Skip to content

Jonathan Papelbon on the Phillies clubhouse: “I haven’t seen any leadership”

Feb 22, 2013, 7:27 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

You tend not to see much in the way of clubhouse drama in Philly. It’s a veteran-laden team with a manager whose teams have no real history of drama of any kind. So Jonathan Papelbon going on the radio and saying this is surprising to say the least:

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon did not mince words this week when asked about what it is that his team lacks. “Since I’ve been here I haven’t seen any leadership,” Papelbon said.

He followed it up with vague comments about how the team has “more to lose than it has to prove” and about how he feels that he should have spoken up more than he did last year.

But really, the next time a relief pitcher is viewed as a team leader in a big league clubhouse will likely be the first time, and Papelbon likely knows that. As a result, it’s hard to see these comments as anything other than a criticism of Charlie Manuel, Jimmy Rollins and other Phillies vets.

  1. officialgame - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Not firing Charlie Manuel after last season will prove to be mistake. What exactly does he bring to the table?

    • fissels - Feb 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      I think Charlie is a good manager. He may seem a little laid back but the way he has handled Rollins’ lack of hustle shows that he’s on top of things.

  2. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    He left out the part where he volunteered and the entire clubhouse burst into hysterical laughter.

    • djpostl - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Damn it Leeroy….at least you got chicken though.

    • badintent - Feb 23, 2013 at 2:17 AM

      ha. good one. and he looked in the mirror and didn’t see any leadership there either. Only Harvery the Rabbit

  3. kvanhorn87 - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Typical Philly media over-reporting a non-story. Guy just repeated what he heard Paps saying to the mirror. Again, I blame the media.

    Uncle Moses, this wasn’t a Philly reporter and the author of this post is a braves fan. The Philly media definitely earns its criticism but on this one, get a clue. Just Craig trying to get interest back on hbt so goes to what he knows best.

    • indaburg - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      I think unclemoses’ comment is meant to be facetious: “…what he heard Paps say in the mirror…”

  4. xmatt0926x - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    I can’t speak to what leadership is in the clubhouse, but I will say that this is the same guy who said Phillies fans tend to know the game more than Boston fans. This was said just after he signed and therefore had no chance to know whether that statement was true or not. The reaction IO remember from Bob Ryan and other media was that nobody takes anything Pap says seriously because apparently he’s not the smartest guy out there. Interviews I have seen with him seem to back that up. I don’t think there’s too much depth there with ol’ Pap. I think he needs to collect his way bloated check that only a fool like Ruben Amaro would sign him to and just shut the f*** up and do his job.

  5. jibzek - Feb 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Papelbon is a guy who offered a great deal of leadership in the Red Sox clubhouse. He was known to pop in Squirts Illustrated, an amazing DVD.

  6. ken1lutheran - Feb 22, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Papelbon may start recognizing what a privilege it was, in 2007, to be part of such a great team and to be playing in the most history-rich park in the majors. He was playing on a team with David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield–every one of those men a leader. That is hard to duplicate elsewhere–it’s hard enough to duplicate there, as shown by the Red Sox’ recent struggles.

    • djpostl - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      Except in 2007 it wasn’t the most history-rich park in the majors….

  7. Francisco (FC) - Feb 22, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Interesting enough the man expanded on his comments, saying he’s including himself in that category of “lack of leadership”. In his case he’s thinking he could have done more in that department with the kiddies in the BP (lord Knows Chad Qualls wouldn’t have, that man didn’t have a good pitch much less leadership!)

    Take from that what you will. I guess the man can do damage control…

  8. officialgame - Feb 22, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Watching the playoffs in 2009, 2010, and 2011 it seemed pretty obvious to most fans that Manuel was badly out managed all three years. The Phillies clearly had better teams then the ones he lost too. People forget that Manuel had Jimmy Williams as his bench coach in 2008 when the Phils won the World Series. Since then Williams and most of his other coaches have left for various reasons yet he survives. Why? He certainly isn’t in the class of Giardi, Boche or Larussa all of whom beat him with lesser talent. The Yankees with one good starter, the Giants with no hitting, and the Cardinals took down his 102 win team with 4 aces. It is obvious to even casual observers that Manuel is one step above a village idiot every time he speaks. This is a man with no real game plan who manages by the seat of his pants. That’s just an undeniable fact Phillie fans.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      By in large, I leave troll comments alone. But some comments are so outrageous, I can not resist jumping in.

      So….in your alternate universe, the 103 win Yankees with home field adanatge were the underdogs against the 93 win Phillies in 2009? Fascinating. And of course, you don’t want to dicuss the 5 game shelacking the Phillies put on the heavily favored Dodgers that year in the NLCS (who managed that series?). Or discuss how Manuel stacks aginst the other 4 managers that won 5 straight division titles in that span (there are 4 others….right?).

      But, nothing, nothing on the HBT board has ever been more absurd then this gem:

      “People forget that Manuel had Jimmy Williams as his bench coach in 2008 when the Phils won the World Series.”

      Lets say that one again. the Bench Coach. The Bench Coach. The….BENCH….coach was responsible for winning the World Series. Well, you certainy backed up that argument well……

      Kind of like saying: I am holding a rock. I see no Tigers around. Clearly the rock is keeping Tigers away

  9. dawglb - Feb 22, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Baseball players are quirky, routine driven, superstitious creatures. I can understand what Paps says. The guys in that clubhouse each need to be concerned with their own mental approach and not concerned about getting on others. Baseball is a little different that football and hockey….in that way.

  10. IdahoMariner - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    why does it always seem to be pitchers, and especially relief pitchers, who say this stuff?

  11. ridgeavenuehr - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    These guys are too old to lead, and too old to be led.

  12. dwdive - Feb 22, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    This guy is a dope

  13. roteschtrimp - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Seems to me that the last Phils pitcher who constantly talked ragtime was not allowed to talk to the press.
    Must have been a slow news day for Mandy Housenick…

  14. carpi2 - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    What, an Ex-Red Sox player who is a whiny little b*tch? Unheard of!!!

  15. pastabelly - Feb 23, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    Leaders matter. Meter, Varitek, Ozzie Smith, come to mind. To his credit, Papelbon never said he was a leader. Of course, he’s still not too bright.

Leave Comment

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

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (2588)
  2. D. Span (2398)
  3. G. Stanton (2395)
  4. Y. Puig (2334)
  5. J. Fernandez (2284)