Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pat Burrell Ends Phillies Career

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There was high hopes when the Phillies selected Pat Burrell as the number one pick out of Miami back in 1998. He was a standout athlete with a nice--if long in my opinion--power stroke who had succeeded at every level.

Burrell joined the big club in 2000 and had a huge year in 2002, a year that hard core Phillies fans hoped would continue through his career. That was not meant to be and in the next few years, Burrell became the center of fan rage, his laid-back style and unflappable demeanor didn't help his case. I recall sitting in left field and hearing the Philly faithful berate Burrell inning after inning. I couldn't believe that Burrell didn't turn around and give them all the finger (like he did to the Red Sox). That's what they (we?) wanted of course but Burrell didn't oblige. I think the only thing that saved him was the way he played against the hated Mets. The dude killed them on a regular basis.

He picked it up and became a steady 25-30 homer, 85-100 RBI guy. He solidified a position that we needed filled and his arm was a thing to marvel. many a major league player hesitated coming around first on a one-bounce liner down the left field line because of his arm.

Now Burrell will be gone because of the Phils signing of Raul Ibanez--a player with a more consistent stick and power akin to Burrell's. Yet, Patty B earned everything he has gotten. He finally led the Phils to the World Series championship and for that alone will be remembered with reverence. I can guarantee that he will get a standing ovation whenever he plays at CB Ballpark regardless of what team he goes to. His last memory as a Phillie will be riding with his wife and dog in the front of the Phillies parade where he was cheered by 2-million psychotic Philly sports fans.

Good luck with whomever you play for Patty B. I think he'll contribute to an American League team for a few years as a DH.

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