Skip to content

Papelbon being Papelbon

Aug 23, 2009, 9:52 PM EDT

s_ffix_mlbdraftrp_080318_mezzn.standard[1].jpgJonathan Papelbon has set new standards in athlete insecurity with his comments on Billy Wagner, which D.J. touched on this morning.

Papelbon, sounding as if some neighborhood bully was threatening to steal his candy, wondered aloud why the Red Sox would even think of acquiring the 38-year-old lefty.
Never mind Wagner’s 385 career saves, or his 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings, or the fact he was dealing mid-90s heat in his return to the bigs last week. Never mind that he might actually help the team.

Even when attempting to soften his stance, the Red Sox’s closer couldn’t help himself, essentially repeating his stance that Wagner might ruin the delicately crafted chemistry of the Boston bullpen. (via

“It’s not that it shakes the balance it’s just that you have that little bit of time of getting used to how we’re going to use this guy? What situations will he be best in? Who’s going to leave our bullpen? It’s a multitude of things,” Papelbon said. “It’s not just one specific thing. There’s a lot of things that go into this equation.

He’s right. There are a lot of things going into the equation. Questions for much smarter people — like Terry Francona and Theo Epstein — to consider. Questions that those two also undoubtedly considered before adding Victor Martinez to a DH/C/1B mix that already included Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Mike Lowell.

Oddly enough, Papelbon wasn’t worried about team chemistry then.

But let’s just say that Boston’s closer, as talented as he is, might not be the ummm, sharpest spike in the cleat. In fact, he has made it a habit of stuffing his foot deep down his throat, sometimes up to the tibia. Granted, the things he says sometime smack of truth, but that doesn’t mean they should be said.

Some examples …

Papelbon said he, not future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, should be the closer for the All-Star game, a contest played at Yankee Stadium.

He once said that if the money was right, he’d be happy to pitch for the Yankees. (That one sat well with the Nation).

And he once called Manny Ramirez a cancer, saying “It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening.”

Exactly. Just another case of Papelbon being Papelbon.


If you Twitter, and you enjoy Irish dancing in your underwear, feel free to follow me at @Bharks.

  1. Grant - Aug 23, 2009 at 11:42 PM

    If Papelbon played on another team he’d be just another dumb, preening, and annoying athlete. Since he’s on a team with such a large number of dumb, preening, and annoying fans he becomes one of my least favorite players in the game today. He’s perhaps the player best suited for his fanbase in the game today.
    I like his Dugout character a lot better.

  2. Greg - Aug 24, 2009 at 1:44 AM

    Why, why, why do people continue to report the half-quote from the 2008 all star game? It was the NY Post getting a cheap headline by reporting a portion of the quote.
    When asked if he felt he should close the game, he said he was a competitor and of course he wanted to. He then said that he knew it would be Rivera’s honor but to be a successful closer, you always want the ball. He always says that Rivera is the Godfather of closers and is in awe of him…..
    Yeah, he can be a knucklehead sometime…. but he got a raw deal on that one….

  3. Maf - Aug 24, 2009 at 2:41 AM

    Grant…you’re a moron. Tell us, or better yet, show some intestinal fortitude, and tell us what especially intelligent fan-base you claim to be a part of.

  4. Grant - Aug 24, 2009 at 7:38 AM

    I’m an Orioles fan. There really aren’t any of us left.

  5. Jake - Aug 24, 2009 at 8:15 AM

    I have to agree with Grant. Papelbon is a punk who thinks what he does (pitch a baseball) really matters in the large scheme of things. It doesn’t really. Wonder how many soldiers died while he was ranting?

  6. Kelly - Aug 24, 2009 at 8:18 AM

    Papelbon is an idiot.

  7. Mark - Aug 24, 2009 at 8:29 AM

    Grant, couldn’t have said it any better. Boston is a town full of idiot fans and franchises that cheat. Thank goodness their championships are all fraud now.

  8. John - Aug 24, 2009 at 8:31 AM

    Papelbon has been an selfish, over-rated, loud mouth for quite some time and he will continue to be that way as long as society let these overpaid moron get away with things that most civil people would not even dare attempt. He held Boston hostage a couple of years ago when yet, he was not eligible for arbitration or salary talk, he cried his way to a raise. You can pick on Papelbon here on this particular blog but, believe me there is more of this nonsense than I care to even talk about, not only in baseball but, all sports. And fans, it is time for you all to realize you are routing for a bunch of spoiled rotten, selfish people who put themselves before all others and we let it happen. I am so dissappointed with fans everywhere. And if you do not think you are not seeing the whole picture I have two words for you “Michael Vick”, nuff said!

  9. joe luca - Aug 24, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    What’s with his “stare” when he gets ready to pitch? Does he really think he’s intimidating?

  10. Texadillo - Aug 24, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    Looks like he’s trying to intimidate the batter by kissing him. What is it with the pucker?

  11. redsux - Aug 24, 2009 at 10:59 AM

    cry more

  12. Greg - Aug 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    The simple fact is, he’s right. And despite the pedantic whinig above, I notice no has been able to dispute the facts.

  13. terry - Aug 24, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    Pooplelbon is a whiny little bitch like every other Red Sux fan. Doesn’t matter the division is OURS! GO YANKEES

  14. john - Aug 24, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    the name of his game at season’s end will be”SHOW ME THE MONEY”. he’s got “NO” loyality for the game or himself. “GROW UP”

  15. Scott - Aug 24, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Grant – if you have a problem with Pappelbon, fine. But why do exactly what you would critique Pappelbon for doing, and run your mouth about an entire fan base. I find Boston fans to be some of the most devoted, and knowledgable fans in sports. Obviously there are the fairweather, happy-go-lucky, ignorant fans in the ‘nation’ just as any other fan base. But in what other market do the truly devoted remember the names of the umpires and referees that give their team a raw deal? Boston fans aren’t responsible for the comments that Pappelbon makes, he’s a grown adult who makes his own descisions. And as for your comment about the declining number of Orioles fans; maybe there are a multitude of reasons for that:
    1) Your has been unable to develope a core of good players.
    2) Your team spends money in all of the wrong places; who was the last big free agent that came to Baltimore? Albert Belle (great move that was – google Albert Belle and look for stories of him trying to hit people with his car.)
    3) Has your team ever recovered from the whole Brady Anderson thing? Or how about Roberto Alomar spitting in the face of Angel Hernandez because Hernandez alegedly made a comment about his kid (yeah right)? Or how about Daniel Cabrera picking up a ball and threatening to throw it at the entire Red Sox team during a brawl a couple of seasons ago? Talk about embarassments – your team isn’t without them – maybe you need to look in the mirror before such a harsh critsism of a young pitcher.
    4) It’s a reflection of your fan base that they abandon the team when they do poorly – not the other teams in the league.
    Think before you comment about the fans of a team.

  16. Photoj - Aug 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    Paps #’s have been trending downward since his second year. He is throwing more pitches, striking out less hitters, walks are up, whip, etc. He is still very, very good. But in 2 years he could be ordinary and not worth the big long contract he is hoping for.
    I think he just reads and listens to the radio up here in Mass to much and knows they aren’t going to make him rich beyond his dreams. The clock is ticking on him and he knows it. Picking up Wagner, who if healthy and effective, could easily show Pap the door.
    Also, in his defense he is not very smart. If he couldn’t throw a ball really hard he would be bagging your groceries.

  17. John - Aug 24, 2009 at 3:17 PM

    People…the people making comments about Papelbon are obviously Yankee fans. Those fans are the most arrogant, obnoxious bunch of bandwagoning buffoons you will ever meet. When I graduated HS in Floral Park, NY in 1994 there were a handful of Yankee fans. Now I look out old classmates on Facbook and they are all go Yankees and Red Sox suck. Yankee fans send out memos to each other on what is the cool slogan of the month, for example Red Sux. They aren’t very good spellers as well. Those people jumped on in 1996. When Cleveland eliminated the Yankees from the playoffs 2 years ago there were actually tears. And all of sudden when the Giants pulled off a miracle because the Patriots were asleep for the game they felt vindication for Boston winning the WS that year.
    Those are the worst kind of whining fans in America. I’m glad I will not be in NY for September to see their arrogance get worse with the season winding down. However, they seem to forget that the Yankees had the biggest playoff collapse in the history of sports blowing a 3-0 lead in the 04 ALCS. That always shuts them up.

  18. tim - Aug 24, 2009 at 4:04 PM

    mark your the Idiot

  19. Photoj - Aug 24, 2009 at 5:25 PM

    Every team that wins has bandwagon fans and boston has it fair share to say the list. There was no ‘Nation’ before ’04 was there? I see lots of Pink hats out there.
    Can’t deny that what Papelbon said is dumb and the criticism valid? Instead of saying ‘we can always use a good arm and I will personally introduce him to the skanks I use at Beerworks’ he worries about ‘chemistry’? Really? Don’t recall him worrying about chemistry when Martinez came aboard. But another 1B/CA/DH is not a threat to his new contract efforts but another closer on the roster would be.
    If there were an actual leader on this team he wouldn’t be opening his mouth. Last year of his contract and hitting his weight Varitek? Nope. Big Papi? Hasn’t spoken above a whisper for weeks now. Lowell? Is he playing tonight or rehabbing his strained age?
    The difference w/ being a Yankee fan is when we lose we don’t blame it on the supernatural, god, curses, whatever else little children think. Got beat. That’s it. Don’t make excuses.

  20. Boston-does-suck - Aug 24, 2009 at 6:03 PM

    Regarding John’s comments. Yes, we did get beat by Boston in ’04 but we never made any excuses. It still hurts and it always will. But, we didn’t make any excuses and now, we’re BAAAAAACK. And it’s sweet. GO YANKEES.
    The other day, I was at the Jets pre-season game in NJ and there was a Red Socks fan attending the game, wearing a Jacoby Ellsbury jersey. He loudly claimed that the only reason he was there was to pick fight with the NY area fans. I’ve never seen a Yankees fan do such a thing. We root for our team and don’t attend Patriots home games, wearing Derek Jeter jerseys, looking to pick fights with the rabid Boston fans.

  21. Mister Riot - Aug 24, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    Yeah, I’m sure nobody on the team or in the organization made any excuses. I’m certain that none of the fans made excuses. Who put you in a position to make blanket statements like that? That sounds like the claim of a twelve year old high on pixie sticks.
    As for the thing about the Red Sox fan in an Ellsbury jersey, have you ever been to a Patriot or Red Sox game? I lived in Boston for 7 years. There are A TON of loud obnoxious Yankee fans that come out and heckle. Many of them get into fights. Just an FYI.

  22. Grant - Aug 26, 2009 at 7:13 PM

    You’ll find no bigger critic of the Orioles than me. I fail to see how this invalidates the loutish nature of the large numbers of Red Sox fans I’m forced to interact with at Camden Yards. You can criticize O’s fans for being apathetic. I do, though I’m guilty of it myself. Perhaps in the off-chance that the Orioles ever get good again there will be a swelling of fair-weather jerks. At that time I welcome your criticism on that front.

    The fact that Belle was a jerk and a bust, that Brady Anderson was a roider (I guess that’s what we’re recovering from?), and that Roberto Alomar was a hothead who exploded (and has since made up with the umpire) doesn’t have too much to do with the fanbase. Unless you’re implying that Orioles fans are a bunch of hotheads. Which I suppose could be possible, though it hasn’t been my experience. “Loveable drunk” in the mold of Wild Bill Hagy is more what I see when I think of the long-term reputation of O’s fans.

  23. Grant - Aug 26, 2009 at 7:18 PM

    Also, I wouldn’t be so quick to cast that stone about abandoning the team when it’s bad. Read Updike’s essay on Ted Williams’ last day and see how great the supposed greatest fans in the world were when their team was mired in a prolonged bout of suckiness. Or even look at their attendance numbers in the 90s, even taking into account the small ballpark

  24. Watch Free Movies Online - Dec 28, 2009 at 5:39 PM

    This page wasnt working earlier i tried accesing it but it timed out 4-5 times now i can access it. Whats going on?

  25. LynneMCDOWELL - Mar 30, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    People deserve good life time and business loans or just auto loan will make it much better. Just because people’s freedom is grounded on money state.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Correa (2552)
  2. G. Stanton (2515)
  3. H. Ramirez (2496)
  4. G. Springer (2488)
  5. B. Crawford (2309)
  1. M. Teixeira (2288)
  2. H. Pence (2219)
  3. J. Baez (2208)
  4. J. Hamilton (2167)
  5. Y. Puig (2111)