Every Red Sox fan knows that Jonathan Papelbon is one of the greatest closers in the game today. His ability to mentally prepare for the final inning is remarkable and it helped him become the all-time saves leader in the club’s history. He also has the ego to go along with the role, often appearing a little edgy and arrogant. Some say “that’s just Paps” and for some it rubbed them the wrong way. Either way, Boston fans grew to love Papelbon as he delivered on a more than consistent basis throughout his seven years while wearing a Red Sox uniform.
He also speaks his mind, a characteristic that many found enjoyable and likable. Now that he’s in Philadelphia to become the Phillies new closer he continue to speak his mind, only this time it was a direct shot at the Red Sox fans; the same ones who religiously devoted their trust and belief in him.
On 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team, a Philadelphia sports radio show, Papelbon spoke out and fired a shot directly into the hearts of every Red Sox fan ever to occupy a seat at Fenway Park.
“The Philly fans tend to know the game a little better being in the National League, you know, the way the game is played.”
Perhaps his resentment comes from the fact that the Sox organization didn’t really approach Papelbon when the off season began, something he also commented on.
“They didn’t really come at me the way I was expecting them to come at me in the offseason,” saying that he was valuing “interest” and “loyalty.” - courtesy of NESN.
Papelbon did try and cover his comments a little when he admitted that Boston fans are completely submerged in the Red Sox.
“It’s a religion. It’s a way of life. They come to the field and they expect certain things out of players. It’s an environment where you put up or shut up. I enjoyed that. It got my motor running every day.”
While words don’t produce results, they can certainly get a fan base riled up and that may be exactly what Papelbon did. His other motive for the war of words could be to try and have that likability factor with the Philly faithful, a way to try and connect with his new fan base.
When asked about the Yankees and the possibility of wearing pin stripes, the obnoxious Papelbon admitted he would have listened and entertained the idea had they come calling, proving that loyalty is a word that is best left unused.
For a man that has an ego the size of Manhattan, he has once again proven that his mouth may be just as big. Let’s just hope that his ERA doesn’t balloon to match the prior two or he may be finding out that the City of Brotherly Love is just the opposite.