"What's up, man? Congrats!"
Pat Burrrell has had countless conversations like this since the Phillies won the World Series on Oct. 29. Everybody wants to thank him. Everybody wants to buy him dinner. But this conversation was a little bit different than the rest.
"Did you get my text?"
Burrell was talking with Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb before last night's Eagles-Giants game at Lincoln Financial Field. Burrell and Cole Hamels were on the field for the coin toss and received a loud ovation from the crowd. Everybody loves Pat. Everybody loves Cole. Everybody loves the Phillies. But because it has been 12 days since Burrell crushed that double off the left-center field wall to leadoff the seventh inning in Game 5, which set up the winning run, I thought I'd head to the Linc to see what these two weeks have been like for him, and get a sense about how he is feeling about free agency.
Burrell is a free agent and at the moment it seems less likely than likely that he returns. Of course, that could change if the Phillies and Burrell don't like what they see out there.
Burrell said all the right things lats night.
On his current situation: "You never know what's going to happen. I think it's been very clear that I want to stay, and they know that. But at the same time, I don't know what the direction of the organization is. Either way, I've got nothing but positive things and thanks to say to the organization for my time here. And obviously, this past couple weeks has been the end of it all. I want to be back, but I don't know what's going to happen."
On his concern that the Phillies have talked with free agents Jamie Moyer and Scott Eyre, but not him: "No, because sometimes with these situations there are agents and all this other stuff that gets involved."
On the potential for a hometown discount to return: "When the situation comes up I'll address it then. Who knows if that's even something that's going to go on? I think I'm at the point in my career with this organization that they're going to have no problem being honest with me and telling me what they want to do. As a player, that's all you want. You'd rather it be that way. I can certainly handle the truth."
On what his gut tells him about this: "My gut tells me that it would be great to be here."