Pat the Bat Strikes Back – Phillies Nation

Pat the Bat Strikes Back

I strange thing has happened recently. I, along with many Phillies fans, find myself on balance cheering for Pat Burrell more than boo-ing him. Crazy, huh? That has hardly been the norm the past couple of years. So am I back on the Pat Burrell bandwagon? Yes, and I would even say I never left. This is true because in many ways, the hail of boos that have consistently rain-down upon Pat have been boos of frustration, boos of “I know you’re a lot better than this.” His propensity to strikeout-looking only added to fans distaste for his apparent lack of effort. One phrase my friends often like to throw out during a particularly good stretch for Pat is, “yea, but he has to hit .600 one month just to reach .260 on the season.” The chart says that’s pretty close to accurate considering he’s at .268 now.

Pat Burrell Batting Average by Month, 2007

Yet this year has seen a resurgence in Pat the Bat. Although, he had an excellent year in 2005 and stayed relatively consistent in 2006, it was not until this year that we have seen him play with the emotion that fans respect. In Philly you have to not only be a good ballplayer, but you have to wear your heart on your sleeve as well. That’s especially hard when you play on a team with the likes of Aaron Rowand, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins. Though this year Pat has expressed himself more on the diamond, both in good times and bad. His three-run blast on Monday to tie a game the Phils eventually won in 10 innings, was one of several clutch performances by Pat this year. Does that mean he’s worth the $27 million he’s making over the next two years? No, not by a mile, but he’s definitely worth more to the Phils this season than he has been in recent ones.

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  1. Louis

    September 14, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Considering that the Phillies have close to $25M this year alone wrapped up in the injured Garcia and Lieber and what’s owed to Jim Thome, the money paid to Burrell, who’s done a lot to keep the Phillies alive in the second half of this season, seems OK to me.

    The only thing I’ve heard Manuel and Burrell and his teammates attribute any of this to is that Burrell is taking a much more aggressive approach to his at-bats, and I think Manuel mentioned something about a very slight adjustment to his stance too. Who would have thunk it… Pat Burrell hitting third. I like this re-invented Burrell. And it sure is great to have that right-handed muscle in the lineup. If he can bottle whatever he’s done since the All-Star break and take it into next Spring, he’ll be worth every cent of the money, considering the price of talent these days.

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