Ryan Howard Sure Bet for Hall of Fame


And it’s about time, I say.

Ryan Howard is on the cusp of joining other Phillies greats like Roy Halladay, Jimmy Rollins, and Michael Young as an Arizona Fall League Hall of Famer. The Arizona Fall League, of course, is that league that happens after the season ends and you pay attention to, because this is finally going to be the year you really get into the offseason leagues. Yeah.

Jul 2, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) touches home plate to score a run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

So the Phillies, and everybody else, send five or six guys they think will be good and a few that don’t realize it yet but are on the verge of being cut, out to Arizona to run around with some other prospects from other teams and try to make something of themselves. It’s wild fun! Way better than a Major League post season!

Howard was elected in 2011, and with the lightning fast processing of the AFL voting committee, he will be inducted now, two years later, in a ceremony that will be attended by

a swooning mass of adoring fans

close friends and family

like a league rep and the Justice of the Peace, I assume.

As a 2004 Phoenix Devil Dog, Howard rattled out a .333 average with three home runs and 24 RBI. The AFL is like, three weeks, or whatever. Give him a break. The Devil Dogs won it all that year, starting an unprecedented five championships in a row, six total – the most in league history. Which is pretty impressive when you consider they never have the same players and don’t even play in Phoenix anymore.

So, the league is taking credit for Howard’s MVP and “fastest to 250 home runs record” (little do they know he’s only hit two since then), like a school you transferred to for a couple of weeks one year before your family moved again asking you to acknowledge them in your Nobel acceptance speech.

Combine this with Ruben Amaro’s new fascination with math and you’ve got one hell of an offseason thus far. I’ll see you in [the place where the AFL Hall of Fame is, if it is even a physical place you can visit].