Pat Burrell’s baseball career is likely over because of a troublesome right foot that hasn’t healed and limited him this year for the Giants.
While Burrell said late in the season that he would contemplate retirement if he couldn’t return to full strength, he now says that’s probably the direction he is headed this winter — though he has yet to make a final decision.
”I have not decided yet, but I don’t think I can play anymore,” Burrell said. ”It hurts me to say that.”
Burrell played in only 92 games this past season,
The 35-year-old Burrell joined the Giants last year after being cut by Tampa Bay, one of those castoffs and misfits who defined the franchise during its first World Series championship since moving West from New York in 1958.
The No. 1 overall draft pick by the Phillies in 1998 out of Miami, Burrell is a career .253 hitter with 292 home runs and 976 RBI in 1,640 games over 12 seasons with Philadelphia, the Rays and San Francisco. He grew up in the Bay Area in San Jose.
On the last day of the season, a 6-3 loss to Colorado at AT&T Park, Burrell fought tears after running in from left field to a standing ovation before the start of the seventh inning — manager Bruce Bochy’s way of honoring the veteran in what might have been his final game. An emotional Burrell hugged and high-fived his teammates and came back out of the dugout for a curtain call, waving to the fans.
Burrell was placed on the disabled list July 15 with a mid-right foot strain and didn’t play again until Aug. 31, though he was still in pain after missing 43 games.
He remains loyal to the Giants for giving him a second chance.
In 2010, Burrell came to San Francisco on a minor league deal on May 29 after his release by the Rays and spent a short stint with Triple-A Fresno before being called up on June 4.
He batted .266 with 18 home runs and 51 RBI in 96 games for San Francisco, becoming the everyday left fielder.
The Giants went on to clinch the NL West title on the final day of the regular season, ending a six-year postseason drought before making their World Series run.
Burrell, who also won a ring with the Phillies in 2008, struggled in the World Series – won in five games by the Giants over the Texas Rangers. He went 0 for 13 with 11 strikeouts and was benched for Game 4 at Texas. He had 22 strikeouts in 49 at-bats overall during the 2010 postseason.
He signed for $1 million to return to San Francisco in 2011.