Phillies Notes: 'Special deal' for Burrell

Posted: April 18, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO - Last November, Frank Coppenbarger sent a text message to Pat Burrell. Coppenbarger, the Phillies' longtime director of travel and clubhouse services, floated the idea of Burrell returning to Philadelphia sometime during the 2012 season for a retirement ceremony.

Burrell had witnessed similar events for Doug Glanville and Mike Lieberthal. He was intrigued by the idea but unsure whether he wanted the added attention as he adapts to life without the daily routine of baseball.

"What do you think?" Burrell texted back.

Coppenbarger had Larry Shenk, the team's vice president of alumni relations, call Burrell. This was happening. Burrell, 35, will sign a one-day, minor-league contract and retire as a Phillie on May 19.

"He was really excited," Shenk said.

First, Burrell was honored Tuesday by the Giants. He wore his 2010 World Series ring and threw out the first pitch at AT&T Park.

The ring from 2008 is at home in Arizona, Burrell said, and he typically doesn't wear either one. He'll be bringing the Phillies ring to Citizens Bank Park in May.

"It's a special deal," Burrell said. "I was fortunate that they'd even ask me to do it."

Burrell remains employed by the Giants even after foot and shoulder injuries forced an end to his playing career. He spent the spring at San Francisco's training complex doing some scouting. His role is still in flux, and he sees himself eventually coaching.

"In some capacity, I think I'll always be a part of it if I'm given the opportunity," Burrell said.

Burrell made approximately $70 million during his playing career. The first overall pick in the 1998 draft never made an all-star team, but heĀ ranks fourth all-time in Phillies home runs, eighth in RBIs, and fifth in walks.

He has more World Series rings (two) than World Series hits (one), but his place in Phillies history was secured when he doubled in Game 5 of the 2008 Series to represent the eventual winning run. Then he led the parade down Broad Street.

His playing career ended in 2011 without much fanfare. Burrell was limited to 92 games and a .230 batting average. He said he knew halfway through the season the chronic right foot injury was too much.

"This has been bothering me for a long time," Burrell said. "Time just ran out."

Now, the fetes begin.

Draft order

For the first time since 2008, the Phillies will pick four times in the Major League Baseball draft's top 100 picks.

The official order for June's draft was released Tuesday. Changed compensation rules as dictated by the new collective bargaining agreement have changed how picks are assigned. The Phillies will select 40th, 54th, 77th, and 95th.

For signing Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies forfeited their first-round pick at No. 31. Boston was awarded the 37th pick for losing Papelbon.

In 2008, when the Phillies last had four top-100 picks, they selected Anthony Hewitt, Zach Collier, Anthony Gose, and Jason Knapp. Gose and Knapp were used in trades for Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee, respectively.

Extra bases

Burrell said he saw Chase Utley, a close friend, in Arizona recently. "I know he's doing everything he can to get back," Burrell said. "I just don't know. He doesn't say a whole lot, as you guys know. And I don't want to get into his business. I know he's dying to get back on the field. I think at this point he wants to make sure he's doing everything he can so when he does come back he doesn't have hiccups." . . . Charlie Manuel laughed when a Bay Area reporter said some Giants fans are worried about ace Tim Lincecum. "If they panic and they don't want him, they can always send him over here," Manuel quipped. "As a matter of fact, I'll walk over there and show him the way over here. I might pick him up and carry him."


Contact Matt Gelb at mgelb@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @magelb.

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