What transpired at Ryan Howard's arbitration hearing?   

Updated: February 21, 2008, 4:55 PM ET

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Ryan Howard won his arbitration case against the Phillies on Thursday, earning an arbitration-record $10 million salary for 2008. Page 2 has always wondered how those arbitration hearings go, when a team is forced to argue against the talents of its own player:

Arbitrator: "OK, let's get started. Mr. Howard, you begin."

Ryan Howard

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Ryan Howard has 105 homers and 285 RBIs over the past two seasons. Yeah, he might be worth $10 million.

Howard: "I'm good. I feel I deserve $10 million."

Phillies: "Meh. You're OK, I guess. We think $7 million is more than a fair offer."

Howard: "I won the MVP in 2006."

Phillies: "That was 2006. What have you done for us lately?"

Howard: "I hit 47 home runs and had 136 RBIs last season."

Phillies: "What's that? Did I hear you say you didn't win the MVP last season? Exactly."

Howard: "But I'm one of the best young players in baseball."

Phillies: "Hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But we'll meet you halfway on your opinion -- you are a player in baseball."

Howard: "I am a building block of this franchise."

Phillies: "This is a team sport. There are 25 guys on the roster. Your ego is clearly out of control. No wonder you are asking for more than you are worth."

Howard: "But you are paying Chase Utley an average of more than $12 million a season."

Phillies: "Why don't you worry about your own salary?"

Howard: "I am. I want $10 million."

Phillies: "Why don't you worry about your performance on the field and let the money take care of itself?"

Howard: "I have done that."

Phillies: "And you've earned $7 million. Well done."

Howard: "No, I've earned $10 million."

Phillies: "Mike Schmidt never made as much as $3 million in a season. Are you implying you are more than three times better than Mike Schmidt? Your mouth is writing checks your body can't cash."

Howard: "I would like you to write checks. Specifically, enough checks that, over the course of an entire season, equal $10 million and are written out to me."

Phillies: "Again with the money."

Howard: "But that's why we're here."

Phillies: "No, we're here to convince the arbiter that you stink so we don't have to pay you $10 million."

Howard: "But I don't stink. I'm very good."

Phillies: "You are not being cooperative. Is there a bailiff in these kinds of hearings? If so, I request you be subdued and thrown in jail. And you might want to take our $7 million offer right now before you are arrested by the bailiff. There's no way we're paying even half that to a convicted felon. The fans won't support it."

Howard: "This is ridiculous. I'm definitely worth $10 million. Pat Burrell is getting paid $14 million this year. Pat Burrell!"

Phillies. "Now you're just angering us."

Howard: "Pay me! I'm good."

Phillies: "What? What's that you said? The huge breeze from your strikeouts blew out my eardrums. I'm deaf. I'm deaf, mister arbiter! Please rule that Ryan Howard owes me $10 million for pain and suffering."

Howard: "Oh, shut up. I'm a power hitter. I'm allowed to strike out. I'm not perfect. But I am very good."

Phillies: "No you're not."

Howard: "Yes I am."

Phillies: "No you're not."

Howard: "Yes I am."

Phillies: "No you're not."

Howard: "I'm good."

Phillies: "Bad."

Howard: "Good."

Phillies: "Terrible."

Howard: "Good."

Phillies: "Horrendous."

Howard: "Good."

Phillies: "Worst player who has ever put on a pair of baseball spikes."

Arbitrator: "OK. OK. I've heard enough. I'm ready with my ruling. Ryan Howard wins and will receive a salary of $10 million."

Howard: "Yes!"

[outside the hearing room]

Phillies: "Hey, Ryan … don't forget we have that photo shoot scheduled for you tomorrow. We're putting you on the cover of our 2008 yearbook and all of our ticket advertising. You are the man! A young, fun-loving slugger who hits in the clutch? You are marketing gold! We love you!"

Howard: "Thanks."

Phillies: "Well, have a great season. And we'll see you back here next year -- same time, same place, same offer."

DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He is also a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book – "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck" – is on sale now.


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