Burrell frustrated by Rays' recent woes
Veteran DH focused on finishing season on positive note
BALTIMORE -- Pat Burrell allowed Monday that the he let the frustrations accrued during the past 11 games to finally boil over in the Rays' second game of their doubleheader with the Red Sox on Sunday.
Burrell was sent to the plate to pinch-hit in the eighth inning and tried to check his swing with two strikes, but was called out by home-plate umpire Lance Barksdale. Burrell argued that he had checked his swing, which prompted Barksdale to quickly eject Burrell.
"I was dead wrong, I knew I was out, I swung," Burrell said.
Burrell is mired in a 1-for-19 stretch during the road trip that has seen the Rays lose all seven games they have played to move their losing streak to 11 before defeating the Orioles, 8-4, on Monday night in Baltimore.
"That's embarrassing, losing that many games," Burrell said. "When you're a good team like we are and you see the way things have shaped up the last two weeks, it's frustrating and it's embarrassing. There's no other way to say it."
Though the Rays' designated hitter at times looks indifferent on the field, he said that he is bothered about not living up to the expectations the Rays had for him when they signed him to a two-year, $16 million deal during the offseason. And he understands that he will have to endure an offseason in which many will point at him for the Rays' disappointing year.
"You face it," Burrell said. "There's no excuse for not putting up the numbers you should put up, whatever it is they signed me to do as a player."
The Rays have 18 games left and Burrell is realistic about what can happen for the remainder of the season, and he said he shared his thoughts with B.J. Upton, who has had a disappointing season, too.
"I told him, you try to salvage the season in the last two weeks, it's very difficult and it's unrealistic," Burrell said. "But what you can do is build a nice foundation for going into the offseason. When you come into Spring Training you have something to build from. And that's what we're going to try and do. And he's got some health stuff going on, so it's even more difficult.
"I know come Spring Training, I'll be ready. Hopefully with a year under my belt in this league, I'll be able to make some better adjustments."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.