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Pat Burrell is pining for Phillies boo birds

Mar 8, 2010, 10:14 PM EDT

burrell_pat.jpgPat Burrell misses getting booed. Really.

The former Phillies slugger, who spent last season doing next to nothing for the Tampa Bay Rays, sounds in this interview as if he’s pining for the passionate hatred of Philadelphia fans.

“I don’t know if there is any way of saying this without getting myself in trouble,” Burrell said. “But there is definitely a different excitement level [in Philadelphia]. I think more than anything, there is a stronger tradition for baseball there. That goes without saying.”

Burrell took a lot of heat during his days in Philly. Heat for his poor defense. Heat for his sometimes streaky bat and penchant for strikeouts. And did I mention his defense? The Rays signed him to a two-year, $16 million deal before the 2009 season when it became clear the Phillies were no longer interested. They gave him a cushy DH job, which not only allowed him the chance to emphasize his bat skills, but also provided safety from his own spikes, which can be quite dangerous when playing the field.

He rewarded them by hitting .221 with 14 home runs and 64 RBIs, one of his worst seasons. Now he’s praising Phillies fans for not being anything like the mellow followers of his current team.

“You talk to a lot of players and certain players don’t like to play in Philly,” Burrell said. “Certain guys love it and I was one of the guys that really enjoyed it. I probably saw the full parameter of the good and the bad. But at all times you knew that people cared. They want you to win and they come out and support you. I’m not sure enough players appreciate that because there aren’t many places like it. You have Chicago, New York, and places like that, but I think it’s the minority.”

Maybe Burrell is just poking a stick into the ant hill, trying to rile the Rays faithful into a healthy lather of hatred, hoping a little passion at the Trop will spur him on to his previously great ways. Or maybe he really does miss Philly with its cheesesteaks, rich history and boisterous fans.

Either way I wouldn’t take this sitting down if I was a Rays fan. I suggest the boo birds come out and take it to Burrell for his horrendous lack of respect. Rip him for every strikeout, for every nagging injury, for the millions of dollars he is stealing from your poor, cash-strapped franchise. If Pat Burrell misses getting booed, give him what he wants! Come on Rays fans! Who’s with me?

Hello? Anyone?

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  1. Old Gator - Mar 8, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    Do the Rays play the Feelies in interleague play this year? I haven’t checked, but if they do he’ll probably get all the booing he wants for the entire season in the course of three or four games.
    It may well be, by the way, that horrible horsemeat and velveeta sandwich withdrawal played a part in his slump last year. As I understand it, iodine from conch fritters looses the blobs of velveeta residue in the bloodstream and allows them to agglutinate on the cerebral cortex. It’s not exactly like steroid withdrawal, since you don’t shrink like a tadpole in the jaws of a water bug and you don’t have tendons rolling up your calves like runaway window shades, but it obviously affects your selectivity at the plate. If Burrell has been able to remain clean for a year, he should do better this year, especially platooning with Blalock. Now all he has to do is find a way to fight off the malaise that playing in that musty crypt of a stadium often engenders.

  2. Bob Harkins - Mar 8, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    They do not play each other this season, so we would have to have a World Series rematch, or a midseason trade, to give Burrell the proper booing he desires.

  3. Old Gator - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    I would be opposed to any trade that would bring Feelies fans to St. Petersburg.

  4. Ghettoduce - Mar 9, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    Old gator seems like a total douchebag that is still mad that his aborted and/or miscarried child could have been more than the several kids he kept. Don’t worry though, I’d still hold the door for him if we bump in at turkey hill.

  5. the Brat - Mar 9, 2010 at 6:52 AM

    great turkey hill reference. You must be the new gator.

  6. Jonny5 - Mar 9, 2010 at 8:32 AM

    With the huge amounts of synthetic hormones being pumped into cattle these days, it’s no wonder Burrell was a better batter with a cheesesteak in his mouth… Look at Werth. He was nothing before dining on the succulent beef and provolone on a fresh baked roll you find in Philly. For heavens sake it even made his beard more manly…. Ibanez, never had a better year than what he did once he was introduced to the cheesesteak. Yes it caused him an abdominal tear ,most likely due to shoving two at a time down the gullet ,but even with the tear, the man was plain better. Are they going to add Cheesesteaks to the banned PED list??? Hmmm? Maybe they should to make things fair….

  7. Megary - Mar 9, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    Easy on old gator, he just likes to hear himself type. And he knows Craig C is a Phillies hater so he needs to step in line.
    Fact of the matter is, if and when Burrell returns to Philly, he will not get booed despite what the Philly haters would like to believe. He’s not JD Drew. He came through the system and professionally punched the clock for a lot of bad teams. He may not have been everyone’s favorite but he never took anything personally (Rolen) or made a mockery of himself (Myers). And he left a champion. The fact that he appreciated the fans passion is just extra credit.
    When his career is over, he’ll be a hit on the SE PA charity bowling event circuit.

  8. Jonny5 - Mar 9, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    You got it Megary. Burrell wasn’t Booed out of dislike, or anger. Burrell was booed, in a loving kinda way. Kinda like when your kid brings home a bad report card, you don’t tell them good job and pat them on the back do you? No. Burrell was loved in Philly, and still is. He was a first round pick, and you know how that turns out. High expectations, Burrell needs to find his Mojo,the Mojo he lost when the phills didn’t need him anymore. I can see how he misses the atmosphere in Philly. You really have to go to the games to see it. The Phans aren’t nearly as bad as some folks think they are. The Eagles fans, that’s another story altogether… I mean, i can’t bring my son the eagles games yet, not until his vocabulary becomes more “rich”. But the family just loves going to see our Phills, without a doubt , a clean family oriented night out.

  9. ray - Mar 9, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    Pat Burrell of the Rays talks about how he would rather be playing for the Phillies. This sounds like when Mike Vick of the Eagles said the team he would like to play for is the Panthers. These dumbasses are not endearing themselves to their fans. Especially considering neither of them did anything last season.

  10. Old Gator - Mar 9, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    Au contraire, I have nothing whatsoever against the Feelies. They’re a terrific team and if I were a pitcher they’d be in my list of top 5 teams I would never want to face. I rooted for them in the World Series even though I didn’t think they really had much of a chance with a such a wonky closer.
    It’s their fans I can’t stand.
    And the cuisine (and I use that term very, very generously) ? Well….

  11. Jonny5 - Mar 9, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    “It’s their fans I can’t stand.”
    I may have to take that one personal.

  12. Megary - Mar 9, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    Well I’ve never noticed Philly fans to be any worse than any other cities fans, but stereotypes can be a tricky thing to get around.
    And you could use “cuisine” however you like to, but if you keep eating at hot dog stands you’re missing quite a bit. Philly has plenty of great restaurants, regardless of your tastes, whether you prefer holes-in-the-wall or fine dining.

  13. madhatters - Mar 9, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    1) is the Feelies thing a joke? Or just bad spelling…if it is a joke, will someone let me in?
    2) Nice to see Pat admit that he loves us. We are definitely hard fans to play for but like he said we care, good or bad, we care.

  14. phillyphan - Mar 9, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    Old G I am curious as to why you think all people in Philadelphia live off of Cheesesteaks? Are all of the people in your area living solely off of Cuban food? Stereotype as you may, but I think a good percentage of Sprots complex’s all have a similar offering of overpriced crap..I mean food that is available.
    Next time, if you ever visit Philly, you may want to dine at one of the following and have some of the best food offered in the nation as well as the world.
    Upstares & Sotto Varalli, Le Bec Fin,Morimoto, Caribou Cafe’, Chris’, Lanjeron, Le Castagne, ZINC, Ristorante Panorama, Butcher and Singer & Davio’s
    It just seems that you vent your distaste for Philadelphia solely on the food venders at a sports complex and a few jerkoff fans…most likely Eagles Fans as well…can’t really compare them to Baseball fans.

  15. Old Gator - Mar 9, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Please don’t take it personally. I’d be perfectly satisfied if only the rest of your kind do.

  16. Old Gator - Mar 9, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Also replying to comment from Phillyphan:
    I’ve been leeving een Macondo for so long that I just naturally pronounce everytheeng een Espanglish: Feelies. Feesh. Weely Mays. Steenkin’ bedges. Peetcher.
    Yep, Cuban food is the staple we live on. If you can call that living. Don’t even ask what we do for vegetables down here. But you have to see it from my perspective: my wife is British, and anything that isn’t an imploded Yorkshire pudding covered with beef grease looks good to me. Except horsemeat and velveeta sandwiches. As far as the fans, I would have mentioned the Eagles fans but this is, after all, a baseball blog and I like to stick to the subject, you know? There’s already too much tangential gibbering that goes on on here.

  17. RP - Mar 9, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Gotta love Pat the Bat. If I were a Tampa fan, I’d be offended, but as a Phillie fan, I’m glad to see at least one athlete give support to the idea that we’re not crazed lunatics who would eat our young (grill or fry them, maybe). The truth in what Burrell is saying is that a true competitor/entertainer gets more pleasure performing in front of an engaged audience, even if that audience is giving him grief. The Philly phaithful is tough on players, but we do appreciate our own.
    To be fair, Pat’s view on the matter is probably clouded by his last memories in Philly — his final jog into the dugout came to raucous cheers after drilling a double off the top of the fence in Game 5 (Part II), and his last time at CBP was after leading the championship parade for the WFCs. That will tend to make you look back more fondly on the whole experience.
    As to people taking shots at Philly food… seriously, phillyphan has it right — Philly has as many great restaurants, if not more, than any city in America per capita. And that’s before you get to the cheesesteaks. I now live a few hours away, but the mere discussion of cheesesteaks is making me consider a short six hour round trip just to taste an Amoroso roll.

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