Pat Burrell

Phils hope Burrell can return to form - With no deal imminent, left fielder may be back in Philly in '07

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Blame Alfonso Soriano.

Because the prized free-agent slugger declined Philadelphia's offer to protect Ryan Howard, the Phillies seem to be suggesting more and more that Pat Burrell will be their left fielder in 2007.

"If we would have signed Soriano, we probably would have had to made some other moves that would've allowed us to do what we wanted to do," general manager Pat Gillick said on Day 1 of the Winter Meetings. "Soriano was probably the most complete player out there."

The main other move would've been finding a new home for Burrell, whose 29 homers and 95 RBIs were still considered a disappointment by some in the organization, partly because he hit .222 with runners in scoring position, and partly because he became too susceptible to inside fastballs.

Manuel, Green differ on Burrell

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Phillies executive Dallas Green and manager Charlie Manuel are at odds again.

Well, sort of. While the baseball lifers did clear the air since Manuel chewed out Green on the field before a game last August for criticizing the Phillies on the radio station 610-WIP, they now have different opinions on outfielder Pat Burrell's work habits.

Two days after Green added some early controversy to the Winter Meetings by repeatedly saying Burrell needs to focus more on baseball and less on his nightlife, Manuel defended his often-criticized slugger.

“I think in baseball there is a maturity stage as a player,” Manuel said Wednesday. “A lot of times taking care of yourself is part of it, but at the same time I look at Pat [and] he's one of the first guys at the ballpark and he definitely stays late sometimes. He spends his time at the ballpark. I see him. I throw to him every day in the cage early, and he definitely puts his time in.”

Phillies not forsaking Burrell

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The most stunning development from the Phillies' otherwise quiet opening day of the winter meetings was the revelation that Dallas Green and Pat Burrell, 42 years apart in age, often hang out together in spring training.

No joke.

Green, the Newport native and silver-haired Phillies senior advisor, admitted Monday that he shares a watering hole in Clearwater, Fla., with Burrell, the left fielder with the cover-boy looks and star potential.

Dallas Green calls out Burrell

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Dallas Green is out of the penalty box and mixing it up in the corners again.

His target this time isn't Charlie Manuel. It's Pat Burrell.

On Day 1 of the winter meetings, Big D, still a prominent voice in the Phillies' organization 26 years after leading the franchise to its only World Series title, challenged the beleaguered leftfielder to put aside his bon-vivant lifestyle and make baseball the priority in his busy schedule.

"It's time for Pat to look in the mirror," Green, an adviser to general manager Pat Gillick, said in the lobby of Disney's Swan and Dolphin Resort Monday. "His career is really at a crossroads.

Burrell on the Block as Meetings Begin

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Pat Gillick, you have a $27 million slugger that nobody seems to want. What are you going to do next?

I'm going to Disney World!

Gillick will spend the upcoming week at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, joined by hundreds of general managers, agents, players and media. All of the general managers will arrive with specific agendas and Gillick's is simple: find a taker for Pat Burrell.

Gillick's first year as general manager was defined by the Jim Thome trade. His second campaign will be judged on two things: how the Bobby Abreu deal works out and whether or not he can find a team willing to take on Burrell's massive contract.

Phils strike out with big free agents, but Burrell may not be so bad

PHILADELPHIA -- It appears the Phillies are going to stand pat, even though most of their fans can't stand Pat. The Phils went into baseball's free agency determined to get a right-handed power hitter to protect franchise player Ryan Howard, and there were some fantasy favorites out there when the market opened almost three weeks ago.

Not anymore. All of big names Phillies fans coveted -- Alfonso Soriano, Gary Sheffield, Moises Alou, Carlos Lee and Gary Matthews Jr. -- either signed with or were traded to other teams.

Notes: Burrell's return becoming likely - Phils' free agent options shrinking with Soriano, Alou gone

PHILADELPHIA -- With Alfonso Soriano, Moises Alou and Gary Sheffield no longer options for the Phillies, general manager Pat Gillick may turn to a familiar face -- current left fielder Pat Burrell.

As each possibility dries up, it becomes more likely that Burrell will enter the season as the club's starter, amid many reports that the Phillies are trying to find him a new home. Burrell has a complete no-trade clause but has been linked to the Angels, who also missed out on Soriano, and Giants, who lost Alou.

"In my mind, he's playing left field," Gillick said. "He thinks he's going to be back and is getting himself ready to play. His [right] foot still wasn't back to 100 percent."

Burrell interested in playing with Giants

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Pat Burrell would waive his no-trade clause and pick up a first baseman's mitt to play for the Giants, his agent said Thursday.

The Phillies are eager to unload a hefty portion of the $27 million Burrell is owed over the next two seasons and his no-trade clause was an impediment to a deal; the slugger had said he would only waive it to go to the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox.

But agent Greg Genske said Burrell, 30, would be enticed by a deal that brings him to San Francisco. Burrell graduated from Bellarmine College Prep.

Phillies aren’t denying desire to move Burrell

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies could have an opening in their outfield next season, and there are a lot of rumors flying they are going to make a play for Alfonso Soriano, who arguably is the best free agent on the market this winter.

So, is the conjecture real, or is it a smokescreen? It depends whom you ask, and it depends on what exactly the Phillies can do with left fielder Pat Burrell and decide to do in center field.

The Phillies haven’t been shy about their desire to find a place to dump Burrell and part of the $27 million he will make over the next two seasons. While the Phils sloughed away a nice chunk of their 2007 payroll when they traded Bobby Abreu to the Yankees, they will need to get rid of some Burrell bling if they want to go after someone of Soriano’s stature and still have some funds available to fill their other needs. Tops on that list is the need for at least two veteran relievers to clean up a bullpen that had problems getting the ball to closer Tom Gordon.

Burrell likely to remain with Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- In 2006, Pat Burrell had a gimpy right foot, a dearth of clutch hits and a hefty contract that will become only more bloated in the next two seasons.

Yet, the odds are good that he'll still be playing for the Phillies in 2007.

General manager Pat Gillick said Monday there is a "very strong possibility" Burrell will remain the Phillies left fielder next season despite his $13 million salary and .222 average with runners in scoring position. Gillick also downplayed the suggestion Burrell may require another medical procedure to heal his foot.

"He had a procedure done last year, and in talking to our trainers, I don't think it's an issue at the moment," Gillick said. "Even though offensively he didn't produce the way he would like or we would like, you don't find 29 home runs or 95 RBIs in the street."

Gillick hints he wants to move Burrell

With free agency looming in 2 weeks the Phillies have begun to compile their wish list. It appears to be headed by possible free agents Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez, big righthanded bats who could replace Pat Burrell in the order and hit behind lefty MVP candidate Ryan Howard.

General manager Pat Gillick indicated that the Phillies would look to move Burrell, perhaps eating some of his remaining $27 million over the next 2 years, as long as he would waive his no-trade clause.

"We're going to have to continue to look for a little more offense. We know we're probably... Pat has had a really difficult time protecting Howard," Gillick said.

Moving Burrell should top to-do list - Phillies GM Pat Gillick could also shop for a third baseman.

So, what does general manager Pat Gillick have to do this offseason? Here are five questions the Phillies must answer before spring training begins.

1. Will Pat Burrell be back in left field? The Phillies can't construct their 2007 lineup without knowing whether Burrell will continue patrolling left field.

Burrell says he wants to stay with Phillies

MIAMI - For Pat Burrell, this may have been more than the end of the baseball season. It may have been the end of his time with the Phillies.

The arrival of the off-season means the Phils likely will step up their efforts to trade the 29-year-old outfielder, who was frequently benched and often booed during his seventh season with the club.

"I have no idea what's going to happen, and it would be stupid for me to speculate," Burrell said before yesterday's season finale against Florida. "I want to be back, and I plan on being back. I don't know why I wouldn't be."

No start for struggling Burrell

As Pat Burrell's average and power numbers have steadily declined over the past month, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has sat him on occasion.

Those breaks have been brief as Manuel continues to return the highest paid player to the lineup time and time again.

The second-year manager has tried everything to correct Burrell's aversion to inside fastballs, outside junk and just an overall failure on the slugger's part to contribute on a consistent basis.

Burrell the burden

CHICAGO CUBS pitcher Wade Miller had the scouting report for Pat Burrell down perfect.

With two out, the bases loaded and a 3-2 count on Burrell, there's only one pitch you have to throw to get out of the jam - a strike, preferably one right down the middle of the pipe.

That's the pitch Burrell can't see, the one he's guaranteed to watch blow by him with his bat resting on his shoulder.

If there is a less clutch athlete in Philadelphia than Burrell right now, I'm at a loss to come up with him.

Burrell's slam helps Phils survive Astros

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Pat Burrell's fifth-career grand slam helped the Philadelphia Phillies hold off the Houston Astros, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

Ryan Howard went 1-for-3 and scored once for the Phillies, who have won three of four. Brett Myers (11-6) allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in seven innings, while Tom Gordon notched his 11th save after overcoming two errors in a scoreless ninth.

Philadelphia is two games behind San Diego for the National League wild card lead, while the Astros are 4 1/2 games off the pace. The Padres are currently battling the Dodgers for the top spot in the NL West.

Burrell may be back on bench

ATLANTA — Part-time Pat is out on parole.

Benched during the Phillies' doubleheader sweep on Wednesday so he could clear his head, slumping left fielder Pat Burrell returned to the starting lineup for Thursday's series finale, a 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

But there's no guarantee Burrell won't be sitting again tonight in Houston with Roger Clemens pitching for the Astros.

“We'll see,” manager Charlie Manuel said before watching Burrell stop a 1-for-20 skid on Thursday by going 2-for-4 with two singles.


MIAMI - Pat Burrell could change his stance, but, hey, his .250 batting average doesn't seem to bother him that much.

Burrell could see a sports psychologist, but, hey, he says he can handle a third disappointing season in his last four.

Burrell also could ask for a trade.

Hey, there's a thought.

Right now, as his profile shrinks daily, Burrell agreeing to a trade seems more likely to happen than changing his swing or visiting a sports psychologist.

He was asked Sunday whether his diminished role would lead him to waive his no-trade clause and have the Phillies seek to move him and the remaining 2 years and $27 million on his contract. The Phillies have shopped him since the end of last season, but no teams he would go to bit for the whole contract. While maintaining he would prefer to stay in Philadelphia, Burrell, 29, has never sounded so agreeable to a possible deal.

"I'm not even thinking about that right now," he said. "We're in the middle of a wild-card race.

Burrell can’t shake slump

MIAMI — Phillies left fielder Pat Burrell, a frequent target of boos at Citizens Bank Park, isn’t living up to manager Charlie Manuel’s expectations, either. “When you’re looking at Pat, you’re looking at a .270-.285 hitter with 30 to 40 bombs,” Manuel said Friday before the Phillies’ 3-2 win over the Florida Marlins.

With the regular season down to 21 games, Burrell will have trouble getting there due to a .240 average and two homers since Aug 1. For the season, the slugger was batting .254 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs after going 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout on Friday. “Mentally, he’s just in a funk,” Manuel said. Manuel has responded. Since July 25, Burrell has started only 33 times in 43 games. And of late, Manuel occasionally has opted for new protection behind cleanup hitter Ryan Howard. On Friday, Burrell hit sixth for the third time this season — all since Aug. 29 — with Jeff Conine plugged in the No. 5 hole. “I think Pat definitely has more power, but I think Conine right now is a better option of making solid contact,” Manuel said.


Struggling Burrell moves down in batting order

MIAMI -- Pat Burrell was back in the lineup Friday night. Whether his long-lost home-run pop will ever return remains to be seen -- although there won’t be as many chances to see it over the season’s final three weeks. Burrell has started three of six games this week. He has just two home runs and is hitting .230 since July 30 and has fewer RBIs with men in scoring position (45 in 131 ABs) than Jimmy Rollins (49 in 101 ABs) this season.

At least Burrell no longer has the onus of protecting Ryan Howard lurking. Charlie Manuel has slid Burrell into the No. 6 hole and bumped Jeff Conine into the No. 5 spot behind Howard lately.

"He makes consistent contact," Manuel said of Conine. "As far as Pat goes, I want him to stay up, keep swinging and try as hard as he possibly can."

Pat Burrell Update

Burrell invoked his no-trade clause when the Phillies had a deal to send him to Baltimore for Rodrigo Lopez,

Pressure’s on Burrell to step up

Despite a cracked ankle center fielder Aaron Rowand did not suffer as bad a break as the Philadelphia Phillies did.
The Phils
now at the front end of a crucial 10-game road trip entered the second installment Tuesday night in Chicago where Rowand was lost the previous night when he stumbled on the irregular outfield turf. The net result was that Rowand broke his ankle and will be out of the lineup for 4-6 weeks meaning hes gone for whats left of the regular season.