Your former team had you replaced with a player who’s set to turn 37 while continuing their efforts to placate a 46-year-old pitcher, yet you’re the one being treated like a senior citizen. Time to take a hint, Pat.
Pat Burrell wants three years and it will become the shock of the signing season if he gets it. So far, we’ve only read assumptions that a team like the Angels might discuss Burrell, but it’s just conjecture based on Los Angeles being an American League team on the West Coast. Otherwise, the Phils have a lot in common with the rest of baseball in their naked disinterest in signing the free agent leftfielder. The signing of Raul Ibanez, a horrid defender, suggests that nobody, Philadelphia least of all, believes in Burrell’s glove. The Cincinnati Enquirer believes that in order for the Reds, who’re actively shopping for a right-handed outfielder, to have any interest, “the market will have to collapse completely” for the Reds to become suitors.
What happens to Burrell could turn into the most intriguing storyline for Phillies fans the remainder of the off-season. If Jamie Moyer resigns, that could be it for the big ones. Watching Burrell doff a new cap will become the most memorable visual this winter.
Burrell tribute: Over the past few days, there have been many salutes to Burrell, giving pause to reflect on his tenure, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I spent the better part of the decade disliking the way Burrell played. Scratch my head and wonder. That was me, most of the time.
But not all the time, and not as much in recent seasons. The bizarre thing is that I consider his career to be successful; Burrell finished third to Mike Schmidt and Del Ennis in franchise home runs, seventh in RBIs, and he contributed to a title. Burrell’s seventh-inning double in World Series Game 5 became the eventual winning run. Against Milwaukee, he had the monster, two-homer game in the division series finale. I was lucky enough to see his last, best regular season home game, a five-RBI explosion against the Dodgers.
The title made sure that at least one tumultuous, Philadelphia career would end the way it was supposed to end for a marquee player. An icon? I’m at peace if you prefer to call him that.