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Ibanez Enjoying Phruits Of His Labor

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, April 28, 2009 12:44 PM | Comments: 37
Analysis, Posts

IbanezPCBack to last night: Honestly, has any Phillie ever captured the fanbase this strongly and so quickly than Raul Ibanez?

After slamming the Phillies into the 13-11 lead, Ibanez ventured to the outfield, where he was greeted by not merely a standing ovation, but a full crowd display of the Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar “We’re not worthy!” gesture. Chants of “Rauuuuuul!” were mixed among the cheers. Ibanez spoke after the game about the ovation:

“I’m definitely appreciative of that. My feet barely hit the ground when I ran back to the outfield. I was floating.”

Floating. It took Pat Burrell years to feel that. It took Ibanez 18 games. Of course, when you hit a game-winning home run, provide consistent all-fields offense, make awesome plays in left field and knock a go-ahead grand slam all in your first 18 games, you too could be floating.

Many of us questioned the pickup of Raul Ibanez – he’s a lefty, he’s old, he’s an American League hitter, his home run totals will evaporate. So far (and yes, it’s very early), we doubters have pie in our faces. Ibanez has been the team’s MVP so far. And already, he’s Philadelphia’s new favorite athlete.

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Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 CT

    i never doubted that he’d be an upgrade from PtB… but i never really expected he would be THIS much of an upgrade.

    the man can hit for both contact and power, he can run the base paths at decent speed, and he’s shown he can make clutch defensive plays.

    the season is still young, but hopefully Raul can keep this pace up and prove that he was well worth the investment.

     
  • Posts: 0 Justin

    I can honestly say i never doubted that he was better than Burrell in every capacity. Look how much more graceful he is running after a ball in left, he’s probably saved Phils pitching from more hits than Burrell would just because he has better legs. Plus unlike Burrell he can hit to all fields and doesn’t try to pull the ball. That’s a great influence for the big guy Ryan Howard, who needed to get back to spraying to all fields to become the player that came up with the Phils, I see his presence as positive since he donned the Phils jersey.

     
  • Posts: 0 CT

    i would say that a big part of our 2009 success is due to Ibanez’s presence. since our pitching has totally crapped the bed, our offense has had to pick up the slack and you better believe Raul’s been at the forefront of that.

     
  • Posts: 0 Keith

    I’m freaking loving Ibanez, but Burrell did provide lots of greatness during his years.

     
  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    I would say he still looks shaky running down some balls in left, but compared to Pat he looks like a gazelle.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jenn

    I LOVED Pat, and I still do. (I have yet to meet another female Phil’s fan who DIDN’T love him, lol!) I have to admit I didn’t know much about Raull before he came here and wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about him. But he has definitely won me over. He comes through every game whether in the field or at the plate and his work ethic is AMAZING. I still miss Pat, but I got nothin’ but love for RAUUUUL!

     
  • Posts: 0 gabriel

    believe me, i was among those who did NOT want to see the Bat leave town…
    that being said, i also donned a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to ibanez… statwise i liked him, but i needed to see him play in person… and i knew i’d get that chance since i sit 3rd base side of the left foul pole every home sunday game (3rd year runnin baby!) – those seats originally bought b/c pat was my phave philly…
    i think it’s safe to say that this coming sunday against the mets, my girl and i will be wearing brand new ibanez gear with smiles on our faces!
    also i made up the whole, “raUUUUUL” thing… j/k trying to get a reaction from you phreaks! hahahahah

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    @CT: You said much more eloquently what I was thinking. Pat was great, and he took a lot of crap from this town, but Ibanez is better in pretty much every capacity.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chase Mutley

    Am I the only person who was the biggest Pat Burrell fan that was also really happy to see him leave? I love Pat for sticking by this team. I love Pat for sticking by this city. I love Pat for being a grown-up for 9 years and taking the bad with the good from the fans. I love Pat for every legend you’ve ever heard about Pat at Center City bars.

    When you appreciate baseball for the human element as much as the sport, it’s pretty hard to dislike him as a ‘character.’

    I spent the last 5+ years pulling my hair out over poor fielding and streaky offense. No World Series win or horse-drawn carriage could make me forget that. I hope he comes back to Philly one day, opens a car dealership and continues to be part of the community. Just keep him out of left field at the Bank.

    Oh and just because I hold grudges against sabrmetric homos: http://www.draysbay.com/2009/1/5/709916/smart-teams-v-less-smart-t

     
  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    I don’t mean to come across as a sourpuss (chuckles), but just after 18 games the fans have already jumped on the bandwagon with such loving adulation and praise for Ibanez. Of course, hitting a grand slam to win a game will have that kind of instant effect on fans. You will have to excuse my jaded point of view as I take a realistic approach and prefer to allow more time to elapse during the season before drawing a conclusion on his value and consistency in the national league. That line of reasoning stems from many years of experience in observing players and fan reaction. I often seen fickleness with fans on certain players…Ennis, Schmidt, Abreu, Burrell, etc. Switching allegiance is nothing new in Philly. In the meantime, let’s enjoy Ibanez’s hot bat and hope he is everything the fans here say he will be.

     
  • Posts: 0 Albert

    Raaaaauuuulllll

     
  • Posts: 0 NC Jason

    Wanted to check if anyone else was listening to the game on radio last night. Franskie went nuts when Raaauuuuuulllllll hit it! Does anyone have the clip?

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I think Larry Anderson was the one that nuts on the radio… I was watching it on TV, but on KYW this morning, they played the radio clip

    Ibanez is doing what many of us thought he would… be a steady bat in the lineup that hits for a better average, with some power (didn’t think he’d show THIS much power THIS early).. but he’s been better in the field than I expected so far..

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in TN

    my confession

    i am guilty of turning the game off early last night.

    our pitching sucked again so I gave up

    i listened to teh game this morning and fell out of my chair.

    wow

     
  • Posts: 0 Robbi P

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4107895

    Freddy Garcia has been cut by the Mets haha. Just thought I would share this interesting story with you guys. I figured it would have been Philliesque to see him pitch and dominate for the Mets but the man just plain sucked. haha Only regret is that he is not going to pitch against the Phillies

     
  • Posts: 0 J A Happy

    Pat the bat slumps were to long,He looked at to many good pitch’s,and missed to many outside breaking balls, RAUUUULL is fun to watch hit !!

     
  • Posts: 0 RG

    You can never turn these guys off…

    I’m loving Raul as much as anybody else, I just hope he keeps it up. I’m really hoping when he’s 39 in the last year of his deal he’s still tearing it up…

    Maybe Ponce de L… I mean Jamie Moyer can share a little of that fountain of youth juice.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Talking about pitchers that are sucking big time…I heard that Jerry Manuel will give Oliver Perez one last shot or he’ll drop him from the rotation… I believe that game will be Saturday against the Phils.. (vs. Moyer?).

     
  • Posts: 0 ryan

    he’s only doing what he’s always done. all the people that blasted his signing were just morons thats all. he has consistently put up great numbers for the last 4 or 5 years. that’s 20+ homers and 100+ steaks . put him in a way more potent lineup where he’s just another weapon, plus take him out of one of the game’s best pitcher’s parks and put him in one of the game’s best hitter’s parks and you could obviously expect his number to just from 20 bombs and 100 steaks, to 30 bombs and 120 steaks.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mr. Phil

    Raul has exceeded all of my expectations. I watch the little things he does like hustling down the line on EVERY play and being aggressive in the outfield. I do not fault him for that attempt the other day that went for a triple. It was an aggressive play that didn’t work. This guy has become a player I enjoy watching, from the very first game of the season.

    I go back to what I heard from fans in Seattle who told me (second hand) that we would love Ibanez. I like his humbleness too, and I can’t help thinking that he makes the other players better with his work ethic.

     
  • Posts: 0 Joe

    @NC Jason: If you have the Gameday audio subscription, you can find yesterday’s game in the archive and hear Franske’s awestruck call at the 3:59 mark.

    Franske: It’s Utley at third, Howard at second, Worth at first. And the pitch. SWUNG ON!! GOLFED IT!! TO RIGHT FIELD IT IS-

    Anderson: Get there!

    Franske: – GONE!!!!!

    Anderson: Yeah!

    Franske: GRAND SLAM IBAƑEZ!!!!

    Anderson: [laughs]

     
  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I always thought he was a good pick up, maybe overpaid, originally, but I have changed my mind on that. Yes it is early and his bat is smoking hot, but in his career he has been very consistent, so I do not doubt he will be a consistent hitter this year. I just hope all you love fest junkies remember this when and if he ever goes 0 for 6, or 7. Never questioned his attitude, and I did not see him much in Seattle, but his offensive output on a really bad team in a bad ball park, made me believe he could hit in CBP. In addition all the people on here that were saying how bad of a defensive player he was almost had me believing that, again it is early and he isn’t the most graceful sometimes going after some fly balls, but he makes plays and hustles. I just think it kinda of funny cause there was a rage about what a great base runner he was, and he screwed up on the base path in the second game, and I was thinking what the H are these people talking about, but since then he has been stellar, It is always nice to see a nice guy do well in this city cause the fans can be great. Even after Lidge’s BS they gave him a standing ovation, very classy. And these first 3 weeks have definatly bought Raul some major slack. Keep the love fest going, it is nice to see, I can even feel the love all they up here in Vermont.

     
  • Posts: 0 AGH

    Count me among the doubters who are happy to have been wrong (so far). I thought we needed a righthanded bat and that we rushed out to set the market and overpaid for Ibanez. I would have preferred Milton Bradley or Pat at the reduced price TB offered him. Ibanez has been nothing short of spectacular. He has consistently come through in big spots and seems genuinely easy to like. I can only hope he continues his superb play. In short, my apologies, RA, for doubting the move.

     
  • Posts: 0 Megh

    @ Jenn:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself! My feelings EXACTLY. I don’t know how many times I said “he won me over” last night, after being weary of “Pat’s replacement.” I miss Pat but I’m lovin Rauuulll! Let’s just cut out this “Raul the Bat” business.

     
  • Posts: 0 T Marty

    Megh, are you kiddin’? i already made my “RAUL THE BAT” sign for tonight’s game….

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    RAUL THE BAT … is great. Sometimes the Headlines on the Daily News sports section make it seem like they’re trying way too hard, but sometimes they hit the nail right on the head.

    RAUL THE BAT!

     
  • Posts: 0 peasant

    i was very excited to have raul added, made post after post defending hsiaddition and comparing him to burrell, even I am surprised by how great he’s been, can’t wait to see him against the mets also, he has great numbers against K-Rod

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Just don’t hate the guy when he goes into a slump or makes an error…

    But for now: MVP! MVP!

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I heard a rumor that Geoff wants to trade Ibanez right now, “while his value is high.”

     
  • Posts: 0 cxl72

    Hold the phone people. Raul is supposed to be streaky just like Pat. In fact, if you compare April 2009 Raul to April 2008 Pat you will see that he has just about MATCHED Pat’s awesome April 2008 production not smashed it.

    Hey, I like Raul as much as the next guy but lets not trend his 18 games over the next 144. I hope he keeps this up but am not ready to get carried away.

    Just like Jimmy Rollins is not going to finish at .192 and our starting pitching will not let up 3 hr/game. Raul will come back to earth. Sorry to be the wet blanket on Mr. Ibanez. Go Phils!!
    _______________________

    April 2008 Pat Burrell:

    ab – 89
    hr – 8
    rbi – 24
    avg – .326
    obp – .450
    slg – .685
    ops – 1.135

    April 2009 Raul Ibanez:

    ab – 73
    hr – 6
    rbi – 16
    avg – .342
    obp – .402
    slg – .685
    ops – 1.087

     
  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Raul the Bat doesn’t quite have the same rhyme as Pat the Bat…
    (chuckles)

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Raul isn’t streaky… which is why they wanted to replace Burrell

    He’s not going to stay this hot for an entire season.. but he won’t have months where he hits .100 or something like Pat would

    Rrrrrraauuull the bat

    or, in Spanish

    “Raul el palo”

     
  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    cxl72~ I like those April comparisons between Burrell and Ibanez. I agree it’s way too early in the season to use adjectives like greatness or all star for Ibanez. It’s understandable that fans will get carried away in their excitement. As I posted earlier in this thread, I’ll take a wait and see approach and in the meantime enjoy his hot hitting and hustle.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jenn

    I’ve heard him referred to as “Raul the Jewel” if that flows a little easier for ya! So far, he is. And I don’t consider myself to be carried away with him. I agree with Megh….I loved me some Pat and figured I wouldn’t be thrilled with ANYONE who replaced Pat. But how can you not get on board with a guy who has been doing what he has thus far? Of course there will be times when he slumps or doesn’t make a play, but that can be said of ANY player. Plus from what little research I have seen on him, this guy’s a workhorse and puts in 150% and that’s one thing I really like about him. Like I said, nothin’ but love for RAAUULLLL.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Raul el bate de besibol

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    THe All-Star voting has already started.. (too soon!), but since it has, its really not out of line to be talking about Ibanez as an All-Star.. he’s among the best Outfielders in the NL right now

     
  • Posts: 0 cxl72

    In 2008 neither Raul or Pat were the model of consistency. I sure hope Raul keeps this up but with baseball players that are on fire the next slump is around the corner and for the stone cold (i.e., Jimmy Rollins) there are better days ahead.

    Raul in 2008

    April — .292avg, .839ops
    May — .218avg, .673ops
    June — .314avg, .827ops
    July — .295avg, .916ops
    Aug — .396avg, 1.155ops
    Sep — .233avg, .593ops

    Pat in 2008

    April — .326avg, 1.135ops
    May — .227avg, .855ops
    June — .256avg, .956ops
    July — .304avg, .973ops
    Aug — .181avg, .618ops
    Sep — .205avg, .719ops

     
 
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