By Daniel Massar – 3/12/2010
Ryan Howard has already accomplished a lot in his first 5 years in the Big Leagues. He is a former Rookie of the Year winner and a two-time National League MVP. Howard has also led the Phillies to three straight NL East titles, two straight NL Titles, and a World Series win in 2008. Howard expects a competitive race in the division this year.
“The race this year is going to be good,” said Howard. “Each team is going to be better this year, and you can never count anybody out.”
Howard has developed the reputation of being a second half of the season player. He seems to play his best after the All Star Break. Howard talked about his second half success.
“It’s just something that happens,” said Howard. “You just kind of go out there and play and the second half of the year things kind of just take off, I guess.”
The Phillies are a team of stars. They acquired former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay in the offseason to complement former World Series MVP Cole Hamels. Second baseman Chase Utley and former NL MVP shortstop Jimmy Rollins add even more offensive firepower to the lineup. The All Star first baseman acknowledged the intangibles that Utley brings to the team.
“Chase brings that grit,” said Howard. “Chase just brings a different type of intensity to the game.”
With the Academy Awards still fresh on people’s minds, the topic of baseball movies came up. Howard explained why “Major League” is his favorite baseball movie.
“I just like the story behind it,” mused Howard. “The whole team kind of came together and their chemistry brought them together.”
Howard also liked the how the team in the movie went from worst place to first. Now he’s hoping his team can have the same chemistry again this season that has led to great success in recent years.