Burrell, Phils want to build on success
Outfielder says during chat that playoffs are the goal for 2008
Phillies outfielder Pat Burrell said during a Web chat Wednesday that the team has some unfinished business after last season's early playoff exit. He talked about personal and team goals, and said he'd love to finish his career in Philadelphia.
Pat Burrell: What's up, everybody? I'm ready for your questions, so fire away.
Phillies1: Do you think Philly will win 100 games in 2008?
Burrell: I think that's a heck of a goal to have as a team. We want to get back in the playoffs and build on what we started last year. Whether that's 90 or 100 wins, just getting to the playoffs is key. We have some unfinished business.
Thanatos: What is the clubhouse normally like before a game?
Burrell: It depends. About half an hour before the game, guys are doing their own thing -- listening to music, stretching, whatever. Mostly, the guys do what they have to do to get ready to play.
Thanatos: What is your offseason workout like?
Burrell: It's changed a little over the years, but the older I get, the faster I have to start. I usually start around the middle of November, spending most of my time in Arizona. Right now, I'm in Florida at the complex.
pilgrim08: Have you ever played fantasy baseball? If so, have you ever drafted yourself?
Burrell: No, I don't play fantasy baseball. I've heard a lot of people say I lose them money in their fantasy drafts, though!
phi6666666: How do you feel going into the season losing Aaron Rowand, but gaining Geoff Jenkins?
Burrell: They are both veteran players. Rowand, being in center, was a big part of our team on and off the field. With Shane Victorino taking his spot, he'll do as good, if not better, defensively. Jenkins was a heck of a pickup for the team. He's a good fit and I've known him for a long time. We live close to each other in Arizona. He will fit in great.
philskid: Pat, what did you do differently offensively in the second half of the season?
Burrell: I got a lot more hits.
Thanatos: What ballpark, other than Citizens Bank Park, do you enjoy playing in the most?
Burrell: Wrigley Field is tough to beat. That's a fun place to play. I also like Dodger Stadium and playing in San Francisco, but Wrigley is my favorite.
phi6666666: Would you consider signing a contract extension with the Phillies or are you going to move on?
Burrell: I'd love to sign back with the Phillies. Whether or not it works out, I've been very happy with the time I've had here. Like I said, though, I'd love to re-sign.
hobokendan: Pat, what is the status of your nagging foot injury? Is it something that gets progressively worse as you go through the grind of a 162 game season?
Burrell: I consider it a non-issue. There are some days I run real good and some days I can't, but that's the wear and tear of the season. I was never a fast runner, so it's unfortunate that the foot thing keeps coming up.
dbth23: Do you like Philadelphia?
Burrell: I love it. I've spent the first eight seasons living downtown and I've had a blast. The restaurants are unbelievable and it's a great place to walk my dog. I wouldn't want to move out of the city.
ballfreak86: Which road trip do you look forward to the most during the season?
Burrell: I look forward to going to the West Coast, but you pay for it coming back due to the time change. In the East, we have a nice travel schedule because of the division. It's nice being able to drive to New York and Washington. It's great being able to stay in the same time zone.
canesfan11: Did it feel awesome when you beat Billy Wagner a couple of times?
Burrell: It feels good whenever you can contribute to the game, especially against a division rival.
ballfreak86: Pat, who was your baseball idol growing up?
Burrell: George Brett.
ballfreak86: Who is the hardest pitcher you have faced, and who do you think is the best hitter in the game?
Burrell: The hardest pitcher for me is John Smoltz. I haven't had any success off Pedro Martinez, but, hopefully, that will change. As a pure hitter, our second baseman [Chase Utley] is right up there, and for pure power, is anybody better than Ryan Howard?
spboy33: I loved how you got to Brett Myers before Chris Coste in last year's NL East clincher. Were you planning to do that or were you just caught in the moment?
Burrell: I had two innings to get ready to run out there. By the time it happened, I just started running. During my time in Philadelphia, that was the best time I ever had. The celebration with the fans was just incredible.
ballfreak86: Since this an online chat, do you spend much time on the Internet?
Burrell: No, I don't even have a computer.
canesfan11: Are you planning on having a monster year?
Burrell: I've never been more excited to start a season like I am this year. As far as what we did last year and my future being uncertain, I just couldn't be more excited. Hopefully, I will have a great year.
ballfreak86: Any other hobbies besides baseball?
Burrell: I golf a lot in the offseason.
mlhty: What's the best part of playing in Philly, in your opinion?
Burrell: I'd have to say the ballpark and the fans. The whole last series down the stretch, when we were fighting and the Mets were choking, the city was just awesome and rallied around us. It was exciting to be a part of.
bobby26: Pat, do you think you can hit 40 homers this year?
Burrell: I think I'm capable of it. I'd like to finish the games and get more at-bats. I fall about 130 at-bats behind everybody else. I think 40 would be attainable if I completed every game and get the at-bats I used to get. But Charlie [Manuel]is the manager and he does what's best for the club. Not that I disagree him, but I'm a competitor. I want to play.
utleyistheman: What is your preferred slot in the batting order?
Burrell: It's not important where I hit. What's important is separating your two best left-handed hitters. With losing Rowand, Carlos Ruiz and I are the only right-handed hitters in the lineup. So, I don't have a preferred spot.
spboy33: If you could play any other position what would it be?
Burrell: I'd pitch.
hobokendan: Pat, was there a particular moment when the team realized that it could overtake the Mets for the division title?
Burrell: When we realized we could get them was when Chase got the game-winning hit off Wagner and we swept them at home. That was when we knew.
brett1955: We know it has sometimes been a tough road to hoe with the fans in Philadelphia, but I just want to say that I, and I believe many of the fans, hope you are able to finish your career here. If not, I hope you can extend your career as long as possible.
Burrell: Thank you very much. I really appreciate that. In anything you do, there are going to be ups and downs, but this city has treated me great and I'd love to finish my career here.
Burrell: Thanks for the questions, guys. We'll see you at the park this year.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.