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Monday, January 30, 2012

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We'll always have that fantastic double off the wall in deep CF in Game 5...his last AB as a Phillie and probably the most important of his career.

Burrell probably wasn't getting any offers, but could have latched on as a non-roster and conceivably played a handful more years. Either the foot is worse than any of us can comprehend, or he's just got something better to do. Or maybe playing on two world championship teams has the tendency to make a guy think he's done all he can do in the game, so why hang on?

He should be on that mural. But then, so should a lot of people.

he was what we all wanted him to be.

Also, is 292 career HRs the record for a guy that never made the AS game?

Pat Burrell had 1 hit in 9 career World Series games...but it was a big one.

I'll miss Pat, but I think my wife will miss him more..

In many ways, Pat Burrell was our spirit personified in baseball. Graced early with sky-high expectations, he fell hard and heard our lust. He responded not with barbs, not with anger, but with continuance. He just kept playing.

His off-field history can eclipse his statistics, but ultimately, Pat was a solid yet unspectacular player, a promise not quite fulfilled, but good enough to keep around the house. He may not have been the greatest, may not have reached the biggest of marks, but he certainly left quite a mark of his own. He brushed off taunts. He flipped the finger to Francona. He repeatedly bludgeoned Billy Wagner, the target of our disdain, the dirty traitor in our hearts. He aired his "Dirty Laundry" when we most questioned his barroom antics. He was funny, free and complex. He was like us, but he wasn't, for he could do the things we always wanted. He carried out our fantasies.

That final hit, the double in Game 5 of the World Series, is the lasting memory. It didn't fly over the fence, but fell just shy, just as his career fell just shy of projecting a legendary aura. Still, that hit was wild, wonderful and spirited. And it was the biggest hit of his life. We all would have loved to do the same.

I'll certainly miss Pat Burrell, for no Phillie in a long time has better represented our fantasies, and has more epitomized the optimistic spirit of Philadelphia.

not to change subject on the burrell topic, but wanted to repost for MG/Patrone:

Big Truck will outperform his contract this year, just as he did in 2010.

If there is one adjective I would pick to describe PtB tenure in Philly it would be 'tease' both on-and-off the field.

@NEPP

Nope. Tim Salmon had 299. Maybe if Pat the Bat knew about that, he wouldn't have retired today.

Like Michael Jack, Von Hayes, and countless others, Burrell endured the riteof passage of merciless booing early in his tenure, but came out of it a better man.. Take THAT, Scotty Rolen and J.D Drew-hoo

Meant 'noun' Need more coffee.

If that ball had cleared the wall, Pat would have passed into legend. Still, it was the big hit. And, he had that big game in Milwaukee. I will remember that Pat never bashed us, even when we (2003) were hard on him. Most of all, he was here from the lean times to the great times. He never looked right in that Giants uniform.

Inspired post by Malcolm. Pat the Bat aka the Machine, was one of my truly favorite players. Always wished that double in game 5 had a couple of more feet for the fairy tale ending. And hey, the Phillies can't win a world series without him!

Maybe he's the highest NL HR total then...

We only got to boo Drew AFTER the fact... :)

The double followed by the PR by Bruntlett pretty much summed it up for me though. It was somehow fitting that he was just short of the HR.

Still would have rather the Phils signed him to that 2 yr/$16M deal then the deal that Ibanez got.

Nothing will ever really stand out about his numbers and even the the Philly Faithful have their share of Burrell haters. Was he the future Hall of Famer that he was drafted as? No and far from it. Was he good for timely hits? Yes. When the rivalry with the Mets came to a boil, Burrell was the one who was crushing them. When it was time for a big hit in (Part 2) of Game 5, the slumping Burrell hit a long double which eventually turned into the go ahead run to win the whole thing. His off the field antics build up his legend some but I'll always like to remember him as as great Phillie who represented his era of Phillies ball well.

I wonder how much his chronic foot issues affected his career path.

Also won't forget how as soon as Gillick became GM in Nov. 2005, he tried to part ways with PtB by trade only to be thwarted at every turn Wade's 'no-trade clause'

Glad Gillick was because he has almost an irrational dislike it seemed of Burrell including a willingness to eat half of his contract when he tried to move him after the '06 season.

i nominate him for the phillies wall of fame...in the HOF club the CBP model is displayed and it says "Pat Burrell Home Run!" on the scoreboard. The model was on display at the Vet before the new park opened.

seriously, he is my favorite phillie of all time (i was born in 1985). Watched him grow as a player with all the ups and downs and lost it when he hit that double in the world series.

i hope he's invited to throw out the first pitch in a playoff game next year (knock on wood). loved that he led the parade down broad street.

BB-Ref has Jeromy Burnitz as the player most similar to Burrell statistically.

In Phillies terms, Burrell was most similar to Von Hayes, not in their skills, which were very different, but in the fans' perception: A talented guy who never fulfilled his anticipated potential and thus caught a lot of flak.

Burrell was the clubhouse leader of the 08 team...FWIW. Utley basically worshipped the guy.

People will always remember his double in the WS but he single-highhandedly won them Game 4 of the NLDS with those 2 bombs early in Milwaukee.

Thought the Phils were going to lose Game 5 of that series if they had to face Sabathia again (full rest I recall correctly).

NEPP: "is 292 career HRs the record for a guy that never made the AS game?"

Unofficially I think so. I took a look at the career HR list and checked about the 10 names that I wasn't 100% on(Kent Hrberk, Jay Buhner, Jeromy Burnitz, etc.) but they all had at least 1. After i got into the top 100 all time, they are slam dunk allstars so i stopped.

Sorry to interrupt the Burrell tribute, but Rotoworld is reporting that the Phils worked out Dimitri Young (he's 38 lbs lighter)one lb for each yr he's been on the planet.

clout - True but Von Hayes was a much better player overall because he had speed and wasn't a defensive liability.

Pat leading the WS parade& now retired.
Makes me feel old, he is the player that was my daughters' favorite Phillie when they became fans.
My wife was ,and still is, a Michael Jack fanatic.

Nevermind, Dan is right. I swore Tim Salmon was an allstar in his first year or two.

I'd give Young a ST invite...I mean, why not? Its a zero risk move.

Salmon won Rookie of the Year and had a fantastic rookie year but somehow did not make the AS team...crazy.

great point MG...here's a synopsis of his 2008 playoffs (from wikipedia) --

In Game 4 (the final game) of the NLDS against the Brewers, Burrell hit two home runs (a three-run game-winning home run against Jeff Suppan and a solo home run against Guillermo Mota) in a 6–2 victory that gave the Phillies their first playoff series victory since 1993.

Four days later, in the first game of the NL Championship Series, he hit a game-winning solo home run in a 3–2 victory over the Dodgers.

After going hitless in his first 14 at bats in the World Series, Burrell doubled against J. P. Howell of the Tampa Bay Rays on October 29 in Game 5 (the final game of the series). Burrell was then replaced by pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett, who scored the game's winning run in the 4–3 victory as the Phillies won their first World Series since 1980. After the series, Burrell was chosen to lead the Phillies' World Series parade.

I was at the Vet for both games in April of 2002 when Burrell hit 11th inning Walk-Off Home runs 3 days apart.

The struggles of 2003...

The fantastic 2005...

Getting booed on opening day 2006 after striking out in the 2nd inning (my buddy says to me (These people forget he had 117 RBIs last year!) then in the 4th hits a home run to loud cheers...

Cole grooving one for him in the on deck series. Burrell leads off and crushes the first pitch to left field...

The homers against Billy Wagner...

And of course... Game 5....
Here's something I wrote about Pat from Game 5 part 2...

" Pat Burrell comes up. He looked hitterish. In both parts of Game 5. The first Phillie on the field to stretch after BP, was Pat Burrell. On Monday, he kept punching his lower right back muscle near the hip. It was hurting him bad. But he went through his warm ups. He was the only major league ball player on the field. I wonder what he thought. Was this the last time? Last night... there was a quiet air in the stadium no one is on the field.... a nervous anticipation... Then you hear a ROAR. What was it? Pat the Bat coming out to warm up. Alone. Again. First guy out there. Pat Burrell. Will the Manchine return? There he stood, I was quiet. I was focused on Pat's stance. Was he feeling his back? he called time and stepped out and took a practice swing. He was set. "This ball is going out," I thought. Then he crushed it. The crowd let out a gasp/scream. They knew it was GONE. We all knew it was GONE. It had to be. For Pat. For Us. still going... off the wall. a foot away... "Why aren't you on third?" Typical Philly."

NEPP-Young has one of the best nicknames (Da Meat Hook) and is 6"2" and down to 255 lbs.. Fielder could hide him in his jersey :)

I was at Game 5, right behind home plate. That ball was a home run off the bat and I was shocked it didn't clear the wall. I can only assume the weather played a factor; in August it would have been well out.

The organization should really set up a Lucy-style booth for him somewhere in the park. When he feels like showing up to dispense his wisdom and experience (or the other things PtB is said to dispense) to the throngs, "the Manchine is IN"

Would love to see him working for the organization in some capacity.

The weather and the fact that he hit it to the worst possible place in the park for it to go out. Had it been 10 feet to the left, its easily gone. Either way, great hit and my favorite part of the 08 WS Blu-Ray every time. Jimmy Rollins ripping him in the batting cage before the AB "Where's the real #5? Where's the real #5 When's he gonna show up?"

Make him a scout or a minor league coach...he'd be a great guy to bring back into the Org.

Burrell is a great redemption story. Came in with sky high expectation, fell short, but hung in there and leveled off as a great #5 hitter.

Just think if he had that career year in 2002 later on, instead of his 2nd full season.

When I co-authored "Hard to Believe" with Jason, I was interviewing the Phillies video team (team that develops the films for the players to review how pitchers pitch to them). Pat Burrell walked in to the room and said to them "What is he (me) doing here?" They told him that I was writing a book on the season and he said to me "Oh, hope it all ends well!". Of course it did with the 2008 World Series, but the point that struck me most was as I went on with my interview, Burrell sat down and started watching all of the films studying how that day's pitcher had piched to him in the past. I asked the video team if Burrell always did this (because at the plate it didn't look like he had a clue what was happening in some at bats). They told me that aside from Chase Utley, Burrell spent the most time studying pitchers. Who would of thunk?!

Anybody know his stats vs. the Mets? I couldn't find anything. I'd like to see them so I can smile. EVERY time he came to the plate against the Mutts, I felt confident that something good was about to happen.. Thanks, Pat

I wonder how much his chronic foot issues affected his career path.

Heh, I see what you did there.

Burrell vs. NYM

.876 OPS in 653 PA

Overall career number is .834 OPS so he loved playing them.

Thanks NEPP. About 20 HR's I'm guessing?

Watching him struggle through that relentlessly miserable 2003 season, I never would have guessed that he was going to be so beloved. But winning a WS will do that for you, as well it should.

Burrell v. Armando Benetiz was always fun.

We lived in KC from '96-'01, so I missed some of the worst Phillie years since the late 60s-early 70s. (Not that the Bob Boone***/Tony Muser era in KC was any better to be exposed to day in - day out). The first game my one son and I go to is around Father's Day, 2001. He buys me a Pat Burrell bat shaped key ring. All the lettering is long worn off but I still use the key ring.

I think I was the only Phan who did not boo PtB in 2003. The guy wasn't trying any less hard than the year before. I had seen Allen, Schmidt and Hayes and didn't boo them either.

*** Boone is the one responsible for these words being uttered over the loud-speaker: "Your starting first baseman, Jose Offerman!"

oogie:

42 HRs and 106 RBIs vs. the Mets, in essentially a full season's worth of ABs.

link: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=burrepa01&year=Career&t=b#oppon::none

Pat the bat. Always remember the double. And he has more world series rings then hits. ( two rings one hit). But after 08 memory. It's gotta be him and doc telling each other what the $uck you looking at. Loved that moment when doc battling his groin injury and just dealing. man I hope we get that guy a ring. I can't wait to watch doc again!!

If the Phillies want to bring the Midnight Mayor back into the organization, it should be as some type of ambassador, sort of like what the Flyers do with Bernie and the Hound. Can you think of anyone better suited for such a role?

One thing lost in the shuffle.. Pat had a great eye for a HR hitter a la Thome. He worked pitchers extremely well. I don't think he tried to walk when a hit was needed like Werth.

Burrell's brief tenure w/ SF took most of the shine off of any Pat the Bat nostalgia I once held. 2 WFC rings, 1 WFC hit. Pretty much the perfect summation of his career.

GTown.. Do you get upset when the sun rises or does it take a couple of minutes?

oogie: Who says I ever stop?

I have a warm place in my heart for Burrell. I especially appreciate his attitude toward the fans and his contributions to the team in the years following that disaster of 2003. But, my lasting image of him is of him sticking his ass out as if to avoid a pitch while the ball sailed over the inside half of the plate for a 3d strike.

the Burrell Shuffle

It always seemed as though Burrell was aloof over the years. There was a numbness or jaded quality about him. I hated his ass-out-strikeout. Then something changed.

As the 2007 season drew closer to the playoffs, there was some sort of invigoration. It was like he had had enough. There was something I never witnessed in his demeanor: fire. It was as if the playoffs reinspired his passion for baseball. I swear he was a different player. Broken bats over the knee, jawing with catchers; something changed in him.

The ass-out-strikeout wasn't even as common. I bought a friggin Burrell shirt-never thought that would happen.

He was just another reason why I love the game of baseball. He had promise, expectations, pressure, highs, lows, and, most of all, he was dynamic. He changed over time, as does the game, and all of us as well. The game is played by characters, and Pat was definitely a memorable one.

.............***HOWARD HATER ALERT***


How did you guys miss it? Howard listed in mlbtr's

"The Worst Extensions From Two Offseasons Ago"


http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/01/the-worst-extensions-from-two-offseasons-ago.html

My favorite Burrell memory was during a regular season game against the Giants. The Phils were down 1 R in the bottom of the 9th, and Burrell was batting cleanup that night.

With 2 outs Utley walked, and Burrell came to the plate against Brian Wilson. He proceeded to get to 2 strikes, and just kept fouling fastballs off - I think about 4 or 5 of them, because Wilson was just reaching back and trying to blow him away.

Wilson then got an low inside fastball a little to far out toward the plate and Burrell deposited it DEEP into the LF seats.

Afterwards, in the post game interview, Burrell said "I was just trying to time him up."


I loved the AB and the interview because they're very instructive: No matter how hard a pitcher throws, if he doesn't have an effective offspeed pitch to disrupt a hitters timing, sooner or later he's going to get raked.

Never understood why so many people focused on criticizing Burrell Ks especially the 'called looking ones' especially given he BBed so much. It was just part of his game.

What was tough to watch were those prolonged slumps where he would look absolutely brutal & give the Phils almost no production for 4-6 weeks at a time.

NEPP, an .834 OPS would look good in LF in 2012, no?

MG, yeah, those slumps were pretty bad. but the hot streaks were fun to watch.

Its a damn shame that Howard's contract forced Burrell into retirement.

Nice one, NEPP.

How did you guys miss it? Howard listed in mlbtr's

"The Worst Extensions From Two Offseasons Ago"

The are certain posters who are feeling beerleaguered by these Howard posts.

Looking at that Howard item link to the original story at the time it happened, there was universal agreement that it was a bad deal. Except for John Heyman, which speaks volumes about just how bad a deal it was. I don't know anyone who respects John Heyman's opinion on anything.

And with that, I will no more discuss Howard's awful contract. I hope he earns it.

Don't really care about Young, but that story said Amaro is planning on platooning Mayberry and Nix in left, while Wiggy and Thome split up first base. That's can't possibly be correct, can it?

If Mayberry is going to stay in left, he has to play every day until they either prove he's a starter or he can't handle it. Nix is a career mediocrity. That really can't be the plan, can it?

When he slumped and the inevitable bailing out early on every pitch tick popped up, Burrell felt the wrath of the Phans unlike most who ever played for the Phils.

That said, his legend is sound, and I suspect that if/when he ever does get announced at the Bank, he'll hear a roar of appreciation unlike he's ever heard in his career. His career was basically a microcosm of the entire Phillies organization, culminating with the World Series win.

As costly a tab as it will ring up, I suspect that Pat, like Lidge, will also never have to pay for a beer in Philly. Lock up your daughters.

There was this one time I was out on the town and I felt this strong masculine hand grab my shoulder while I was at the urinal...

I always wondered abut this. During the parade Burrell was on the 1st float, probably since he was at the end of his Phillies career. Upon watching video of the parade, it appears that he is alone on the float, no teammates with him sharing the moment. Seems odd.

Regarding the aloofness meme... his face, to me, always appeared to be a face of a guy that was always lost in thoughts, perhaps struggled with depression. He never looked like a happy guy to me. I'm not a psychiatrist or anything, just a gut feeling, a vibe I got watching him play.

His dog was hanging with him, Bert.
I felt compelled to cast all sorts of aspersions
when I had many tickets in LF watching him watch strike three or that Conan the Conquerer style swinging strike three that brought his bat even further away from the ball; it almost looked like the repelling force of magnets pushing other magnets away.
I really wanted to be his biggest fan forever but alas he never uttered "World f8cking" anything. He seemed really dumb and aloof and hopelessly blessed with talent yet destined to never harness it, much like Lindros.
It was still a blessing to stand on Market Street and see him ride the beer wagon with his dog. I will remember that above all.

asksmith, these are RFD's minor league splits since 2008:

OPS vs. LHPs: .935
OPS vs. RHPs: .726

Based on that, I'm not surprised they're not blindly handing him the full-time job.

His splits last year in the majors weren't very different from this, but he faced only 59% RHPs, rather than the 75% he would normally face:

vs. LHPs: .953
vs. RHPs: .785

And again, he did better than expected given his track record, and they're not ready to bet that the 2nd half wasn't a 180 at-bat mirage.

Pat Burrell struggled with depression? Woah.

Yeah, it's a shame about Pat. I think he struggled with bra straps and get accurate change back from cab drivers at 5am too.

I'll miss Pat the Bat. He had the look of the classic star stud player with the big stick. A bad foot and too many called strikes kept me from being a big fan, but he did have a sweet swing. Whoever first said, "Chicks dig the long ball." must have had Pat Burrell in mind.

It was sad seeing him riding by himself with the dog on the beer wagon during the WFC parade.

The snake in the grass brought me to the team, things were great and then he turned on me. Muthafaqqah.
Oh, Pat Burrell? I dont know that guy.

Another Burrell memory... My Dad would always say, you knew when Burrell was about to get out of his funk when he was hitting line drives that would nearly kill the 3b coach...

I will always remember what I called the "p**** hop" away from the plate, that troubling picture of him wearing his gimp garb, and that double off the wall in Part II of Game 5. I think I was one of the first people to jump up from my seat when it left the bat. Like everyone else there, I did my best to help will it over the wall, but in the end, it did what it needed to do.

I thought that Burrell was running late for the parade and He wound up on the first truck with his dog, not really planned.

My favorite memory: The stunning realization that Burrell was the first guy from the dugout to the celebration pile.

Pat the bat was one of my favorite Phils of all time. One of the greatest Met killers ever!

If memory serves me Burrell wasn't a bad fielder prior to the foot problems.
I always knew he was seeing the ball well when the liners to rightcenter were coming off the bat.
He will always be the Mutt killer to me.

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