Embattled Phillies LF Pat Burrell arrived at the Phillies spring training site in Clearwater Fla. on Wednesday and addressed some of the criticism and accusations he has taken over the winter, most notably from Phillies Special Assistant to the GM/luxury box meet-and-greet guy/self-appointed Minister of Tough Love Dallas Green (above).
In December, Green challenged Burrell to become a better player. In one of the most memorable quotes in recent Phillies history, Green said: “It’s neat to have money, it’s neat to have good looks, and it’s neat to have broads all over you. But there comes a time in every player’s life when he needs to get his act together.”
People who know Burrell well say he was angered and wounded by those remarks. He had always considered Green a friend and ally. The personal nature of the criticism was particularly stinging because Burrell became engaged this winter.
“It’s disappointing to hear things like that,” Burrell said, doing his best to downplay the matter. “I’ve always thought that anything that doesn’t apply to this game is personal and shouldn’t be talked about by anybody, let alone people within the organization.
“I’ve known Dallas a long time and I believe there was really no harm in what he said. I’m over it. It’s time to move on. It’s unfortunate that it happened.”
As of yesterday, Green and Burrell had not talked. They will at some point, but Burrell shouldn’t expect an apology.
“It’s a dead issue,” Green said. “I have nothing to add or subtract. I just want us to be successful. That’s my job.
“I like Pat and I hope we’re still good friends. I’ve always loved the kid. He belongs here for the rest of his career, and I want him to be successful.”