Jonathan Papelbon is back ripping former Red Sox, including Alex Verdugo

Papelbon shared some opinions about the effort level of some former Boston players.
Oct 18, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon throws a
Oct 18, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon throws a / Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Papelbon is a polarizing figure in Red Sox history. He's known for his eccentric and competitive personality and out-of-pocket comments.

Even in his retirement, Papelbon still makes his baseball opinions known, including thoughts about his former teammates.

Papelbon appeared on "Foul Territory" this past week and offered some statements about J.D. Drew, who was a member of the 2007 World Series winning team.

Papelbon began by calling him "one of the best talented left-handed hitters you could see." Then he dragged Drew's effort on the diamond. He believes Drew didn't take enough of a leadership role and coasted through his contract. He was frequently injured and he played only a few full seasons.

Former Red Sox star Jonathan Pabelbon slams JD Drew and Alex Verdugo

Drew was known by other MLB figures as a somewhat disappointing player. As a touted prospect, expectations were high for Drew, and some believe he fell short, like in 2004 with Atlanta.

Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa has spoken about Drew in Buzz Bissinger's book, "Three Nights in August," in which he suggested that Drew needed to put his best foot forward more often.

“My feeling at the time was that J.D. needed to push himself to be as great as he can be, because he’s so talented he could play at a high level and still be better. That’s your obligation as a coach, to get him to the max. But he’s been gone since then, and he did well for Atlanta and he did well for L.A. To me, that’s a matter of maturity, and I’m sure he’s understanding more and more what he’s capable of doing," LaRussa said.

Drew never made the $150 million through his signings that Papelbon said he did. Drew pocketed just under $109,000,000 from his playing career. Not small potatoes by any means, but this may serve as further proof that Papelbon doesn't necessarily have all the facts here.

After Drew, the conversation pivoted to recent Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo and the quality of his effort during his time at Fenway. Foul Territory host and former player Erik Kratz claimed that the Yankees coveted Verdugo because they believe he'll help bring them a World Series, but Kratz himself wasn't so sure. And neither was Papelbon.

Papelbon said he's uncertain how he feels about the extent of Verdugo's effort on the diamond, but suggested he could be perceived as a lower-effort player; one who might tell a manager, "kiss my [expletive,] I'm making $80 million this year." It was also stated on the podcast that Verdugo might need help getting to the ballpark on time, referring to an incident in 2023 that resulted in his benching for one game.

Papelbon may be confusing personality with effort. His own personality was clear and his competitiveness was on display so often (sometimes, to a fault) that few questioned his commitment to the game. But some players are more understated. Their work is more internal.

Not everyone needs to scream to be seen or heard. Effort looks different for everyone. This is not to justify being late to practices or not trying one's best for the team that pays the big bucks, but making assumptions about people's character has never been the way to go.

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