By Sam Bush

Why is Matt Stairs, who is paid to be a Phillies announcer and does it badly, arrogant enough to give Ryan Howard, the Phils’ $25 million a year bust, advice?

Howard has only homered once since June 19 and has seen his season average drop all the way down to .220.

Howard seems to be getting hitting tips from all directions as he has been adjusting the height of his hands in his stance and doing other things to figure out what is going wrong.

Stairs was one of the latest to offer hitting advice to Howard as he pulled out a bat in the broadcast booth during Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals.

Stairs, who spends much of his time in the booth making idiotic comments and mistakes, might not be the best guy to try to get Howard back on track.

Although he played in 600 more games than him in his career, Stairs had 61 less home runs and 120 less RBIs than Howard has so far in his career. Howard has six 30-plus homer seasons so far while Stairs only had one in his playing days. The Phillies first baseman has six 100-plus RBI years while Stairs posted two such seasons in his 19-year career.

The advice coming from the guy who was sitting next to Stairs in the announcer’s booth Sunday was probably a little more valuable.

Mike Schmidt, who joins the Phillies broadcast during Sunday home games, is the only guy in Phillies team history who hit more home runs than Howard. Schmidt smashed 548 homers for Philadelphia and didn’t become a folk hero in the city because of one home run like Stairs did.

Howard has seen his share of slumps during his career and will likely work his way out of this one during some point in the second half of the season. He’s certainly far from the player he once was but still has some power left in him as shown by his 15 home runs and 56 RBIs so far this season. Howard will likely find some success in the final half of the year, but it will probably not be because of Matt Stairs.


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