Last season Pat “The Bat” Burrell was the most booed man in Philadelphia. He developed a reputation as a choker, which is pretty much the worst thing you can be in Philly, outside of a quitter (“For who?” and “For what?” are questions every player better know the answer to).
This season Burrell isn’t hitting much better. In fact, his power numbers are down. He’s only got one home run so far. Yet the boos have stopped, or at least slowed. Why?
If you look at Burrell’s batting average, it’s nothing special. After tonight’s game, he’s sitting at .264 — very pedestrian. But his on base percentage is another story. Burrell currently gets on base 43 percent of the time. Not too shabby. And tonight, against the Giants, The Bat walked four times in four at bats, so his OBP will be higher in the morning.
I’m not sure what happened to Burrell in the offseason to make him a more patient hitter. He did get engaged. Maybe that helped zen him out. And he started wearing contact lenses during spring training. Maybe that’s the ticket. Whatever the reason, he’s getting it done this season, without even swinging the bat.
Might be time to find Burrell a new nickname.