Ryan Howard won last night's Home Run Derby at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, the second consecutive year that a Phillie has won it. I hope he feels proud and enjoys the spotlight, because he deserves it. Because Howard doesn't play on a team with a winning record or one that is in New York, I don't think that Howard is getting the recognition that he deserves. He's having a great season and should be considered one of the MLB's elite players, but everyone fixates on the season that Thome is having and ignores the fact that Howard is every bit as good and nine years younger than Thome.
I don't worry about Howard's performance in the home run derby affecting his swing the way it seemed to affect Bobby Abreu last year because I think swinging for the fences is a natural part of Howard's game. If anything, this might give his confidence a boost and make him a more dangerous player.
Congrats Ryan! Good luck to you, Chase and Tom at the All-Star game tonight!