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Monday, January 30, 2012


Awesome list, Silverman. I'm with you re: fan amnesia in the wake of the '08 title. Guy deserves credit for staying in the kitchen when most folks were shoving his arse into the oven.

awh - That game against the Giants in May was pretty great too, since it wasn't the bottom of the 9th but the bottom of the 10th.

Madson blew a three run lead late in the game and the Giants forced extras. It was Rowand's first time back in Philly. He led off the 10th with a HR off Romero. Doom and gloom. Utley singled and the rest of the Burrell action was how you related. Only remember because I happened to be in town / at the game that night (haven't lived in Philadelphia in awhile).

Burrell's two-run bomb off Billy the Rat in that crazy game in 2007 that capped off the 4-game sweep of the Mets.

How many HRs did Pat hit off of Armando Benitez while Benitez was a Met? Using only my memory as a guide, I'm going to guess 30.

That signature swing!

One path swing! Wagner was alwayas good for a winning quote.

Had a pretty big HR in the 2008 NLCS that I don't think anyone's mentioned yet.

Regarding Pat's tendency for "aloofness," I recall being fortunate to be able to throw out a first pitch at a Reading Phils game back when I was still in HS, and when Pat was with the club. I had the opportunity to stand within 5 feet of him for about 10 minutes while the Golden Knights (or whatever) were doing one of their shows where they parachute into the stadium. As I'm standing there with one of the handler cronies for the R-Phils, Pat approaches him and gives a "Hey, what's going on 'so-and-so?'" (sorry I forget crony-guy's name). He then stood there next to me in childhood wonderment watching dudes float through the sky for awhile, with his mouth agape.

I'll always remember that I was kind of shocked at how simple and innocent he seemed. He'd already earned his reputation as a legit prospect, and I was expecting someone a hell of a lot more arrogant and dismissive about that kind of stuff. I always did suspect that it was just a by-product of him not being the sharpest tool in the shed, but there was definitely a child-like aura to him.

I actually played with him. It was around 10:45 on a Saturday in the off-season outside the Copa Banana. He was a true gent, he even offered to pay at Condom Nation. He even signed a ball for me, the left one.

What endeared Burrell to me was that even when he was struggling he never backed down from the boos or from the media. He was always up front and admitting that he wasn't playing very well and took all the lumps. I respect that whole-heartedly. Guys who say Philly is tough are the ones who aren't thick skinned. Burrell was and it ended up paying dividends because he ended up so loved in the city.

I remember watching the restarting of Game 5 and a few of us watching the game kept saying, "Burrell is going to come up big." Not that we knew that but more that we were hoping he would cause it felt like his last year with the team. When he hit that ball everyone in the room jumped up simultaneously and started cheering. It's a shame it didn't go out but I will take the double that led to the go ahead run and a WFC.

Thanks for the memories Pat.

Funny thing about the homer off of Wilson. As I recall, wasn't Howard ejected the batter before the walk-off?

Less than 300 Homers? That's weak.
-Scott Rolen
Less than 1000 RBI? That is sad.
-Ron Gant
Your numbers are nowhere as good as mine.
-Bobby Abreu
I am doing color commentary for the Sawks.
-Matt Stairs

3 mins into this clip is burrells hit in the WS if anyone wants to remember it...

For a guy who didn't actually look at the ball, he hit an awful lot of homers.

Burrell also had some unrealistic expectations on him as being the #1 overall pick in the '98 draft the year after the Drew debacle.

Didn't realize that Madson was drafted the same year as Burrell (9th round out of high school).

The one Burrell memory that stands out to me is when the Phils won the 2008 NL East he was the only player who actually walked around the ENTIRE stadium and high fived every hand that was offered to him, including mine. Many players stopped to high five fans in various parts of the park, but he made sure to do it the whole way around and not leave a single hand hanging.

Pat Burrell once wrestled a Bear barehanded.

My favourite thing about Burrell was the stupid turtle neck he wore under his jersey when the temp dropped below 95F. What a good. God bless him.


Cipper- thanks for posting that clip.

I know it's been discussed but making Cole pitch in that rain was some bull. What was it that Scott Eyre said about Budd Selig?

Pat served his purpose and it was all my doing. When I realized Utley was starting to wimp out after the parade, I had Pat and Werth tag-team the missus. True story.

My favorite Burrell memory: August 31, 2007.
Phils enter a four game set at home against the Mets, trailing by 6 games in the standings. The Mets had acted all season like Jimmy couldn't possibly be right. The Phillies, despite Freddy Garcia's one big win, acted like Jimmy couldn't possibly be wrong. After the Phils took the first three games, the rivalry really reached a roiling boil. El Duque started the fourth game, a business person's special at the bank, for the Mets. I remember Charlie asking the umps to check the smudge on El Duque's cap before the game even started, just to stoke the fire... The Phils went up 5-0 early, but the Mets battled back, eventually getting the lead as the game headed to the 8th. Desperate, Willie Randolph (yeah, remember him) calls on Billy the rat Wagner for the 6 out save, something he'd never done before. Aside: Man, I hated that guy. The Phillies, who had made a habit of battling back in the late innings all year, spotted the rat an out. Then, Pat the Bat, strode to the plate with all the ire between the two men visible to me, even though I was listening on the radio. Pat took a mighty swing and knocked one of the rat's pitches into the flower boxes in left field, a total CBP special, but the magical thing about that shot was that the Phanatic caught it! Well, almost. Being the true team player that he is, he never reached for it. Instead, he let the kid next to him catch it and then grabbed him, jumped up and down, while the kid raised the ball skyward and euphoria unfolded in the stadium around them. To me, this golden era of Phillies baseball was born in that moment. The Phils were still down a run, but you knew right then that they'd win. And they did, when Utley's walk off brought home Tad Iguchi. You knew right then that this team was something special. You started in that moment to believe, as the team had done all year, that Jimmy was right.
After the game, discussing the loss, Wagner rather famously said that Burrell had a one path swing and that he threw it right in his path. His bitterness makes the memory so much sweeter. It's my favorite Burrell memory. Heck, its my favorite Phillies memory, ever. With all the baseball blessings that followed, it's still incomparable. True or not, I'll always believe Burrell kick started this era with that home run to the Phanatic.

"Here's comes Iguchi!"
(about 17 seconds in)

One small thing I remember when he reached the big club. C'mon be honest.. You thought his name was pronounced BAH-Rel. It took a little while till I found out his name was pronounced just like Uncle Milty's last name :)

That rash, every time I have another outbreak.

Jason Stark just twweted this over at

jaysonst Jayson Stark

Fun Pat Burrell facts from @billyball: Had the same career OPS as Roberto Clemente & the same OBP as Carlos Beltran

6 minutes ago

Good stuff AWH..Clemente was an XBH machine (especially triples), hit for higher average, and a free swinger.. Pat made up the OPS with his ability to walk, and better power.

My knee-jerk reaction to those comparisons is to look up how out of context they are. I know this is no fun but

Burrell: 116
Clemente: 130

Perhaps even more to the point:

Age 25-34 seasons
Burrell: .252/.363/.474 -- 118 OPS+
Clemente: .328/.375/.501 -- 143 OPS+

Too bad Burrell couldn't "play" DH or he'd probably not have a problem getting a MLB contract. Pretty inexplicable demise in that season and a half with Tampa, and then a complete revival once returning to the NL in one of hardest ballparks to hit in.

The guy right behind Burrell on the anti-Met HR list might have passed him if he hadn't played almost 1/2 his career either pre-Met or with the Mets.

No, Clemente not only played in a different era, but he was a full-time player at 21. Burrell wasn't full-time until 24. In his age 20-23 seasons Clemente hit .275/.302/.390 in over 1500 PA, significantly dragging down his overall line.

Clemente of course also played until a later age than Burrell, but that didn't actually hurt his numbers. His production in those years was well above career averages. From age 24 on, we're comparing a guy who was over 40% better than league average as far as OPS goes with a guy who was 15-20% better than league average.

Also not clear that a guy who hit 292 HR between 2000-2011 actually has more power than a guy who hit 240 HR in the late 50s - early 70s. Clemente hit almost 200 HR in the 60s.

There were about 20 guys who hit 200 HR from 60-70 (Eddie Mathews hit 213), and there were about 20 guys who hit 300 HR+ between 2000-2011 (Burrell is 20th with 292). They had nearly identical HR power relative to the era they played in. Or, at least, the difference is not near what the net difference suggests.

Didn't realize that Burrell was 4th All-time with 251 HRs and 8th with 827 RBIs among Phils.

I would consider him a good but not a great player. He'll probably get a plaque though out in CF at CBP in the next decade.

I'm still laughing at this post:

I actually played with him. It was around 10:45 on a Saturday in the off-season outside the Copa Banana. He was a true gent, he even offered to pay at Condom Nation. He even signed a ball for me, the left one.
Posted by: Joe Blanton Fanclub | Monday, January 30, 2012 at 08:10 PM

Chad Qualls? I don't understand anything the Phillies do anymore.

Phils sign Qualls 1/1.5M

The K rate has slipped, so I'm not overwhelmed. Still, it's one year at least.

Whoops, 1.15M

Phillies just signed Chad Qualls. 1.15 Million I think.

Qualls has made the most appearances in the Majors since 2005 (512). He's been decent every year of his career except 2010 (which as atrocious).

For my Pat memories, I'll focus on games I saw in person.

Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. I can't improve on what people have already posted, but it sure was a pleasure to be there.

A game against the Blue Jays in the early days of CBP. Pat had the day off. The Phil's trailed 1-0 in the 9th. Pat pinch hits a home run, sending the game into extras. The Phil's eventually won it in 14. I'll never forget the guy next to me yelling, "Strike out and get it over with, you bum," just before the ball went into the left field seats. That same guy cheered louder than anyone else near me. I love Philly fans.

He had extreme home / road splits last year, though, and his K9 is just plummeting. Whatever, depth is depth and it's a 1-year deal and cheap. Maybe he'll bounce-back.

Any Phillie who stays with the organization longer their mandatory 6 years and was on that 2008 team will get a Wall of Fame plaque most likely.

If you followed that criteria exactly, you'd get:

Rollins Burrell Utley Howard Madson Myers

And then Victorino Hamels Ruiz and Kendrick as possibilities.

Qualls. Good move. Can't hurt. he's Contreras' replacement.

You'd also think that what Stutes did last year (a strikeout an inning and a low BA against) would start preventing these kinds of moves as low risk as it is. Phils have a bunch of arms in the high minors who can step in for middle relief.

Not a fan at all of the Qualls signing & I love veteran relievers like this. He's been a mediocre reliever at best the last 2 years who has gotten hit a lot more while missing a lot more bats.

This really all goes back to Contreras and his lack of progress. Contreras was originally scheduled to start throwing off the mound in early Jan. He still hasn't. At least a month behind his initial rehab schedule from Nov.

For what it is worth, Qualls has gotten lite up at CBP:

13 G, 11 1/3 IP, 2-2, 11.12 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.0 K/BB with 7 HRs allowed

I think he gets hammered at CBP especially after it warms up a bit & the ball starts flying out of the park in late May/early June.

Why not make a move for another relief pitcher when the infield is so young & healthy, & the bench so full of more-than-capable replacements? I mean if there's one thing we can count on it's that this team is gonna score a crap ton of runs, amirite?

If he's Contreras' replacement it's an awful, awful move, DPatrone. Contreras threw primarily in the 8th inning when healthy. He only had 11 appearances in the 7th inning in 2010.

Phils starters will usually go at least into the 7th. In 2011, when they failed to do that, the Phils usually used Herndon or Stutes.

Games pitched:

6th: Herndon 9, Stutes 7

7th: Stutes 20, Bastardo 13, Herndon 12, Romero 10, Lidge 8, Kendrick 8, Schwimer 4, Baez 4

8th: Bastardo 34, Stutes 29, Herndon 14, Lidge 12, Baez 11, Madson 9, Romero 7, Contreras 5

Let him compete with Herndon for appearances.

Favorite memory (as in, having watched him play live) of Pat The Bat actually isn't a homerun.

It's a single.

Game 3 of 4 against the Milwaukee Brewers, I'm at the game, 1:35PM start, September 14th 2008. Game's tied 3-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th inning. Werth leads off the inning with a single, Utley sacrifices to move him into scoring position. Brewers manager Ned Yost then has LOOGY Brian Shouse intentionally walk the hotter than hell Ryan Howard to put 2 men on, with Eric Gagne waiting in the bullpen.

Burrell comes up to the plate, and Yost leaves Shouse in . Burrell works a 3-1 count, then smacks a single to left field, scoring Werth and moving Howard to second. Good piece of hitting, laid off on a nasty breaking ball.

Yost leaves Shouse in to face Victorino, who that year hit almost all his homeruns off lefties. Vic takes Shouse over the fence for a 3 run homer. Brewers lose 7-3. Phillies go on to sweep all 4 games that night and movie into a tie for the wild card.

Yost is fired before the week is over.

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