Breaking up is hard to do -- sometimes it isn’t until the next relationship that people realize that it was the right decision to cut ties with the ex.
Pat Burrell and Philadelphia split up last off-season after the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez to play leftfield.
The breakup was cordial but wasn't easy. Phils fans pined for Pat the Bat -- he wished fans farewell with an ad in the paper.
Some fans felt the move would come back to haunt the Phils -- especially since Burrell had finally won over Philly sports fans.
Many suffered relationship withdrawal -- the typical “I’m gonna miss him” mentality.
But, after about a dozen games this season, Ibanez proved what is so often reality. It was better for the Phillies and their fans to move on from Pat the Bat.
Ibanez blasted the baseball out of the gate this season. He’s batting .386 with five home runs, 10 RBI and a whopping .864 slugging percentage.
Ibanez and his torrid bat have fans asking, "Pat Who?"
Ibanez has crushed the production of his predecessor. Burrell, in 12 games, is only batting .225 with 1 Homer and only 4 RBI.
The Burrell fan club would contest that Ibanez’s start is just a fluke -- baseball history suggests that he will eventually cool off.
But Ibanez’s history would suggest the contrary -- he can keep the great numbers going. His career stats show consistency unlike Burrell.
Burrell got hot with the best of them but his cold spells were funkier than a city sewer.
Ibanez has considerably more RBI and fewer strikeouts than Burrell over the last three years.
Ibanez put up three straight 100-plus RBI years. Burrell hasn’t had a 100-plus RBI year since 2005 when he knocked in a career-high 117 runs.
Ibanez’s yearly batting averages were better than Burrell’s and this year will be no different. Raul sees the ball well and gets on base.
But Pat the Bat got his nickname for a reason -- the Home Runs!
Burrell was expected to jack 30 bombs a year -- he never disappointed in that department.
Fans need to face the facts. Ibanez is a better hitter and in this ballpark he can provide the same power as Burrell.
Once he’s on base he can actually move. Ibanez even has a stolen base this season -- something the statuesque Burrell hasn't done since 2004.
So, it really shouldn’t be so hard to say goodbye to Burrell, should it?
It’s like upgrading from a hot girlfriend to a hotter girlfriend that’s just a little bit nicer.
Burrell’s on-field flaws and baseball’s economic market forced Burrell’s departure with the Ibanez signing. The World Champions seem better off without him so far.
So the Burrell lovers that remain should ask themselves “Do I really want Pat the Bat back in red pinstripes?”
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Be careful what you wish for.
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