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Are the Phillies a better team without Burrell?

Oct 25, 2009, 1:18 PM EDT

Mark Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times writes that the Phillies say they are a better team without Pat Burrell, however his former teammates steer clear of actually saying that.

“I can’t say it’s the right move,” (Jimmy) Rollins said. “It’s not a wrong move. It was really just a business decision.”

“That’s probably not a fair question,” rightfielder Jayson Werth said.
“Pat always will be missed around here, but, that said, we made a great
addition with Raul Ibanez. He filled a great void not only in leftfield
but in the clubhouse.”

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. took
some criticism when he signed Ibanez to a three-year, $31.5 million
contract last December, but the 37-year-old outfielder responded by
batting .272/.347/.552 with a career-high 34 homers to go along with 93
RBI. Meanwhile, Burrell, who signed a two-year, $16 million contact
with the Rays, struggled with a neck condition, batting just
.221/.315/.367 with 14 home runs and 62 RBI.

Ibanez was a legitimate MVP
candidate in the first-half, but after the All-Star break, he and
Burrell were below average offensively:

Ibanez: .232/.326/.448 with 12 home runs, 33 RBI and a .774 OPS

Burrell: .212/.292/.383 with 10 home runs, 36 RBI and a .675 OPS

There’s no way to know how the
Ibanez contract will look this time next year, as he continues to age,
but for now, it looks like Amaro made the right move.

Ibanez is batting .226/.333/.387 with one home run and nine RBI in his first postseason appearance since 2000.

  1. Ben - Oct 25, 2009 at 4:36 PM

    Baseball is played from April thru September(omit playoff and WS time). Ibanez produced during the first half basically carrying the club until the rest of the team came to life.
    Look at the key players, some were great April, May, June, others during the July, August, September months. If this team were called Yankees, it would now have the label “MURDERER’S ROW”.
    Weakness is pitching!!

  2. steve - Oct 25, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    they are both phenominal; let the series begin; please

  3. Sam - Oct 25, 2009 at 7:12 PM

    I am a 50+ year fan of the Phillies, and my opinion is that they are a better team without Burrell, who never seemed to come through in the clutch and did not live up to his hype or potential. Even so, it’s not fair to Burrell to pose this as a cause and effect question, because they are a better team for many reasons other than the fact that Burrell is gone. Those reasons include not only the acquisition of Ibanez, but the maturation of Carlos Ruiz and JA Happ, the full-time status of Jayson Werth, and the miraculous acquisition of Cliff Lee. Fightins could use another power-hitting right handed bat, but all in all, the front office should get some Kudos for the 2009 season

  4. Larry - Oct 30, 2009 at 3:22 PM

    Ebay listing for loyalty and cheering for your favorite team in the world series

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