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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Phillies' Brass Should Remember a Time-Tested Chinese Proverb

When it comes to tomorrow and Ryan Howard's arbitration, that is.

The proverb is: "You don't always win by being right all the time." Translated, it means that front offices can make compelling cases to win salary arbitrations, and they win them much more often than not. But to do so means potentially alienating a megastar with a great track record (albeit somewhat short), a great professional demeanor and an outstanding work ethic.

And one who might remember this bit of negativity, should it arise, come when he's a free agent a few years from now.

Yes, the Phillies can muster the arguments to save $3 million and pay Ryan Howard "only" $7 million this year, instead of the $10 million that he's asking for. And, yes, neither the Phillies nor Howard created a situation where Howard was woefully underpaid at $900,000 last season while Freddy Garcia made $10 million and hardly pitched. But that's the Collective Bargaining Agreement for you, and it does create inequality. In the long run, Howard will benefit from that agreement, that's for certain. But the Phillies shouldn't necessarily make him pay for collective longer-term blunders that they and other teams have made on long-term contracts.

The Phillies have great arguments to win the arbitration hearing tomorrow. The question is, though, is this something that this team really wants to and needs to win?

Better that the front office spends its energy trying to sign Howard to a long-term deal and finding enough starting pitching to beat the Mets and get to the World Series than to save this precious $3 million.

Because you don't always win by being right all the time.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I HAVE BEEN A PHILLIES FAN FOR 48 YEARS AND THEY HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO BE CHEAP. THIS TIME THEY BETTER SIGN HOWARD TO A LONG TERM DEAL BECAUSE IF THEY DON'T AND ULTIMATELY LOOSE HIM, CITIZENS BANK PARK WILL BE A VERY EMPTY VENUE!!!!!!!GO PHILLIES!!!!!!!

2:34 PM  

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