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Thoughts on Burrell from Burrell

Posted Jan 5, 2009 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Jan 5, 2009 at 06:28 PM

Sifting through some quick notes from the Pat Burrell conference call…

* Burrell has spent most of his offseason in Clearwater for the past four or five years, so he’s familiar with the area, but that wasn’t the key factor in his decision to sign with the Rays.

“More importantly, it had to do with the team here,” he said. “The makeup of the team, how close they got last year to winning the whole thing, and the youth that makes up the majority of this team – I think this team’s going to be competitive for a long time.”

* He said he hasn’t spoken to Joe Maddon yet and he and the Rays “haven’t really gotten into” whether he’ll spend most of his time in the outfield or as a DH, but he’ll fit in wherever he can.

“I’m here to help,” he said. “Anything and everything I can do to help this team win, I’ll do. I played every day for a number of years in Philadelphia and this is a team made up of a very good core of young everyday players. If there’s anything I can do to help, I’ll certainly do everything I can.”

* On moving on from the Phillies, the only organization he has ever played for:

“When you sign up to play this game, there’s so many uncertainties. I feel very fortunate to be able to have played as long as I did in that town, and that was a great experience. But this game’s a tricky deal – you never know where you’re going to end up and fortunately I’m in a place that’s very competitive, with a young group of guys that want to win.”

* On moving to the AL East:

“It’s exciting. We had a pretty good division in Philly with the NL East, but there’s something about playing the Yankees that’s pretty exciting, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

* On getting a deal done in a slow-moving market:

“I don’t think this is the offseason a lot of people expected. I feel very fortunate to have accepted the deal and be done with it and now I can look forward to getting ready to play.”

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