Who killed Ryan Howard's 2012 season? If you had Ryan Howard in the on deck circle with a lead pipe, you win Philadelphia Sports Clue. Howard broke his toe Friday night after dropping the lead pipe he warms up with on his foot. Sounds like something out of the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics except self-inflicted.
Howard is hitting .219/.295/.423 with 14 home runs this year earning him the Vernon Wells nod of approval. The 2012 season didn't get started until July 6 because of the torn Achilles he suffered falling out of the batter's box to end his 2011 campaign. If the Phillies were wise, they'd bubble wrap the dugout next year as Howard's injuries are happening closer and closer to the clubhouse.
Then there's that wonderful five year, $125 million albatross of a contract extension Howard signed. Howard makes $20MM this year and next before going to $25MM in 2014 through 2016 with a $10MM buyout for 2017. That will be the quickest buyout in MLB history. It's probably already been made. Want a fun fact? Howard made $232,558.14 every time he got on base in 2012.
Now please enjoy my favorite quotes from this Philly.com article...
"It was a learning process," Howard said.By "his best years are ahead of him," Charlie Manual means when Howard retires to a tropical island where he isn't required to do anything athletic.
What was the No. 1 lesson?
"Don't get hurt."
Howard finished with career lows in batting average (.219), on-base percentage (.295) and slugging percentage (.423).
"I know I'm a better hitter than that," Howard said.
"His best years are ahead of him," Charlie Manuel said.
Baseball-Reference claims Ryan Howard's nickname is Big Piece. More like Broken Pieces, amirite? I'll show myself out.