Posts Tagged ‘Tampa Bay Rays’

Burrell’s Last Stand

January 7, 2009

When the news hit that perennial slugger Pat Burrell had just inked a two year deal worth $16 million with the Tampa Bay Rays, I couldn’t help myself into thinking, “What a relief.”

Burrell, who played nine seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, was known to give New York Mets fans the creeps. Considered by many as the quintessential “Met killer”, Burrell presently sits behind only four major leaguers, all Hall of Famers, at number five with 42 of his career 251 home runs against the Mets. If you proceed to do the math, that’s about 17 percent of his dingers. Ask any Mets fan, they won’t tell you otherwise. It’s probably more like eighty percent.

If you look at Burrell’s numbers against the Mets this past season, they are not as startling as in seasons past. For 2008, in 61 at-bats, he produced a .197 BA striking out 20 times while managing only one home run and knocking in two RBI. Despite those statistics, fans continued to feel uneasy when Burrell strode to the plate with runners on the corners and the game seemingly in the grasp.

“Coming into free agency, the thing that was most important to me was to go somewhere where I thought I had as good a chance or better to repeat and go back to the World Series,” the Rays newly-signed free agent said.

After capturing a World Series ring with his alma mater, the Phillies, he will now be able to continue terrorizing major league teams that are inside the other Eastern Division, the AL East.

“At the end of last year, obviously, I got to know the [Rays] pretty well,” he added.

As the Rays number one acquisition, Pat “the Bat” will be showcasing his own brand of late-inning heroics in 2009 when competing against the boys up in the Bronx. So if Mets fans thought they were off the hook, think again. On certain days of the week, the gelled-up, Mets marauder will be just a train ride away. Better yet, he will be appearing at Citi Field when Tampa comes to Flushing Bay for three inter-league games on June 19-21. But until then, we’ll still have to hold our breath.