Sunday, May 17, 2009


Since Raul Ibanez signed w/the Phils in the off-season, a few friends of mine were having the debate of how much the Phils would miss Pat Burrell. My friend, we'll call him Jonathan (b/c that's his name), believed Victorino, Utley, Howard, Ibanez gave us 4-lefthanded bats in a row, which would be detriment and that Pat "The Bat" helped keep left-handers honest against the heart of the line-up. My argument was that Victorino could hit from either side of the plate and hitting Jayson Werth 5th could remedy the problem. Further, Ibanez could hit lefties well, was a better defensive player, could run better and was a MUCH better contact hitter. Ibanez also put up these numbers playing in cavernous SafeCo Field, so even though Raul was 4 years his senior and might not have a dog named Elvis he would bring to the World Series parade, I liked the move. Jonathan disagreed.

I know there were a lot of other outsiders, insiders and so-called experts who said we would miss Pat's robust production (typically: .255, 30 HRs, 95 RBI, getting lifted in the 7th inning b/c he's a defensive butcher). Another thing about Burrell, outside of CRUSHING Mets pitching (and that is really one of the great joys in this beautiful world), I swear the guy got more hits in meaningless 10-2 games, then anyone in recent memory. I wish baseball had a stat for that. He wasn't a guy I'd call "Mr. October" or even "Mr. Mid-June."

Don't get me wrong, there is something very cool about Pat the Bat. He played hard and played through lots of boos. I will always appreciate his loyalty to the city, as he was drafted the year after that piece of monkey-crap JD Drew was selected by the Phils and refused to sign w/us. Burrell signed with us, when the Phils were way down, played at the "palatial" Vet Stadium and was a part of some very bad teams. So there was something very refreshing to watch him ride down Broad & Pattison on the Budweiser Truck in October (with Elvis and wife). I'm grateful to Pat for giving the Phils fans what he had during his 9 seasons in Philly.

But numbers are numbers and although we are a mere 6 weeks into the season, take a look at this comparison, through last night (when Ibanez bat single-handly carried us).

IBANEZ: 368 AVG, 50 Hits, 9 doubles, 13 HR, 35 RBI, 14 K's, .735 SLG%
Burrell: 250 AVG, 27 Hits, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 16 K's, .315 SLG%

Simply put, if Ibanez keeps these numbers up, he should never have to buy his own beer in the City of Brotherly Love for the duration of his 4-year contract. Even if he'll be 4o and a likely bench player at the end of his contract...I'm sure Jamie Moyer who will be in his 50s will still be our #5 starter.

1 comment:

  1. He's old. He's Latin. How do the Mets pass on this guy?!?! Viva Los Mets!!!