Amid the Bobby Abreu for Erik Bedard and Jay Gibbons trade rumor yesterday, I made a comment that Abreu was "strangely unpopular in Philadelphia." While I've read this in the papers and seen it on message boards, my comment doesn't really do justice to Phillies fans. So I emailed Jason Weitzel of the Beer Leaguer Phillies Blog to get further insight on Abreu. Below are some excerpts.
Beer Leaguer visitors on Abreu:
Among Internet users who read my site and others, opinion is largely favorable. Most readers who check out blogs are familiar with the innovative ways teams are valuing talent, and few players in baseball are more deeply defined by numbers than Abreu. He's the complete offensive package. He is easy to justify quantitatively.
Other Phillies fans on Abreu:
Among blue-collar fans that value hard work, grit and shining in big moments, Abreu stumbles. I've watched plenty of Abreu over the years and I don't disagree with this take either. He disappeared in September, while others like J-Roll, Howard and Lofton stepped up and carried the club on their backs. I blame part of that on fatigue, which had reportedly caught up to him, but it's not unusual for Abreu to disappear in September, or disappear in these types of games.
On Abreu trade rumors:
Word is the Phils have been shopping both Abreu and Burrell as a way to shake some of the longterm commitments. With Thome gone, I wouldn't be surprised if Pat Gillick backed off. They need starting pitching and relief pitching badly, but dealing Abreu is not how they're going to get it, at least not in this offseason. Burrell, Rowand and Abreu give them a powerhouse outfield, probably the best in the division, if not the entire NL.
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