By: Bill Campbell
Pat Burrell will remember this World Series for a long time. He struck out three times in the fourth game, went 0 for 13 with 11 strike-outs in the last two games. And he won’t have any trouble remembering this complete off-season.
He went to bat 42 times in the post-season and struck out 22 times yet served as a reminder that it’s a team game after all. When Edgar Renteria hit that game-winning home run off Cliff Lee, the first player out of the dugout to hug Renteria was Pat Burrell, who had just finished striking out.
His personal post-season was cast aside. In that moment he was a member of the San Francisco Giants and he was a champion. It has been a long season for Burrell from the Phillies who didn’t want him anymore, to Tampa Bay where he failed as the designated hitter, to Fresno, California, where he put in some brief time trying to find his swing to San Francisco, where he hit 18 home runs to help the Giants. In the World Series, he saw 62 pitches and put wood on only 2 of them. But today he is a champion. It is, indeed, a team game.
And there is Donovan McNabb. Last year Andy Reid benched him for a bit, remember? This past Sunday, Mike Shanahan, his current coach in Washington, did the same thing at the end of a game the Redskins lost to Detroit. Following the upcoming Indianapolis game, the Eagles will meet the Redskins, which should be interesting.
There is also a story on the wire about a guy named Pat Maroon. He is a hockey player and a good one. He plays for the Adirondacks team, the Flyers top affiliate, and he’s already scored 5 goals and 3 assists in 9 games. Chances are you may never get to see him play. He got a phone call the other day from Paul Holmgren, the Flyers general manager. It did not contain good news. Holmgren told Maroon he was no longer welcome on the team or in the Flyers organization. On the advice of the coaching staff, Maroon was being dismissed. The why’s and wherefore’s will remain a secret.
How many sports events have you ever seen or read about that attracted the presence of two former Presidents of the United States? The 41st and 43rd Presidents attended Game 4 in keeping with the tradition of the Great American Game. George HW and George W were there, hanging in on every pitch. But a twenty-one-year-older with the poetic name of Madison Bumgarner stole the show. He pitched the game of his life in only the third World Series game ever played on Halloween. And, needless to say, the first one ever attended by two former Presidents.