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View Full Version : Ryan Howard - Remind me what happened



Red Leader
04-11-2007, 09:14 AM
Ok, so last night I was watching David Letterman and Ryan Howard was on the show. Dave was asking him about when he received his major league callup, etc, etc. This got me to thinking. I seem to recall at one time (close to a trade deadline one year) that Jim Thome was the Phils regular first baseman. The Phils had just signed him a year or two before to a huge contract. Ryan Howard was in the minor leagues and hitting bombs like he is now doing in MLB. I thought I remember hearing / reading that Ryan Howard was available for trade during that deadline because he was blocked by Thome. I don't remember what the Phils were asking in return for him. If I remember that deadline correctly (and its possible I'm not remembering it correctly), analysts were saying that Howard was available but there weren't any teams interested in him? My question is: Why was there a minor league player as good as Ryan Howard available, blocked by a then "franchise" player and not moved? I seem to recall discussions on this board about it and many thought Howard was either a fluke at the time, that his game would not translate well to MLB, or that he was too old to make an impact for a long time in MLB. I guess I just don't understand why some smart GM didn't swoop in and grab Howard when he was available in trade and blocked by Thome. Surely someone would have recognized how talented of a hitter he was and how much potential he had. I remember hearing back then how great his power was. It's not like 40 HR hitters fall out of the sky. Why didn't someone give the Phils what they were looking for in return for Howard? Surely plenty of teams could have used a 40 HR, left handed hitting first baseman...

My memory is a little foggy on this whole subject. Can anyone shed any light as to why Howard was not moved at the deadline that year?

redsmetz
04-11-2007, 09:25 AM
Obviously it needs a grain of salt, but here's an excerpt from Wikipedia (with no source


Selected in the 5th round of the 2001 draft, Howard quickly ascended the Phillies' minor league system, earning consecutive MVP awards in the Florida State and Eastern leagues (2003-2004). While doing this, he impressed scouts enough that general managers of several teams tried to lure the Phillies' Ed Wade into trading him, as Jim Thome was blocking his path to the majors. Rumors circulated that Howard would be traded to the Pirates for starting pitcher Kris Benson. Wade refrained from doing so and Thome was later traded by new GM Pat Gillick.

redsmetz
04-11-2007, 09:26 AM
BTW, the name of the temp work on the TV series "The Office" is Ryan Howard, named after the ball player who was at the time a player on the Phillies Scranton-Wilkes Barre minor league team.

edabbs44
04-11-2007, 09:39 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/preview07/columns/story?columnist=olney_buster&id=2814837

Red Leader
04-11-2007, 10:00 AM
Thanks, edabbs. That was a great article.


Wade mentioned to another GM that Howard had great power. "A lot of guys hit home runs in Double-A," the rival executive replied. "Remember Sam Horn?" What the guy didn't know was that Howard and his swing were edging toward accommodation.

:nono:

No wonder that "executive" wanted to remain anonymous.,,

Chip R
04-11-2007, 10:29 AM
Thanks, edabbs. That was a great article.



:nono:

No wonder that "executive" wanted to remain anonymous.,,


And that executive's name was... Dan O'Brien. And now you know... the rest of the story. ;)

Red Leader
04-11-2007, 10:52 AM
And that executive's name was... Dan O'Brien. And now you know... the rest of the story. ;)


I was thinking Littlefield was the executive since there was mention that the Pirates had talked about a Ryan Howard for Kris Benson trade.

Chip R
04-11-2007, 11:00 AM
I was thinking Littlefield was the executive since there was mention that the Pirates had talked about a Ryan Howard for Kris Benson trade.


I don't know. I was just joking.

Red Leader
04-11-2007, 11:02 AM
I don't know. I was just joking.

YEAH. WELL IT WASN'T FUNNY!!

just kidding. I know you were joking. I was just trying to actually figure out who said that. The first names that popped in my head were Littlefield and Steve Phillips. I'm pretty sure it wasn't Bowden.

vaticanplum
04-11-2007, 07:08 PM
BTW, the name of the temp work on the TV series "The Office" is Ryan Howard, named after the ball player who was at the time a player on the Phillies Scranton-Wilkes Barre minor league team.

And the kid who plays him (who is also a writer on the show and no doubt named his own character) was apparently a fantastic ballplayer as a kid. Some friends of mine played theatre/comedy league ball with him. Of course, it probably doesn't take much to distinguish yourself in theatre/comedy league ball.

Stewie
04-11-2007, 11:31 PM
If memory serves me correctly, in '04, the Phillies were all for that Howard for Benson deal, but the Pirates, in their infinite wisdom, chose Ty Wigginton instead.

Then, early the following year, there were some annoying rumors involving Howard for either Kip Wells or Danys Baez. I don't really remember why those "deals" fell apart, whether it was the Phillies backing out, or the Pirates/D-Rays. I would like to think it was Ed Wade who reconsidered and realized Howard for Wells was a bad idea, but I really don't know.

redsandrails
04-12-2007, 12:40 AM
Haha... back in those days we mighta been able to do a Danny Graves for Ryan Howard swap. :laugh: