is a better year for Howard at the plate and in the field. He arrived in camp early, a little bit trimmer and in good spirits. He said he wants to work on his defense and as the estimable Erik Grissom , author of can attest, he needs to!

Howard needs to cut down on the strikeouts and the grimaces that followed. He needs to go the other way a little more and shorten his stroke when contact, not a moonshot, is called for or dictated by how he's being pitched.

If he continues to drive in runs and brings his average up around the figures of his first two seasons, he will have a very productive year indeed. Whatever outcome, he'll be paid handsomely.


Anonymous said...

David Murphy, in his new DN blog, has a good take on the Howard-arbitration situation, as far as answering the question of what it means for both sides. I agree with him that the Phillies were right to hold off on offering a long-term contract, and that what Howard demonstates in '08 will probably go a long way in determining his long (or short)-term future with the club.

As fas as I'm concerned, Howard deserved to win this case simply because the Phillies have been making bucketloads of money off of him and, service-time stipulations or not, he deserves to be compensated fairly for that alone. I'm glad also that his season will be starting off on a very positive note, in contrast to the negative one he began last year with - anything to help this team have a good April for once. As long as he isn't so homer-conscious as he was last season, there seems no limit to what he can do offensively.

-David (it's a much easier process to post anonymously!)

candent said...

Tom, I know this is off topic but I thought you'd probably know the answer. Who makes the schedules for each season? I'm really curious how that process works. Thanks.

Tom Goodman said...

I assume either the Commissioner's office or the League office makes the schedules, but I don't know for sure. If you post your question over at Beerleaguer ( Jason (the author) or a commenter will know.