CHARLIE MANUEL knew the end was near for Pat Burrell after a conversation last fall, when the former Phillies slugger indicated just how much pain his foot was causing him.

"He had a bad arch and trouble with his heel," Manuel said. "I think it got to a place where he actually couldn't play defense or run anymore. I think that was a big reason. He still wanted to play and he still loves to play."

Yesterday, multiple news organizations reported that Burrell has decided to retire after 12 seasons in the majors, nine of them with the Phillies.

Burrell left the Phillies after helping lead them to a World Series title in 2008.

He finished the five-game Series 1-for-14, but his lone hit was a double to left-centerfield that led to the game-winning run in a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Phillies fans will never forget the jubilant Burrell leading the World Series parade while riding on a carriage pulled by the Budweiser Clydesdales.

In the offseason, the club opted to go with free agent Raul Ibanez instead of retaining their longtime leftfielder. Burrell signed a 2-year $16 million deal with the Tampa Rays, where he hit .218 with 16 home runs in two seasons.

In May of 2010, after being released by the Rays following one-and-a-half injury-plagued seasons, he signed with San Francisco, where he helped lead the Giants over the Phillies in the National League Championship Series. The Giants went on to beat the Rangers in the World Series in five games and Burrell got his second ring.

In nine seasons in Philadelphia, Burrell hit .257 with a .367 on-base percentage, .485 slugging percentage and 251 home runs.

The first overall pick in the 1998 draft, Burrell turned 35 in October. He has 292 career home runs and a solid .834 career OPS. In 219 plate appearances for the Giants last season, Burrell hit .230 with a .352 on base percentage, .404 slugging percentage and seven home runs.

Daily News wire services contributed to this story.