Ryan Howard unlike Utley and Harper is a guy I have a lot of respect for. He was a legit power hitter who did not need or use PED’s to hit all of the home runs he ended up hitting. If he stayed healthy I believe he would’ve been one of the most feared power hitters of all time.
With that being said, I still don’t like Ryan Howard one bit. The fear he instilled in my heart was unmatched. The sheer size of this man along with the way he held the bat made it seem like every swing he took would result in a 500+ foot home run.
This, for the most part, was true. Howard slashed .242/.319/.499 against the Mets with 48 home runs and 136 RBI. This was in 177 games played so in a little more than a full season’s worth of games he hit 48 home runs.
While the home runs were very infuriating to deal with, what really makes me dislike Ryan Howard was what he did to David Wright. Howard beat Wright five to four in the final round of the 2006 home run derby in what was a crushing defeat for me as a young child. Watching my favorite player lose to the most feared hitter on my least favorite team did not make me very happy.
Howard in my eyes was the best player on a really good team and along with Chase Utley tormented New York. Nothing made me happier than seeing the Phillies rebuild in 2015-2016 and having the Mets beat the breaks off of them.
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Now that both teams are trying to win hopefully a real rivalry can be instated again. It’s been so long since both teams have been good at the same time and it’s much more fun to watch when that is the case.