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By Tom Dougherty
/ CBS Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pat Burrell is a man of many myths and legends in Philadelphia, from being the first overall pick in 1998 to helping the Phillies win the World Series in 2008 to the off-the-field Internet stories. Another Phillies legend, Ryan Howard, shared some insight on his former Phillies teammate on Monday.
Appearing on “The Chris Rose Rotation” podcast, Ryan Howard was asked, “Was Burrell as weird as he seemed?”
“Burrell is a special, special breed, and I love Pat,” Howard said. “I do. It’s like once you first meet him, you’re like, ‘Dude, this guy is like — what’s this guy’s deal? He’s all over the place.’ But then the more you get to understand Pat, it’s actually quite funny.”
“He’s a great guy. I mean, obviously, dare I say it? ‘The Machine.’ Seeing ‘The Machine’ a few times in action, yes,” Howard added. “I mean right there, Rosey, it answers your own question. All I have to do is say, ‘The Machine.’ I could have started it and ended with that.”
Ryan Howard felt Philadelphia’s toughness right away and used their passionate fan base as motivation 😤
LISTEN: https://t.co/SDx5iCiRhc pic.twitter.com/N3FiWgfE9r
Howard touched on a slew of items during the podcast appearance, from what it was like to win the 2006 National League Rookie of the Year and then the NL MVP the following year, to what he thought when the Phils signed Jim Thome in 2002 to whether he thought Jonathan Papelbon was a good teammate and everything in between.
No appearance with a national or non-local outlet would be complete without a question or two about playing for the Philadelphia fanbase.
Growing up in Missouri, Howard said he heard about Philadelphia and the northeast, which he described as “a completely different type of speed than it was in the Midwest.” He said during his time in the minor leagues, he was aware of the Philly narrative.
“You also understand it’s all about the effort you give as well,” Howard said. “It’s a blue-collar town, they want a blue-collar effort. Everybody is going to go in there, they going to mess up, but as long as you’re going out there playing hard … you try to use it as a motivation and not to be broken down. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not.”
Howard said players who can survive playing in the northeast can play anywhere after.
The Phillies’ single-season home run record holder also acknowledged that “toward the end of my time there, yeah, it was hard.” Howard cited the team’s performance as well as his own after coming back from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the 2011 playoffs.
“They’re going to let you know it,” Howard said. “It’s one of those places where, the fans can be so passionate to where, when it’s going good, it’s one of the best places to ever play. When it’s not going so well, yeah, it’s hard.”
“I always say it’s the City of Brotherly Love, right? You fight with your brother, you yell at your brother. At times, you hate your brother or whatever,” Howard added, “but you get over it, and at the end of the day, you love your brother. The biggest thing is just don’t take it personal.”
To find out why he caught the ball with two hands and more, listen to the podcast here.
First published on August 15, 2022 / 2:29 PM
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©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.