Bobby Abreu, a class act all the way, had this to say about his departure from Philadelphia:
“I have many memories [of Philadelphia], good memories,” said Abreu, who was 0-for-3 in the Yankees’ 2-0 victory over the Phillies, his first game against his former team since being traded last July 30 and first of the spring following a month-long oblique injury.
Abreu hit .300 or better six times in his 81/2 seasons with the Phillies, but he left feeling unloved because his old fans often criticized his game, everything from his outfield play to his desire to win.
But when asked about Phillies fans on Tuesday, Abreu blamed himself for letting them down at times.
“The fans are part of the game,” he said. “I made a lot of big mistakes over there in the outfield. I screwed up a few times. They booed me because they went to a game to watch people do things right.”
Well, I’m sure that’s all nice and dandy. People are typically harder on themselves than they should be, especially people who play a competitive sport for a living. And these quotes might even satisfy a few fans (who will then say ‘yeah, but what good does that do us!!’), but who cares what they think? You were not to blame Bobby. Sure you weren’t exactly fleet of foot out in right field, but right field defense doesn’t matter all that much. Even if you cost the team a few runs a year out there, you more than made up for it at the plate. And that’s a simple fact. Your patience up there set the tone for the rest of the team, wore down pitchers, and gave Ryan Howard men on base to knock in. You were a great, underrated player here for so many years, and it’s wrong to slightly knock yourself because of what some idiot fans wanted you to be.
So you weren’t a great defensive player and you never hit 40 homers. Just be who you are, and accept it: a great ballplayer who got on-base better than almost anyone at your position or in the league. And now you’re with a team that truly understands that getting on-base is key to scoring runs. Let the haters hate, they’ll find a reason in anything. You just keep walking, keep doubling, keep working those counts.