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Monday, September 18, 2006

The Good Phight: Cohen: Howard’s Season: The Derby Changed Everything

Bonds/Maris…bah!...Howard is chasing Jeter for most late season threads!

That Howard had power is not earth-shattering news though. What many of us were uncertain about was Howard’s patience at the plate. Until the All-Star break, Howard was below league average with his .341 on-base percentage. However, after his supercharged trip to Pittsburgh, Howard has reached base slightly better than every other trip to the plate (.502 OBP). How good is a .502 OBP? It’s good enough to lift Howard from 132nd out of 229 MLB players with 225 or more plate appearances at the All-Star break to eleventh in on-base percentage in the majors now. It would also be good enough for a tie for 21st on the all-time single season on-base percentage list.

His 1.306 OPS? That would be seventh all time on the single season list behind only Ruth and Bonds at their best. Mull that over again: for the past two-plus months, the Phils have had someone of the quality of the best of Ruth and Bonds in their lineup. Is it any wonder the team has surged in the Wild Card race, even without Bobby Abreu?

Repoz Posted: September 18, 2006 at 05:33 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

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   1. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: September 18, 2006 at 05:59 PM (#2180725)
There's a significant difference between a season and a half season. Anyone know how many people had a half season with an OPS at least 1.300?
   2. buddy34 Posted: September 18, 2006 at 06:07 PM (#2180731)
yea, let me know when howard does 1.306 over a full season.
   3. TDF, trained monkey Posted: September 18, 2006 at 06:23 PM (#2180744)
There's a significant difference between a season and a half season. Anyone know how many people had a half season with an OPS at least 1.300?

Slogging through ESPN's stats page, only Bonds has had a half season (min: 200 PA) over 1.3 starting in 2003; Thome (2nd half, '02, 1.254) is the next closest to Howard. Manny, Sammy, and Jasonny are the only other hitters to record 1/2 season of 1.2 OPS in that time frame.
   4. dsc25 Posted: September 18, 2006 at 06:24 PM (#2180746)
There is definitely a significant difference. But, as a Phillies fan, I'll happily take two and a half months at this level any day.
   5. TDF, trained monkey Posted: September 18, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#2180748)
BTW, Bonds was over 1.3 in 7 out of 8 halfs '01-'04 - he slumped to 1.214 the 2nd half of '03.
   6. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: September 18, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#2180751)
yea, let me know when howard does 1.306 over a full season.

That's not the point. The point is that he's doing it <u>now</u>, and Philadelphia's surge is a by-product of that.
   7. TDF, trained monkey Posted: September 18, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#2180752)
starting in <strike>2003</strike> 2000.

Damnit.
   8. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 18, 2006 at 06:52 PM (#2180789)
That's not the point. The point is that he's doing it now, and Philadelphia's surge is a by-product of that.

But Gassko was comparing apples to oranges - whole seasons to half seasons. I think it would have been more illustrative if he had comped Howard's half to Babe and Barry's, as was done upstairs in this thread.
   9. DSG Posted: September 18, 2006 at 07:07 PM (#2180801)
But Gassko was comparing apples to oranges - whole seasons to half seasons. I think it would have been more illustrative if he had comped Howard's half to Babe and Barry's, as was done upstairs in this thread.

I'm pretty sure this thread has nothing to do with me. Sounds like you need a nap.
   10. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: September 18, 2006 at 07:16 PM (#2180808)
for the past two-plus months, the Phils have had someone of the quality of the best of Ruth and Bonds in their lineup.
You can't say that--"the best of Ruth and Bonds"--unless you establish what their actual best was.
   11. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 18, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#2180835)
Sorry, David.

*goes to bed*
   12. TDF, trained monkey Posted: September 18, 2006 at 07:50 PM (#2180851)
You can't say that--"the best of Ruth and Bonds"--unless you establish what their actual best was.

Bonds' best since 2000 is 1.455 for a half-season (2nd, '01) or 1.421 for a whole ('04 - for consistancy, he had the same OPS both halfs).

He's nowhere near the "best of Bonds", and I'd guess he's somewhat behind Ruth's best, also (considering 3 whole years better than Howard's current half). But (as I showed above) he's having the best non-Barry half in at least 7 years. Which is pretty impressive.
   13. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: September 18, 2006 at 07:57 PM (#2180859)
*goes to bed*

Dude it's 4 in the afternoon! :)
   14. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: September 18, 2006 at 08:01 PM (#2180867)
But Gassko was comparing apples to oranges - whole seasons to half seasons. I think it would have been more illustrative if he had comped Howard's half to Babe and Barry's, as was done upstairs in this thread.

If Barry can carry a team all season, a half season of Barry (i.e, Howard post-ASB 2006) could carry a team for half a season. I don't think any more is implied.
   15. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: September 18, 2006 at 08:05 PM (#2180871)
Dude it's 4 in the afternoon! :)

When Gassko tells you to take a nap, you take a nap. Capiche? Don't be giving me no lip, young man.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: September 18, 2006 at 08:09 PM (#2180877)
Post-AS, on contact, Howard is hitting an obscene 526/1158 = 1684. Bonds' best year was either 407/1073 in 2001 or 419/904 in 2002. Ruth's best were (probably, I didn't calculate them all) 456/1029 in 1920 or 478/930 in 1923. McGwire's best I think was his half-season in 2000 with 456/1114.

Yes, those are full seasons for Ruth and Bonds vs. half for Howard (and McGwire basically). I'm pretty sure that what Howard is doing in terms of on-contact hitting (i.e. raw power) is unprecedented even for half a season. Even Sosa in June of 98 didn't slug that high (1104) ... though I suspect that was the record month on-contact ISO (713!!) ... he had 12 singles, 2 doubles, and 20 HR.

And for the season, Howard is now at 452/973 which leaves him behind those Ruth and Mac seasons but I doubt very many more.
   17. sunnyday2 Posted: September 18, 2006 at 10:55 PM (#2181018)
Man, if the Phillies only had another great hitter in their lineup, you know, a guy like Abreu, they might go somewhere.

I guess they figured they had too many good players.
   18. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: September 19, 2006 at 07:43 AM (#2181726)
So when will the Phillies fans/FO/media turn on Howard? If memory serves, its usually after the second season or so that they become obsessed with the obvious short-comings. I'm wondering, has their been a column yet talking about how many runs Howard gives up on defense or on the basepaths?

Philadelphia usually goes through seven stages of sports star appreciation:
1) Wonders who he is and where he came from
2) Convinced that he is the best player *ever*
3) Acknowledges the player's shortcoming as a footnote
4) Introduces the player with mention of his shortcomings
5) Only talks about the players shortcomings
6) Discusses every player who doesn't have the star's shortcomings (regardless of the total package) until the player is traded
7) Wonders how the team can acquire a player with a similar skill set

Howard's at stage 2 right now--he's as good as Bonds and Ruth ever were!!!--so I'm guessing this spring the Phillies community will start fixating on his most obvious weaknesses (strikeouts, defense, baserunning). By midseason, some mediot will start writing how many runs the Phillies would save by having JT Snow or Doug Mientkiwiecz at first (even if it costs them 40+ homers).

Going by how they've treated previous stars, I'm willing to wager that by 2010 both Howard and Philadelphia will want nothing to do with each other. For his sake I hope that Howard has the good sense to not sign away any of his FA years and has the opportunity to get the hell out of dodge before things get too nasty.
   19. Sparkles Peterson Posted: September 19, 2006 at 09:20 AM (#2181741)
NL MVP Update:

Pujols .330/.431/.682
Howard .312/.413/.673
Beltran .277/.383/.603

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