Only Jonathan Papelbon would ink a contract that has $58 dollars at the end of it. Oh sorry, it was Cinco Ocho that requested that. The deal that the former Red Sox closer inked with the Philadelphia Phillies is worth $50,000,058. Typical Papelbon isn’t it?
This is just one of the many bizzare things that typically surround Papelbon and for the Phillies this is just the beginning. But for the Red Sox it appears as though they were ok with seeing Paps walk away and into the arms of another organization. No contract offer was ever made to Papelbon from Ben Cherington, in fact no contact was ever really made between the two.
I am a little torn on the situation that unfolded. Papelbon is one of the best in the game at closing out the ninth inning. His baggage is a lot to handle and he will slow the game to a snail’s pace regardless if he’s fined from MLB. It is probably best that the Red Sox move on from him, but it’s Papelbon’s parting words that have me so riled up.
The Phillies officially introduced Papelbon on Monday and he was all smiles. Why shouldn’t he be, he just inked a $50 million dollar contract. But to quote some of the words that he said to the media makes my skin crawl.
“I’m the type of guy, I’m loyal to those who are loyal to me,” stated Papelbon as written by Jon Marks, a Boston Globe correspondent.
Pardon me? Sure the Red Sox didn’t offer you a contract, but who was it that wouldn’t even discuss contract extension possibilities last year? That’s right it was you Jonathan.
And which team was it that stood by you last season and had complete and utter faith in you after you stunk out the joint in 2010? The Red Sox again. When so many were calling for Daniel Bard to replace you as the closer, the organization stuck by you and let you keep your job. They allowed you to go out and have a bounce back year, letting you earn the kind of money you will. But I guess that’s not loyalty.
“It really didn’t boil down to going back to the Red Sox and seeing if they wanted me back. I knew these guys wanted me so there was no hesitation.”
Really? That’s what it was about, the fact that the Phillies wanted you more than Boston did? It has nothing to do with the money Jonathan? The fact that Philadelphia gave you a four-year deal worth more than $12 million per year with a vested option for a fifth year doesn’t play into the situation? Knowing that Cherington wasn’t going to give you four-years didn’t persuade you to make comments like that? Give me a break.
Sounds to me like Papelbon did everything he could to get out of Boston and stick it to his former club in anyway possible.
To add further insult, Papelbon states that he wanted to go to a team that has a chance to win. This is interesting. The Phillies won a franchise high 102 games last season and what happened in October? They lost in the first round. What happened in 2010? They lost in the NLCS. Yes I realize they’ve won the division five years in a row and are poised to probably win it again in 2012. They have one of the best rotations in baseball but a team on paper doesn’t mean jack. Just look at the Red Sox, a team that many were calling the greatest team to ever be assembled. I don’t need to go any further on that.
In this day and age the only guarantees in life are death and taxes. The Phillies have an excellent ball club and with Papelbon they’ll be even stronger. Are they guaranteed to win? Nope. Are the Red Sox? Nope. Hell, even the all mighty Yankees are never guaranteed to win it all, although some might argue that.
But what remains of this Red Sox team is still a pretty damn good club don’t you think? Granted they need some tinkering and the rotation is a mess, but free agency just started so it’s a little early to be writing off this team just yet. They will contend for the AL East division next year and as the San Francisco Giants proved in 2010 and the St. Louis Cardinals proved this past October, anything can happen once you get to the dance.
Talk about spitting in the face of the organization that made you who you are today. To come out and say you want to play for a team that has a chance to win. What are you saying about the Red Sox, that they’ll roll over next year and play .500 ball? They’ll be competitive but don’t have a hope in hell to make the postseason? Unbelievable.
So Jonathan you can take your high wire, circus act to Philadelphia and make your millions over there. But heaven forbid you start to blow a couple of saves early in the year. You thought Red Sox Nation was tough? Philly fans are deemed to be some of the toughest fans to play for in all of sports. Good luck to you and we’ll see you in June you selfish toad.