Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pat Burrell, Hank Blalock & Ronnie James Dio



I was trolling around YouTube and thinking about Ronnie James Dio tonight and wondering how I could incorporate the late metal legend into a fantasy blog post. Then it hit me: the title of the tune posted above perfectly sums up the Pat Burrell Experience the past two seasons - and it also gives me a great excuse to post a video of the funny little old dude with the huge voice, who lost his battle to cancer over the weekend at age 67.

OK, so maybe it's a stretch, but it's the best I could come up with - I'm not even sure what a Holy Diver or a Neon Knight is, so this is all I've got.

Anyway, back to Burrell, who was designated for assignment the other day by the Rays after nearly a year-and-a-half of disappointment. Burrell was batting .202 with two homers and 13 RBIs for Tampa Bay this season on the heels of a .221/14/64 season last year - paltry numbers for an American League DH who signed for big bucks. In fact, Burrell ended up clearing $16 million from the Rays, or $1 million per home run, before falling off the edge of the world.

Shameful.

Those who gambled that 2009 was an aberration and took a flier on Burrell this year have to be sorely disappointed, and probably dropped "Pat the Bat" by now. There's a decent chance Burrell will clear waivers and get picked up by another team desperate for another bat, but it's hard to envision a scenario where Burrell will have any real fantasy value from here on out. And that's amazing for a guy who hit 33 homers and knocked in 134 runs just two seasons ago with the Phillies.

Burrell's replacement on the Rays' roster is a familiar face: Hank Blalock, last seen swatting 25 homers for the Texas Rangers in 2009. Tampa Bay signed signed Blalock to a minor-league deal in the offseason, and he was tearing it up in Triple-A (.349, four homers, 24 RBIs) before his call-up. There's still some life left in his bat, but his appearances could be sparse as a DH/backup corner infielder. But he's sleeper who might be able to help you for a stretch if he's on a hot streak. You might even call him ... a Rainbow in the Dark.

Or not.

I tried.

R.I.P. Ronnie.

1 comment:

Bob Andelman said...

Ronnie James Dio fans might also enjoy this lost interview with the singer from May 22, 1986 on Mr. Media Radio.