People who complain about Ryan Howard’s contract and bitch and moan about him not being an elite player can point to numbers.
They can show that his stats are declining and the days of sluggers mysteriously getting better later in life have ended.
I get it.
But they don’t get what a Ryan Howard can mean to Philadelphia.
First of all he has come through and helped give Phillies fans some great memories. He’s an MVP, a World Champion who hit some big homers in the 2008 World Series.
He was the MVP of the 2009 NLCS. And he’s a home grown star.
He’s someone that Phillies fans can invest emotion in and can cheer whether they come through (as in the 2009 series against Los Angeles) or doesn’t (last year against San Francisco.)
So when he comes up and launches a go ahead homer in the playoffs like he did tonight, he is flushing VORP, OPS+ and WAR down the toilet.
He is creating MEMORIES and making fans HAPPY and giving them reason to cheer him on years from now instead of seeing him in an Astros uniform or something.
Other players will have better Sabermetrics than Howard. And none will give tough fans like Phillies fans a lifetime of joy and positive memories.