Based on his reaction when taken out in the 7th inning yesterday for Brandon Belt as well as after the game, it looked like Pat Burrell played his last game yesterday. Even though Burrell said he’d be open to returning next season if his foot allows (but only to play for the Giants), when a guy cries and repeatedly talks about what an injury will allow him to do, he’s probably thinking it’s over.
Burrell wasn’t exactly as tearful in the clubhouse yesterday as Bill Walsh was with Brent Musburger after Super Bowl XXIII, but he was decidedly a maudlin machine.
Even during the game I thought Burrell might try to come back next year, and that the Giants might at least give him a Spring Training invite. Claiming loyalty to the Giants has never been a bad way to stay in the franchise’s good graces. But after seeing him speak up close, I’m thinking I may have been overly optimistic about Pat the Bat’s chances at continuing his career.
Here’s his response after Jaymee Sire asked him if he was going to retire from Major League Baseball.
At the end of that last clip he talked about his feelings about approaching what could be the end. This next video actually takes place at the beginning of his interview session (a few seconds after Burrell semi-jokingly admonished reporters for not allowing Barry Zito space to get dressed, followed by Zito immediately leaving the premises). Burrell starts by saying the emotion of the moment has passed since he tearfully left in the top of the 7th. But as he keeps talking, it’s clear he’s still coming to terms with what looks like the probable end of his career.
One of the reasons Burrell said the only team he’d come back and play for is the Giants: his buddy and former college teammate at The U, Aubrey Huff. This has to be my favorite Burrell clip of the three because of the Bill Clinton-esque lip bite he does at the end. Simply incredible.
And since Huff’s been called out for his conditioning by Brian Sabean, Bruce Bochy, every member of the local media, several local cab drivers, the dancing kettle corn guy at AT&T and a pack of small dogs at Alamo Square Park this evening, let’s go easy on him … this time.
Here’s Huff on how much it struck both guys when Belt ran out from the dugout to left field, with Burrell leaving to a standing ovation that turned into the first Giants curtain call in a really, really long time.