Next to Dallas Green skewering some player(s) publicly, we Phillies fans have grown accustomed to another annual rite of Spring, listening to the Hall of Fame third baseman repeat for the umpteenth time how much it hurt for him to hear the boos in Philadelphia during his long career. Nearly as predictable is Schmidt’s criticism of some current player who “reminds him of himself”, and the subsequent backtracking and public recanting that follows.
I guess by this point the Phillies are committed in perpetuity to bringing Schmidt into camp for a few days of tutelage and advice. The question is, who listens? This year’s target of Schmidt’s criticism and follow-up apology is Pat Burrell, who claims he is unaffected by Mike’s public scolding and who, from all accounts, isn’t interested in pursuing the matter further, including, apparently, the reason for all the consternation in the first place, his strikeout rate. Schmidt ranks in the top ten in major league history for strikeouts and does not want to see Burrell, who is on a pace to join him on that dubious list, continue down that road.
Meanwhile, writers remark on how complex Mike’s personality is as if that explains his dwelling on the treatment he received throughout a career that ended nearly twenty years ago. I have news for you, Mike, the fans have been cheering you for a very long time now. Try and enjoy it.