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Papelbon changes tune on Wagner, not a Rhodes Scholar

Aug 26, 2009, 1:50 PM EDT

Remember all that stuff about Jonathan Papelbon not wanting the Red Sox to acquire Billy Wagner? Well, either he changed his stance or the Red Sox forced him to change his public stance, because general manager Theo Epstein revealed yesterday that Papelbon “went out of his way to make sure Billy knew that he was more than welcome here.”
Here’s what Papelbon had to say after the trade went down yesterday afternoon:
I think the biggest thing is he’s going to bring some competitiveness to the ballclub, not just to the ballclub, but to the bullpen. Hopefully, he will help us in that stretch run towards a championship. I know the only reason he’s coming over here is to win a championship, and that’s something everybody’s on board with.
I’ve watched him throughout the years. The biggest thing is he pitches with heart. I love guys like that. I like guys who go out there and they wear their heart on their sleeve, and with that “I’m going to get you or you’re going to get me” type of attitude. I’m actually looking really forward to him coming here and kind of picking his brain, seeing how he works, and maybe picking up a couple things from him.

Quite a change from just a few days ago, but then again as Epstein aptly pointed out: “I think Pap feels like he was misunderstood. He’s not a Rhodes Scholar to begin with, obviously.”

  1. Rick - Aug 26, 2009 at 2:30 PM

    Papelbon is a d*ck who’s insecure b/c he’s not the same guy from 2007. Maybe he should remember not to call himself “Cinco Ocho” till his performance can stand behind his “tough guy” facial expression and his so called “name.”

  2. gleas27 - Aug 26, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    Nope Rick, you are wrong. He’s just super competitive, and perhaps puts his foot in his mouth when not thinking things through. He closed out a WS championship and has been a dominant closer for a few years now, so don’t let your jealosy get the best of you.

  3. Rick - Aug 26, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    gleas27,
    being competitive and denying an opportunity to make your pitching roster better are 2 different things. he’s obviously insecure and selfish and it’s getting in the way of his team and their ability to be more “competitive.” as for himself…he better be competitive! isn’t that a “ticket of admission” to play in MLB? He’ll never be a Mariano! Let the stats and your ability do the talking…not his mouth.

  4. Tom - Aug 26, 2009 at 3:31 PM

    Can we please remove the HE’LL NEVER BE MARIANO or SCREW THE YANKEES talk from this for one minute please and focus on the best part of this whole post? “He’s not a Rhodes Scholar to begin with, obviously” might be the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time.
    His GM just called him an idiot, and believes so strongly in it that he’s willing to say it openly to the media and use a qualifier like “obviously” to drive home that fact even more. Maybe “Pap” is too stupid to realize when he’s being called stupid!

  5. gleas27 - Aug 26, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    Rick, I didn’t think we were talking about Mariano, but it goes without saying that he (Rivera) will go down as the best closer of all time. No one was looking to make that arguement, but you are obviously looking to interject that anywhere you can…even if it is irrelevant to the current conversation.
    Also, Paps didn’t deny any opportunity….the trade went through, didn’t it? And he appropriately corrected himself and has had nothing but accolades and a warm welcome for Wagner.
    Paps is a high energy guy, wears his emotions on his sleeve and sometimes says stupid things, if you want to judge his character on that alone, you are free to do so. In my eyes he is a firey, passionate and determined competitor who HAS let his stats and ability do his talking.

  6. Kim - Aug 26, 2009 at 4:02 PM

    Everything in baseball is always about the Yankees, isn’t it Yankees fans? Gross.

  7. Photoj - Aug 26, 2009 at 4:06 PM

    So dumb he thinks there is an ‘I’ in Papelbon!

  8. bobmac - Aug 26, 2009 at 4:09 PM

    As long as Gleeman and company have the keys to this NBC jalopy it will be Red Sox 24/7.If you want to know who’s in or out of Boston’s lineup each night all you have to do is check player news each day around 4pm.I don’t see them doing that for any other team each day.

  9. jeff - Aug 26, 2009 at 4:23 PM

    Please – it’s all media hyperbole – all pap said was has the guy done anything lately? No threats or demeaning remarks or off-color comments. When they hire someone at your work who does exactly what you do and you are the main guy at that job then what would you say? He hasn’t changed his tune at all – he’s simply stated his opinion on the situation in further detail. The media goes fishing and you guys are all nipping at the bait.

  10. geo - Aug 26, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Not a Rhodes Scholar? Did he even graduate from grade school??? I don’t think so!!!!!

  11. Stultus Magnus - Aug 26, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    Papelbon is a totally arrogant fool, anybody can see that. He should see a doctor to treat his Curt Schilling Syndrome.

  12. Jeff - Aug 26, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    Lot of yapping is all I hear. Blah blah blah, this guy I never met but I read something he once said is a blah blah blah. Magnus Foolus and GED – yap yap yap!

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

    Makes you wonder how he got into college. What with the NCAA being a super-ethical organization completely devoted to upholding the traditional standards of academics in collegiate athletics…

  14. Arcex - Aug 27, 2009 at 11:04 PM

    Oh my God, an arrogant baseball player, that is totally all you need to know about the guy to denigrate him in every way, shape and form. Because no other baseball player ever has had a high opinion of himself or his abilities. OF COURSE he responded like that, he’s the closer and they just hired another guy who is historically, A CLOSER. Why is this a big deal?

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