It seems like just yesterday that Phillies fans were flooding the streets of Philadelphia, celebrating their World Series win. With spring training coming to a close in less than a month, many fans, as well as players, are ready to embark on a new and hopefully, just as successful, season. However, this season will be a little different, someone will be extremely missed. His name, Pat Burrell.
Being a season ticket holder and having seats in left field, I have seen the love-hate relationship Philadelphia has had over the years with Pat. One day fans would cheer for him because he hit the game winning home run the night before, another day fans would ‘boo’ because he went 0-3 at the plate. Although Pat wasn’t always the fastest player or the most consistent at the plate at times, he was always passionate about the game and the city.
During the 2008 season, Pat carried the team in the early months and some can argue that he was one of the main factors that brought the Phillies to the playoffs in 2008. April and May were his hottest months and then he cooled down a little but still helped the team, especially in clutch positions.
Throughout his nine seasons in Philly, left field was always populated with women of all ages, mainly to stare at Pat’s greatest asset and the guys, even though some wouldn’t admit to it, had and still have a little man crush on him. As many know, Pat and the Tampa Bay Rays are returning to Citizens Bank Park one last time in April. It is rumored that Burrell might start the April 3rd exhibition game and I am sure he will be greatly received by the fans.
What will be missed most about Pat, and I’m sure others will agree, is his presence in left field. Pat would give the fans a little wave and occasionally he would have a nice little chat with the fans in left field. As mentioned earlier, Pat wasn’t the fastest in the field but he had a pretty good arm, an arm that is now being replaced by Raul Ibanez. I am not a fan of this Ibanez character and he has to prove that he will help this team more than Pat.
The Pat “The Bat” Burrell chapter has come to a close for the Phillies and it will be a tough chapter to put behind us. Who will lead the World Champion Phillies out of the dugout to begin games? Who will hold the Phillies record for slowest runner? Who will be the team’s funny man now that Pat is gone? Who will be considered the party animal on the team now? No one can replace Pat, he will be greatly missed on and off the field.