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Quote of the Day: Jonathan Papelbon expounds on the highs and lows of closing

Apr 5, 2014, 9:20 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Jonathan Papelbon has not been Mr. Popular in Philadelphia, not after he was frequently unreliable last season, lost several MPH on his fastball, and blew a save in incredulous fashion against the Rangers on Wednesday. Fortunately for him, though, manager Ryne Sandberg stuck with him and asked him to get the save on Saturday afternoon against the Cubs. He did, nailing down the 2-0 victory for the Phillies.

After the game, Papelbon was asked about the ups and downs of being a closer. Via MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki on Twitter, Papelbon used an interesting analogy:

Space Mountain, for the uninitiated, is the name of a roller coaster at Disney World. Papelbon went back into serious mode, adding that he recognizes the need to be a pitcher as opposed to a thrower, considering he was only registering 90-91 MPH against the Cubs.

Papelbon, 33, is in the third year of a four-year, $50 million deal with the Phillies. However, he has a fifth-year option for 2016 worth $13 million that can potentially vest, as it requires the right-hander to finish 55 games in 2015 or finish 100 combined games between 2014-15. It’s certainly a contract GM Ruben Amaro is starting to regret.

  1. greymares - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    I know a high for me would be to see his butt out of Philly.

    • mmeyer3387 - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:05 AM

      Your hard on Papelbon. It’s not his fault that the Phillies over paid him to were he was going to age like Rivera and also have a Hall of the Fame like career. Clearly, they give the impression that Papelbon would age and still be able produce Mariano Rivera like numbers. Its time to accept the fact that Papelpon was one of the better closers in the game. However, he has regressed through age and other factors to where he is just a very average closers at best.

      • xmatt0926x - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:20 AM

        It wasn’t Pap’s fault that Amaro extended him an absurd contract offer that no other team would have come close to. That doesn’t excuse his horrible attitude and constant blaming his manager and teammates for his blown saves.

        The one the other day was not even close to the first time he has thrown everyone else under the bus when he was throwing lame beach balls up to the plate. Ultimately though, it is Ruben Amaro’s awful decision to sign him and ignore the trending away from massive closer contracts that has led to this situation.

      • schmedley69 - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        It is Paps’ fault that he is a blithering idiot and says stupid things and has no accountability or self-awareness.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        I don’t think Rivera himself was ever signed to a contract longer than three years.

  2. jcmeyer10 - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    I was over Paps before Giambi hit a walk off homer against him in the bottom of the ninth while Giambi was playing for the Rockies. Thank God Rockies fans are decent folks or else I would have taken so much guff for being a Sox fan in Colorado.

    • gothapotamus90210 - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      I also had a positive experience at Coors. In 08 I went to a game there, wore a Phils Tug McGraw jersey and received multiple compliments. This after the Rox trounced the Phils in the 07 NLDS.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    “It’s a roller coaster ride. I liked Space Mountain as a kid, you know what I’m saying?”

    No….umm….*looking around*….no. Does anyone know what he’s saying?

    • jcmeyer10 - Apr 5, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      *Papelbon goes to his locker and looks up at a note taped to his locker* “You have been randomly selected for a drug test”.

    • jwbiii - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:00 PM

      a·nal·o·gy [uh-nal-uh-jee]
      a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based: the analogy between the heart and a pump.

      It’s not everyday that Jonathan Papelbon makes you smarter, is it?

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        Well, ok then.

        Learning about how he is applying this analogy is like that time I ate a bagel. It had raisins in it. Know what I mean?

      • jwbiii - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:37 PM

        Your analogy fails. It contains is no comparison. “A raisin bagel is heaven,” works. That compares a raisin bagel to some sort of blissful afterlife.

        Papelbon compared closing to a rollercoaster ride. A rollercoaster ride has ups and downs. He compared his job to something that has ups and downs.

      • nbjays - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:44 PM

        I feel sorry for anyone so stupid that listening to Papelbon makes them smarter.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:40 AM

        “It’s a roller coaster ride” may be an analogy.

        “I liked Space Mountain as a kid” makes absolutely no amount of sense whatsoever when added to the analogy.

        Is he saying he liked closing out baseball games as a kid, but doesn’t like it now? What are his current feelings about Space Mountain? Is he saying he no longer likes closing because the excitement has worn off?

        That’s the part that is bafflingly freaking stupid.

      • skeleteeth - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:00 AM

        Yeah, no. I bet he hasn’t yet figured out that Harvard doesn’t just make hoodies. Know what I mean?

      • jwbiii - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:03 AM

        No. If you wish to consider the emotional part of riding a roller coaster, how does it make you feel? For many, it is fun, exciting, and sometimes scary. There is usually a long, tedious wait before the fun starts. He said that he has enjoyed those feelings, or whatever it is he feels, since he was a kid.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:17 AM

        Yeah. That’s clearly what he was saying.

        It must be nice living inside Papelbon’s head, isn’t it?

        I bet there’s a lot of room to do activities.

      • jwbiii - Apr 6, 2014 at 2:08 AM

        skeleteeth, I know what you’re trying to say. I also now know that you are completely clueless.
        http://store.thecoop.com/coopstore/servlet/com.bst.servlets.EStoreWebControlServlet?object=EStoreProductSelection&method=getProductInfo&productuno=39025

        The bookstore at Mississippi State, where Papelbon went to college, does not sell hoodies. They do sell hooded windbreakers.
        http://msstatemeridian.bncollege.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SubcategoryView?parentCatId=40360&categoryId=40445&catalogId=10002&langId=-1&storeId=10051&topCatId=40000
        I don’t like anoraks.

        tbuckfutter, I think Papelbon does a lot of trolling. I think he got you. Do you think he should he should throw you back or filet you?

      • carpi2 - Apr 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        Papelbon stated how much he liked space mountain as a kid, because of the repeated rising and falling. I think the analogy he was trying to make was that he, int turn, loves the closer role because of the constant ups and downs, which comes with the job.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      I think he is trying to say he digs the ups and downs of life as a closer.

  4. jcmeyer10 - Apr 5, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    The guy has ONE PITCH. I am surprised he has rode that for this long. Maybe it’s the head lowering so the shadow covers his eyes thing that has kept him in the league.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      You know how else had one pitch? Hitler. No, wait. That’s not it. Reflex.

  5. andreweac - Apr 5, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    I doubt Amaro regrets the contract.

    • carpi2 - Apr 6, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      I doubt RAJ has to the complete incapability to feel the emotion of regret. Because, with regret, comes learning and modification of future actions.

  6. aceshigh11 - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    Wow, this guy is just all kinds of dumb. When he was a badass closer for the Red Sox, his clueless goofiness was something of a charming quirk, but now that he’s largely ineffective, it’s annoying beyond belief.

  7. drewzducks - Apr 6, 2014 at 2:07 AM

    Only bad things can happen when I see an article including the phrase “Jonathan Papelbon expounds…”.

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