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10 Things I'm Going to Miss About Pat Burrell

10 Things I’m Going to Miss About Pat Burrell
by Ryan Hohman

Opening Day is fast approaching like prison time for Roger Clemons and the Fightins’ will start their season as the defending “World F*!@#%^ Champions.” Likewise, Phillies fans will not be able to be talked down until November. Any criticism of the team will bring forth a, “wait who won the World Series last year” and depending on the fan, an expletive laced rant, or a three punch combo. And why not, we’ve been chasing these bragging rights for 25 years. Things are looking pretty sweet in the City of Brotherly Shove. The Phils are optimistic that Chase and Pete Happy will be ready for Opening Day and the Big Kid is already smashing dingers (he leads the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues). There is that pesky J.C. Romero suspension, but on the bright side we won’t have suffer through an Adam Eaton outing every 5 days. The only major change to this year’s squad is Pat Burrell’s exit from town. If you were to talk to 10 Phillies’ fans they would give you 10 different opinions on the Phil’s letting Burrell walk this offseason. A player as polarizing as Burrell deserves to be a Philadelphia lifer. Where else he will be loved and hated so passionately? Tampa? Please, when your biggest worry is a string cloudy days in the 60’s, you can’t appreciate a real sports town’s love/hate relationship with its team and players. The only thing more controversial than the “The Bat’s” play has been his social life that until his 2007 engagement (and to some extent even after) was the stuff of legend in the 215. I know that it was the right thing to do, Burrell was going to be overpriced and he has always been inconsistent at best but seriously, is that any reason to let him go? He’s brought so many intangibles to the club over the years.

Here are the 10 things I’m really going to miss about Pat “the Bat” or “Non-Bat” (depending on who you know and who you talk to)

1. He was a terror on the base paths- He’s only been caught stealing once in his 9 year career. Okay, so he only has five career stolen bases, but you can’t deny his efficiency. I will also miss his short choppy steps that only an offensive line coach would appreciate. Also, let’s not forgot that he touched each bag as though it would explode on contact. Burrell prowess on the bases conjures up images of Herman Munster's tryout with the Dodgers in 65'...CLASSIC!
2. His fielding- In all honesty he covered about as much ground a snapping turtle with two functioning legs. In any given week, he could turn five routine plays into Ringling Brother’s Barnum and Bailey Circus in left. He could completely misplay a ball, bobble it, crow hop and throw a perfect strike salvaging his dignity. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
3. The most beautiful swing and miss in baseball- When Pat would go down swinging on that slider away that he just couldn't resist and one hand would come off the bat, that my friends is what a baseball player should look like while failing. He’s the ultimate, “you play how you look player.”
4. “The Burrell Bailout”- You know exactly what I’m talking about. That belt high pitch, right down Broadway that Burrell should drop the bat head on and demolish into the Delaware. Instead he loved to lift his hands and scoot out of the way of that beauty for a called strike. He would always looked back, exasperated, at the umpire while every fan in the seats looked the exact same way at him for taking the best he was going to see in the at-bat. It's one of the most frustrating things(aside from the Birds futility in Championship games and our signal caller vomitting on himself in the Super Bowl, the Biggie Duets Album, and of course DeNiro and Paccino's performance in Righteous Kill) I've had to endure in my career as a fan.
5. His consistent inconsistency- I know that I cited this as a reason for letting him go, but I’ll miss it anyway. Everything from his hot start that gets me all in a tizzy (.326 average in March and April), to his May slump that make me question why I liked this bum in the first place(.227 avg in May), his July (.304) resurgence followed by his total collapse in August (.181) when he just wants the season to be over so he can fly to the Caribbean and blackout for a week. No matter the torture, I would relish every moment of it. I was his biggest fan in March, April, and July and would crush him relentlessly for the rest of the season when he couldn’t hit sand if he fell of a camel.
6. I’m going miss saying “that’s Seo Taguchi” when Burrell gets axed in the 7th for fielding purposes, only to see his spot in the order invariably come up with a chance to add insurance runs.
7. The squad of solid sixes who would frequent Section 141 and 142- These girls would crush Michelob Ultra’s and say things like “OMG, he’s so hot” or “what a cute butt.” These same girls would inevitably get sloshed with the help of the guys in the section and end up as stragglers at McFadden’s. Everybody’s a winner in that situation. Every guy from the Northeast with sloppily gelled hair and a Brooklyn fade will feel the residual effects of Burrell’s departure in this respect.
8. Seeing Pat at (Insert name of Bar here) and his production despite being clearly hung over for at least 40 games per year. He rivals Allen Iverson in this respect. Did you ever notice how Allen seemed to always have “flu-like symptoms” especially for a Saturday matinees in Miami? A little fishy don’t you think?
9. His proclivity for pulling tail and the fact that every person in the area has a story about Pat’s conquests. This rare glimpse into the personal life of an athlete is the reason of why some people I hang with refer to him as “The Non-Bat.”
10. The “is Burrell a bust debate”- We can agree that he’s no Shawn Bradley in this respect but he was the number one overall pick in 99’and has amassed numbers comparable to Jesse Barfield and Dean Palmer at the plate. If you’re wondering who Dean Palmer is, I think you see my point.
Sure the Phils’ will miss Burrell's 27 homeruns and 91 RBI’s per year but I don’t think Phillies fans have considered the entertainment value “The Bat” has brought to us in his nine seasons. Raul Ibanez has some big shoe to fill my friends.

26 comments:

  1. GREAT ARTICLE!! But next time you spell Shawn Bradley's name right and Roger's wrong, I will hunt you down.

    Looks like you SHOULD quit your day job. I'm looking forward to seeing more.

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  2. I was going to comment on the article as a whole, but I feel as though each reason needs its own.

    1. How could you possibly let someone go with a stolen base success rate of 89%? The Great JRoll even falls short of The Bat's great rate with 83%. Granted comparing their total number of stolen bases; Burrell has .03% of Rollins' total.

    2. His lack of speed in the field was completely made up for by his arm. Go check MLB2005 for PS2, I believe his throwing power was 105, and the game is only supposed to let you go to 100.

    3. Next to Griffey Jr., the sweetest swing in baseball. Hit or miss, it was the same swing. He wasn't changing that swing for anyone.

    4. Pat constantly laying off this pitch and going after that slider low and outside added to the frustrating side. Although, everything about Philly sports in my lifetime added to the frustrating side...until "WORLD F'n CHAMPS!"

    5. Someone had to play off of Howard's inconsistency. They are like ying and yang. As long as one of them was hot the Phils were good to go.

    6. Losing Pat is Seo not Taguchi. Now they are both gone.

    7. You, me, and those creepers with Brooklyn fades know those Sixes (generous) will find someone new to swoon over, I am looking at you Chase. Those girls have nothing else to do all summer but pound Ultras at Phils games and settle for whatever they can get at McFaddens.

    8. Now that Pat only has to DH and gets to be in Florida all the time I say the number of games he is clearly hung over goes up to 90. Over/Under anyone? This should definitely be put on the books at Vegas.

    9. "I bet you can't believe you are..." I'll end it there.

    10. No Bust. Everyone on the 2008 Phillies will never be considered a bust or can be labeled as "bad".* Those guys are legends for an entire generation of sports fans in Philly, they brought us what we wanted most. Of course, unless they suck this year, this is Philadelphia after all. There is a constant loop of Janet Jackson's 1986 hit "What Have You Done for Me Lately" playing in every Philadelphia sports fans' head.

    * Adam Eaton is excluded from ever being considered a part of the 2008 Phillies. It makes me sick his name is on all of those shirts and that he got to take part in the Parade.

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  3. Thanks for the laugh...and I know exactly how you feel (see Patrick Ewing in a Sonics jersey)

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  4. Well played sir. I especially enjoyed the reference to the Biggie Duets! As a yankee fan i am not happy with the lack of loyalty displayed by the Phils organization in letting him go. I am not looking forward to him in an already tough Rays lineup, except of course when he is on the base paths, in which I will be looking forward to seeing him get gunned down either on a first to third (where he really should never even try) or a first to second on a ground ball through the middle to melky. Dude is worse than Giambi on the base paths. Great job, i enjoyed the article.

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  5. Great article, true and hillarious!

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  6. James- Oh that's right "Clemens" aka inmate RR2124331 Sing Sing Pen. My bad.

    Brad Mc you have a lot time on your hands bro...you should start writing for flyersmix.com

    Ronnie-Long time pal. Ewing in a Sonics jersey brings us shades of Sir Charles in a Suns jerz.

    Anon. (Horta or Maurice)- That album is the single greatest example of posthumous usery. Puffy is unscrupulous. Uh huh yeah!

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  7. Well played sir. Funny and creative.

    DP

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  8. Great Article. Pat will not be missed in Philly.

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  9. Great article. Maybe you guys(the fans) will actuqally chant p-h-i-l-l-i-e-s at their games now instead of e-a-g-l-e-s.

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  10. Nice. I never considered The Bat's entertainment value, but for that price, 'F' em

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  11. Ryno,

    There's some good stuff in here. It's all irrelevant however because this year belongs to the Bucs.

    Sincerely,

    Andy Van Slyke

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  12. Spring is here and in the dawn of "March Madness," we come to the twilight of a very volatile Philly legend-Patty B. Burrell was reminiscent of a mortgage-backed security, where at one point had such promise and opportunity only to eventually face its ultimate demise, costing a plethera of dollars with diminishing value."The Bat's" fierce dichotomy of Part-time production on the field and his complete commitment to Off-field prowess(blue-eyed, blond hair, estrogen-induced crotch-lovers) proved that two objects(personalities) cannot occupy the same space at the same time for too long. For the record, this article could not be more accurate in regards to Pat Burrell's convoluted stint in the "Illa-delph." As for "The bat's" career in Philly, he will be revered as a Champion in most minds, and viewed with complete disdain (namely every Brooklyn-blowout who's girl hooked-up with the artist formally known as "Pat the bat."

    -Slocky Prispin

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  13. I am glad the phillies sent Burrell packing to Tampa. Why? Because when we win the championship again, I don't have to look at him and his dog riding in a car celebrating. Seriously Pat, why did you bring your dog to the parade? To the writer of this article, I agree with all your points. I agree mostly with Pat having no wheels around the bases. My two year son runs faster than him.

    To Andy Van Slyke fan, his career was average. I grew up in Pit. and followed his career. The end of the road was here in Philly for him. He should have retired in Pit. Now he probably packed on some weight over the years and is probably coaching girls JV softball at some high school like all washed up baseball players. Pat will be there one day. I am now a true phillies fan and the Bucs won't even make it to the playoffs.

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  14. Anonymous, in most instances you are right. But not with Slyke. His career was average on the field, but he was a team leader and respected player in the league. A lot of guys end up doing things like coaching softball and announcing on glorified high school radio stations after their careers have ended. That doesn't take away from their glory days however. Just so you know, Slyke has been a big league 'coach' the last few years, owns 5 gold gloves and was an all-star 3 times. That counts for slightly higher than 'average.'

    Enjoy the championship title while it lasts.

    Go Bucs!

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  15. Hilarious, I particularly like 6 thru 10. I will miss Pat for nothing more than the entertainment value he brought to the table. From his amazingly tight, perfectly ironed uni, to watching him try to score on a single to left with his arms pumping a million miles an hour and his knees hitting his chest with each stride when invariably he is stopped by the 3rd base coach and this my friends is the the best part, watching him try to stop, its poetry in motion! Good article i doubt anyone will be as entertaining as Pat was for many years to come.

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  16. Great Article. Well said and funny. Honestly I wouldnt compare Pat leaving the Phils to Barkley or Ewing. I would put Brian Dawkins in that category though.

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  17. well written article, i will miss him mis-playing balls in left and how idiotic he looks when he tries to run...

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  18. i will miss the confused look on every bartenders face when i yell out "Two more Burrell-Bombs!!".....and then order my real drink realizing i am wasting their time, once again. (trom).

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  19. Good Stuff. I think the lasting image of Burrell will be him riding in a seperate float in the parade then the rest of team. I found that to be odd - even through a half dozen vodka and gatorades, it just didn't look right

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  20. I'll remember his double off the wall!! The rest is very funny and true at the same time.

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  21. This writer has a knack

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  22. You said what every Phillies fan has been thinking. God will i miss his clumsy antics and his misplayed fly balls. I will also miss the consistent punishing of the METS.

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  23. Hilarious. The Non Bat will be missed. He was the closest thing this town had to a "celebrity" because of his off the field hijinks.

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  24. J. Love

    I will miss Pat and his drunken antics. As for the baseball stuff I'll take your word for it on his not impressive stats. See everyone opening day...I am still on the bandwagon.

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  25. Great stuff Ry...I'll definitly miss the down on bended knee homers and k's...And the entertainment value of Pat is priceless...Lookin forward to more..p.s. I can't lie, i kinda liked em but we did the right thing...here we go raul, here we go!!!

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  26. You forgot his unmistakable Eyebrows. Other than that, well put.

    -Nathan

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