Pat Burrell spent the first nine seasons of his career in Philadelphia, so he has seen just about everything when it comes to the relationship between players and the media. Now, Burrell will try things out on the other side of the microphone.
The longtime big leaguer will make his debut as a studio analyst on NBC Sports Bay Area's Giants pregame and postgame shows Saturday, bringing a power hitter's perspective to the analysis of a team not currently known for pop.
Burrell, a key acquisition during the Giants’ run to a World Series title in 2010, said he's excited for the opportunity but also slightly nervous.
"I never really thought I would be in this situation," Burrell said as he watched the Giants play the Dodgers on Wednesday night. "But I'm just happy to be back talking about the game I love. I've been out of it for a couple years, and it's nice to be back."
Burrell spent the final two seasons of his career in San Francisco, but this isn't a homecoming. He never actually left the Bay Area. The former Bellarmine College Prep (San Jose) star spent four years scouting for the organization after his playing days ended, including a turn spent helping the Giants prepare for opponents in the 2014 postseason.
Life has been quieter the last couple of years for Burrell, who has helped out with the Stanford baseball team and recently celebrated his two-year wedding anniversary, but one thing hasn't changed. He still watches the Giants every night, and he's fascinated by the turns the organization has taken.
When he joined the Giants in the middle of the 2010 season, Burrell played Triple-A ball with Madison Bumgarner. He won a title with Buster Posey and has played with the Brandons.
"It doesn't seem like it's been eight or nine years -- it just doesn't -- but it has been that long," Burrell said. "They've had extreme success at the highest level, but obviously the last couple of years haven't been as good. My opinion on the core group is that they still have it, they've just got to go find it. It's there."
As he talked about the team Wednesday night, Burrell transitioned easily back into the mindset of a player and scout. He broke down swing changes and reasons why some Giants are struggling to hit for power. He talked of the approach a hitter must take to succeed in the modern game, and that's perspective Burrell hopes to bring while analyzing five consecutive games, starting Saturday.
Burrell also hopes to get one last chance to appreciate a future Hall of Famer. He said his main hope for the 2019 season is for Giants manager Bruce Bochy to go out with a great year.
"There are very few leaders of men in this new age of the game, and Bochy is a leader of men," Burrell said. "He's accountable, he's honest, he does his job. If you tell him something to do, he does it. There are very few men that can walk in the room like him and command that kind of attention."