Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Goodbye Pat

There is no more number 5. Pat Burrell has found a home in Tampa Bay for the next two years, and he will be missed. Pat the Bat anchored the Phillies’ lineup and played a major role in the team’s success as the longest tenured player on the team, after his call-up in 2000, a distinction that now belongs to Jimmy Rollins. Burrell was a valuable asset to the team, providing consistent power numbers as a right handed batter and driving in runs in bunches. He was not fleet of foot or particularly strong with the glove. His cold streaks came and went, as did his hot streaks, and he could drive you to insanity at times by taking called third strikes one after another. Burrell always seemed to even out his numbers though, and come through in the clutch.

He hit a cold streak in the World Series, going 0 for his first 13. But Pat managed to come through in the clutch amid his recent struggles, ripping a double high off the wall in left-center field. A fitting end to his career in Philadelphia, jogging out of the box assuming a home run, and laboring into second with a double before being replaced by Eric Bruntlett as a pinch runner; a very anticlimactic way to go out. There was no standing ovation from the fans as we’ve seen Roger Clemens receive about fifteen times while he tried to decide whether or not he should retire.

The fans, give them credit, recognized Burrell’s need for encouragement. Amidst his slumps, the Philly faithful continued to give Pat their unbridled support. After a called third strike or foul pop-out, he heard the boo-birds, but the applause resumed as he strode to the plate the following time. After a home run, as he returned to left field, the fans sitting behind him never failed to give him a standing ovation. We stood behind Pat through the good times and the bad.

Raul Ibanez is a good player, and an upgrade in many ways. But Burrell laid the foundation for this team to win the World Series. He was always passionate about game and this city, and he wanted to be out there and share success with his teammates. He was a consistent force in the Phillies’ lineup, a Mets’ killer, a great teammate and a very good player. Phillies fans will have a hard time not pulling for Pat as he uses Tropicana Field in Tampa as his new launching pad. We loved Pat and appreciate everything he did for the team and city, and he will be sorely missed.


  1. Pat is a Philly guy and a fan favorite but there is no way in hell that anyone is going to miss his .257 career batting average and his 120+ strike outs. Just wait until next year when we get Matt Holliday off of FA. I dont Ibanez is the long term solution.

  2. The low batting average and plethora or strikeouts sound familiar. Ryan Howard is consistent in power and production, and little else just as Burrell was. Pat was still a consistent contributor in production during his time here, and is one of the better home run hitters in Phillies history. He is third on the list of all time Phillies' home runs behind just Mike Schmidt and Del Ennis.

    Ibanez will be around for more than one year.