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Category Archives: Pat Burrell

Phillies Honoring Burrell Tonight

Former Phillies LF Pat Burrell

For one day, Pat Burrell will wear red pinstripes again.Pat the Bat will throw out the first pitch in tonight’s game against the Boston Red Sox. Burrell signed a one-day contract so that he could retire with the Phillies.

Burrell is currently a scout with the San Francisco Giants, the team he won his second World Series ring with, beating the Phillies in 2010 in the NLCS to get there. He won his first ring in 2008 with the Phillies, his only hit in the series was a double in the clinching Game 5.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had this to say in remembrance of the first left fielder he coach with the Phillies:

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Burrell to Retire as Phillie

In 2008, Pat Burrell led the parade down Broad Street. (John Russo/TTB)

The Phillies will have one more campaign with left fielder Pat Burrell, though it will only last a day.

The 35-year-old slugger, who retired after last season, will sign a one-day contract with the Phillies so that he could retire with the team that drafted him with the first overall pick in the 1998 amateur draft.

Burrell, who is currently a professional scout for the San Francisco Giants, will be honored before the Phillies May 19 game against the Boston Red Sox.

Burrell played 12 seasons in the Major Leagues with Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and San Francisco.

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Farewell Pat the Bat

When it made contact, Pat Burrell had one of the prettiest swings in Phillies history.

After JD Drew was drafted by the Phillies and refused to sign, the organization and the fans wanted to put the ordeal behind them.

Pat Burrell made them forget.

After 12 seasons in the major leagues, the longtime Phillies slugger decided to hang up his spikes.

It was a tumultuous relationship for Burrell and the city of Philadelphia at times. Fans got on the former Phillies left-fielder for his countless strikeouts.

But his record seemed to be expunged when he stroked that beautiful double off the wall in part two of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series.

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Ex-Phillie Burrell Retires

Pat Burrell leads the parade after the Phillies won the 2008 World Series. (Photo by John Russo/Team to Beat)

One of the most important cogs in the 2008 World Series team, Pat Burrell, has retired today.

Drafted with the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, Burrell played 1306 games with the Phillies in nine seasons. He finished with a .257 average and 251 home runs as a Phillie.

He hit 292 home runs and 976 RBIs in his career in 12 seasons with the Phillies, Rays and Giants.

Burrell won two World Series rings, 2008 with the Phillies and 2010 with the Giants. He went 1-for-27 in nine World Series games, striking out a remarkable 16 times.

Happy trails Burrell. We will have a story about Burrell later during the week.

Faceoff: Who should we thank?

Question: Was Pat Gillick responsible for the Phillies current success as a franchise and perenial power in Major League Baseball?

Writer Brian Jacobs decided challenge the rest of the Faceoff competitors with this question and John Russo, reeling from his loss to Christian Hetrick, wanted to get himself in the win column.

Brian: Yes.

The Philadelphia Phillies formed a new brand of baseball in the city of Philadelphia during the 2000’s. In 2005, Pat Gillick joined the front office, and the Phillies took off from there.

Former general manager of the Phillies, Ed Wade, brought in the big bat of Jim Thome to go along with the new stadium, Citizens Bank Park, in 2004. Most Phillies fans wouldn’t hesitate to smash Wade and those horrific seasons under his watch, but a small portion of credit should be given to him.

Former Phils GM and HOFer Pat Gillick helped bring a championship to Philadelphia for the first time in 25 years and the first World Series in 28 years.

With Gillick at the helm and new scenery, the fans had a taste of something they were deprived of for years, which was change. Are the Phillies going become a winning team? What are our expectations now? Those were the questions, asked by fans of the club during this time of change.

Gillick’s first big move was trading Jim Thome and cash to the Chicago White Sox for Aaron Rowand and two prospects. Thome’s time in Philadelphia was somewhat symbolic. It was almost as if his stay in the city was simply used as a jolt of electricity that the city was in need of.

Along with the players on the field and the front office, Gillick created a feeling of hope and positive expectations for Phillies fans to bask in. The Phillies were no longer going to accept defeat. They were finally sick of seeing the Atlanta Braves at the top of the division.

Once again, a few pats on the back should be given to Ed Wade. Gillick inherited the future stars, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, whom Wade had drafted. Gillick then brought over the rule-five selection, Shane Victorino, along with the battered bat of Jayson Werth. We all know how that turned out. Gillick looked like a genius and he wasn’t done.

The Phillies finally entered the post-season, but failed to get past the Colorado Rockies in the National League Division Series. In the offseason, Gillick made a trade with the man he had replace, Ed Wade, who was, and still is with the Houston Astros organization. In came Brad Lidge and his soon-to-be perfect season. Thanks again, Ed Wade.

The Phillies went on to win the World Series in 2008 and they’ve been knocking on the door ever since.

A lot of times, players receive most of the credit for a successful season. General managers sometimes get slighted, but I have a feeling that Pat Gillick and his master plan, as the Philadelphia Phillies’ general manager will find a way into the hearts of fans if it hasn’t already.

John: No.

Three huge things have factored into the recent success of the Philadelphia Phillies before Pat Gillick even stepped in as GM: the farm system, Scott Rolen and the new stadium.

I’ll attack the more logical reason first. The Phillies farm system was teeming with talent. Before Gillick was GM, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels were playing minor league ball. They had Pat Burrell, Brett Myers and Jimmy Rollins already up on the Phils.

But you will bring up Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth being acquired along with Pedro Feliz and Brad Lidge. Werth and Victorino were diamonds in the rough. It was a complete shot in the dark on whether or not they would make an impact.

But Rolen may actually have been the catalyst in David Montgomery and the rest of the office relinquishing their tight grip on their wallets. When offered a 10-year, $140 million contract to stay with the Phillies, arguably for life, Rolen turned it down because of squabbles in the front office because they showed no interest in winning.

Not only has Chase Utley cememted himself as the greatest Phillies second baseman of all time but he may find himself in Cooperstown one day.

Rolen was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for three scrubs and Placido Polanco, who gave way to Utley three years later and returned to the Phillies in 2010. Only months after the trade did the Phillies front office get it. They signed first baseman Jim Thome and third baseman David Bell to replace Rolen on the field and in the line up. They also traded back-up catcher Johnny Estrada for Braves starter Kevin Millwood, who threw a no-hitter during his tenure with the Phillies.

It didn’t stop there as the Phillies finally sought external help, signing players like Pedro Feliz, Adam Eaton and Freddy Garcia (don’t laugh, they were supposed to be big improvements at the time), Jamie Moyer and traded for Brad Lidge.

But the money didn’t grow on trees. In 2004, the Phillies moved into their current stadium, Citizens Bank Park. Their lowest attendance since the stadium opened was 75% capacity. And with a division win in 2007, a World Series win in 2008, a NL Pennant in 2009 and another division win and league’s best record in 2010, the Phillies are selling out games and have seen  their payroll sky rocket from under $58 million in 2002 to $170 in 2011.

Gillick was a fantastic GM but the right pieces were there before he became the GM in 2005. All he did was do some minor tweaking and turn the Phillies into World Champions, finishing the job started four years before he was signed.


Giants Win World Series

The Rangers needed a stellar performance from Cliff Lee to keep their hopes alive. Instead they got six shut-out innings from him before Edgar Renteria’s three-run bomb in the seventh helped lead the Giants to a 3-1 win.

It was the first time the Giants won the World Series since 1954 when they were still in New York.

Giants closer Brian Wilson celebrates his World Series-winning strike out of Nelson Cruz. It's the first World Series for the Giants since moving from New York to San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Tim Lincecum pitched beautifully, his only blemish being a solo shot by Nelson Cruz in the bottom of the seventh. Lincecum went eight innings, allowing only a run on three hits, two walks, and striking out 10. Brian Wilson notched the save by striking out Cruz to win the game.

Former Phillies Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand won their second titles, respectively. Burrell’s first came with the Phils in 2008 and Rowand’s in 2005 with the White Sox.

The Rangers’ Bengie Molina will still receive a ring despite playing on the losing side. He played 61 games this season with San Francisco, qualifying him as a member of their championship team.

It’s also the second straight year Lee has made it to the World Series but left empty handed. He led the Phillies to the Fall Classic last season but fell to the New York Yankees in six games.

Congratulations Burrell, Rowand, and the rest of the Giants for winning the World Series. Way to bring it back to the NL!

And on a side note, so glad to see Buster Posey win. Hard to not root for that kid.

Stayin’ Alive

And the Phillies are going back home to. With the mantra, “one game at a time,” the Phils took game five and made it a 3-2 NLCS with a huge win Thursday night, 4-2.

Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum did battle again. But it was the three-run third inning for the Phils that put Lincecum behind and gave Halladay the lead to work with.

Doc went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with a rare two-walk game while striking out five. Lincecum went seven, giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits and walk with seven strike outs.

The Phillies got a little cushion from Jayson Werth, whose solo home run in the top of the ninth made it a 4-2 game. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Jayson Werth went yard in the ninth inning, his 13th career in the NL playoffs which is tied for the most all time with Albert Pujols, Chipper Jones, and Jim Edmonds. The solo shot that landed just over the right field wall made it a 4-2 game, giving Brad Lidge the cushion he needed for the save.

A defensive lapse for San Francisco led to the offensive surge in the third. Raul Ibanez led-off with a single, his first of a two-hit night. Carlos Ruiz followed up with getting in the way of a pitch to put two on.

After a sacrifice bunt by Halladay, Shane Victorino reached on an error by Aubrey Huff to score two and give the Phils the lead. Placido Polanco followed up with an RBI single to make it a 3-1 game.

San Francisco got a run back in the fourth when Pat Burrell and Cody Ross hit back-to-back doubles to make it 3-2. But that was as close as the Giants were going to get this game.

With the series heading back to Philadelphia, the Phillies will have Roy Oswalt on the hill to face Jonathan Sanchez, a rematch of game two. Sanchez got hit around a bit while Oswalt pitched eight spectacular innings. A repeat performance will force a game seven.

HR: Werth (2).

WP: Halladay. LP: Lincecum. S: Lidge.

Boxscore.

SF: Here’s Your Sign

“What a classless bunch if idiots!” “Those people in Philadelphia are horrible people!” “City of Brotherly Love my ass!”

I’m sure you heard it all after how “classless” our fans were during the first two games of the NLCS for their signs for Tim Lincecum and former fan favorite Pat Burrell. Well for those who haven’t heard about the signs, here they are:

I mean, come one. Those signs were brilliant. It’s not our fault that Lincecum has a snaggle tooth, looks like a hippie and smokes an excessive amount of pot or that Burrell is pigeon toed, his wife probably cheats, and he wets the bed.

It also isn’t the Phillies fans’ fault that the Giants have historically had some pretty scummy players. Remember this guy?

That’s right, Barry Bonds, they guy who hit 762* career homers. Yea, can’t forget that asterisk. Phils fans sure didn’t…

We tell it like it is and give credit where credit is due. If you don’t like it, MLB, then tough.

Lincecum Just A Little Better

The pitching duel had a third party involved: home plate umpire Derryl Cousins.

Cousins was erratic as Tim Lincecum was able to best Roy Halladay as the Giants took game one of the best-of-seven series, 4-3, Saturday night.

Squeezing both pitchers and hurting batters AB’s on both sides of the plate Cousins made it difficult for both teams, and ultimately cost the Phillies the game.

With San Francisco leading 2-1 in the sixth, Halladay faced Pat Burrell with two outs and a man on second. With an 0-2 count, Cousins called Halladay’s fastball low. The next pitch, Burrell ripped an RBI double off the left field wall to give San Fran a 3-1 lead. The Giants added one more in the inning to make it 4-1.

Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth hits a two-run homer off Tim Lincecum in the sixth. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Jayson Werth’s two-run home run in the bottom of the inning made it a 4-3 game but the Phills could not get any more off of Lincecum and the Giants bull pen. Brian Wilson pitched the last four outs, allowing only a hit and hitting Carlos Ruiz while striking out four.

Halladay was sharp minus the mini meltdown after the blown call. He went seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Lincecum gave up three runs, a solo homer by Ruiz in the third and Werth’s two-run shot, in seven innings of work. He also struck out eight while allowing six hits and three walks.

Ryan Howard struck out three times in the game. In 15 postseason at-bats, Howard has struck out eight times. Jimmy Rollins is also now 1-for-16 in the playoffs. It may not be a bad idea to give Wilson Valdez a start if Rollins’ struggles persist.

It was another poor offensive performance tonight for the Phils, who despite hitting two home runs and four extra base hits, struck out 13 times.

They went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. That’s a huge spot to go 0-for but the bigger problem was a lack of getting guys in scoring position rather than not doing anything with them there.

2B: Howard, Polanco. HR: Ruiz, Werth.

WP: Lincecum. LP: Halladay. S: B. Wilson.

Boxscore.

GAME 2

The Phillies will put Roy Oswalt on the mound tomorrow against the Giants. For San Francisco, Jonathan Sanchez will take the hill. Game time is 8:00 PM tomorrow on FOX. Yes, folks, four more hours of listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

Phormer Phils: Pat Burrell

It was an amazing day on October 31, 2008 when Pat Burrell led the parade down Broad Street. (John Russo/TTB)

For nine seasons, Pat Burrell had a home in Philadelphia. At first, it was home sweet home to him and after that, he was often booed and begged to leave the City of Sometimes Loved.

2008 was a different year though. Burrell enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career and in that same postseason, hit the biggest double of his career. It catapulted the Phillies into the next level as World Champions, or “World f***ing Champions” as his teammate, Chase Utley, exclaimed on the same day Burrell led the Phillies down Broad Street.

But Burrell’s career has been filled with ups and downs. He busted onto the scene his rookie year in 2000, belting 18 homers and 79 RBIs in his first season in the majors. After another strong 2001, Burrell had a career year in 2002, hitting .282 while hitting 32 homers and 117 RBIs, all career highs.

Burrell would only come close to those numbers one more time when he put up similar numbers in 2005. After that, the strike out machine would never bat over .260 until this season and has yet to drive in over 100 runs since 2005.

Burrell’s career numbers in Philadelphia were great, hitting 251 homers and driving in 827 runs. But Burrell struck out at least 120 times in his nine years in Philly.

Now with San Francisco, Burrell will look to beat his former team when it matters: in the NLCS. (Getty Images)

After helping the Phils win their second World Championship in the franchise history, Burrell was a free agent. He signed with Tampa Bay as a designated hitter but wasn’t even close to anything that resembled what he did in Philadelphia as a power hitter.

Earlier in the season, Tampa Bay waived him and he was picked up by the Giants. There he turned his season around and is one of their weapons heading into their NLCS match-up with the Phillies.

Burrell’s time in Philadelphia was greatly appreciated. He’s been back several times, revered by fans at each occasion. Save the cheers for the regular season, folks. This is playoffs and Pat the Bat is standing in our way.

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