Say what you want about Bobby Abreu's tenure in Philadelphia, there's no question the guy loved playing here. And no matter how his career winds down (first a Yankee, now an Angel), he'll mostly be remembered as a Phillie, where he put up ridiculous numbers at the plate and even won a Gold Glove! (Biggest crock of shit ever, by the way.)
Sure, he wasn't a great fielder, and he was deathly afraid of the outfield wall, but Bobby was the best hitter on the Phillies each and every season he suited up. He was a perennial all-star(snub), who put on a ridiculous display in the home run derby and really looked to enjoy the game.
And it turns out, Abreu became a Philadelphia Phillies fan during his time here and rooted on his former team during its run to the World Series title in October:
“I was rooting for them. I was screaming, ‘Let’s go!’ at the television whenever they made a great play or scored some runs,” he said.
And when it was over, when Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske and the celebration began, Bobby Abreu admits that tears came to his eyes.
“I was crying in a happy way because I know how hard they worked for that and how important it is to win the World Series.
That's pretty fucking awesome. And I have to say, it cracks me up when Phils fans, even the incredible meech, discuss their hatred for Abreu while at the same time flaunting their affection for Pat Burrell. It's pretty mind-blowing if you ask me. I mean, think about it: The biggest knocks on Abreu were that he was terrible defensively, didn't always go hard after the ball, lacked the intensity and emotion Philadelphians crave, and often failed to get the clutch hit.
What, exactly, makes that description any different than the majority of Burrell's playing days in Philadelphia, save for the World Series ring last year? Terrible at defense? Check. Not always going full-bore for a ball? Maybe not, Burrell was just slow. Lacked perceived intensity and emotion? Do any of you remember his emotionless called third strikes or his maddening lunges at balls way out of the strike zone as he fell to one knee? Double-check. And, uh, for a few years there, Pat didn't get any hits, let alone clutch ones.
Now, I'm not saying all this to put down Pat. I love what Pat Burrell did to help the Phillies win, and I will always respect him for the way he handled himself and understood the fans in Philadelphia. He never made excuses, never blamed the fans, never asked to leave. The thing is, neither did Abreu. I'm just pointing out how horribly misplaced the hatred for Abreu is in this town. After all, when you look at it, Pat was the 1st overall pick and pretty much turned out to be a chronic underachiever most of his career. Abreu, on the the other hand, hit over .300 in 6 of his 8+ seasons in Philadelphia, walked at least 100 times each and every full year here, drove in runs, got on base … basically outperformed Burrell in every aspect of playing baseball.
I don't know, I just never understood the hate. Call me crazy, but I always have and always will love Bobby. Nice to see he's still pulling for us, too.