Catching up with Papelbon

While David Ortiz was the only Red Sox All-Star this season, there was a familiar face in the room during the availability for National League All-Stars on Monday afternoon.

Jonathan Papelbon, a four-time All-Star with Boston, was back on the big stage again, this time for the Philadelphia Phillies.

As was always the case during his years with the Red Sox, Papelbon had plenty to say on a variety of subjects.

Has Papelbon’s newfound wealth changed him? “It hasn’t changed my life at all. I’m good, man. I bought two four-wheelers for hunting camp. That’s about it, man. I went from a Back Bay penthouse to a Renthouse Square penthouse. That’s about it, man. When it’s all said and done, man, I’m easy breezy. I mean, the contract for me, it never real was about money. I’ve said this from the beginning. If it was about money for me, I would have tried to stay and start.

“It was a pride thing for me. It was a thing that I felt like, what can I do to go enjoy myself every day man. But the contract for me and wanting to go year to year like I did, and into the free agency like I did, was, I think, more just the competitive thing for me. Like, I’m going to try to be the best on the field and if I can be best on the field, why not be the best off the field? You know what I mean? It’s just kind of the way I tick.”

Papelbon hasn’t lost any motivation just because he has financial security, right? “No, man, I’m always ready to go, ready to rock. I think, when that starts happening, you really have to ask yourself: should I keep playing this game? When your work ethic changes and you start getting lazy and stuff like that … I’m one of those guys, I don’t do anything [less than full speed]. That’s just what I do.”

It would have been tough for Papelbon to stay in Boston without the only manager he ever had there — Terry Francona. “Yeah. I truly do believe that. Tito told me how to play big league baseball. I tell you what, that [guy ripped into me] sometimes. He did. But a lot of times also, he picked me up when I was falling down. He told me the ins and outs of how to prepare, how to be successful, how to succeed. He told me something one day when I was a rookie, he said, I had Michael Jordan in Birmingham and he said, you’ve got to learn how to fail before you succeed. And man, something just clicked in my head.

“It’s things like that, when I was a young kid coming up, everything, from the first Spring Training I had in Baltimore, sitting down with me and explaining how it works and how to be successful and everything. He was like a father figure to me sometimes. A to Z, to go from having him for a manager from ’05 to 2011, it’s just, him being gone, that wouldn’t have been easy for me. I don’t think it’s easy for Dustin [Pedroia], and I don’t think it’s easy for anyone in that clubhouse. There are adjustments you have to make. “

Was Papelbon gone pretty much the moment Tito left? “I’d say it pretty much closed the door, yeah. Not 100 percent but I wasn’t going to go there and not know what manager I was going to playing for. Even when Philadelphia showed interest in me, I asked around about Charlie, you know, because I think as manager has a lot to do with the way a player ticks and a way a player can go. It did – it had a whole lot. And then Theo bounces, ding, ding, ding, lightbulb went off in my head and I say to myself, Theo bounces, he created all of this. He wouldn’t just leave this behind if … so the wheels started turning.”

How weird would it have been to stay under the new regime? “I think it would be. I don’t think that would be an experience that I could really handle too well.”

The Red Sox never made an offer. “They wanted to see if I could go out and test the market and maybe come back. I don’t know if they would [have countered], but I don’t go back. I go forward.   go full steam ahead, man. I don’t look back. I’ve got a car that don’t have rearview mirrors in it, man. I just go.”

Charlie Manuel reminds Papelbon of Francona. “Charlie’s a really good manager. Charlie’s very similar to Tito. Charlie gets on you when he needs to get on you and lets you be who you need to be.”

Papelbon is thrilled for his close friend and former teammate David Ortiz. “I was saying that earlier. I’m excited for him, I’m happy for him. I mean, I think sometimes he gets his feelings get in the way but that’s Papi, man. Papi, he gets a little emotionally fired up sometimes. You guys know. I mean, I’m happy for him. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Lack of security for Ortiz, similar to Papelbon’s final years in Boston? “I think it fuels him. He just talks about it a little bit more. David, he’s an emotional guy. He puts his heart and soul into this. I find nothing wrong with what David says. I don’t find … you’ve got a small window, bro. a small window to try to succeed. And what David said and what he’s trying to do, I don’t find nothing wrong with that. no, it don’t surprise me, man.”

“Like I said, you have a small window to do your thing in this game. I’m so happy for him, man.”

Should the Red Sox weigh in intangibles more for a player like Ortiz? “Yeah, I think they should weigh it in. you’re talking about, in my opinion, the Red Sox are not the Red Sox without him, period. I don’t care what he asks for. I’m trying to make that big man happy.”

Papelbon is well aware that his former bullpen mate Daniel Bard, who is now in Triple-A, is having a rough time of it.  “I have. I haven’t talked to him. I’ve been meaning to actually talk to him here lately but, you know, Daniel’s the kind of guy, he’s a mature athlete and he knows what it’s about. He’s going to be fine. I really do think he’s going to be fine. He’s taking some bumps and some bruises right now but who doesn’t. You’re not in the big leagues if you’re not taking bumps and bruises. I took my bumps and bruises in 2010. You’re going to take some bumps and bruises. I think he’ll become better.”

Papelbon thinks Bard will be OK.  “He’s a pretty mentally strong kid. He really is. I saw that in the bullpen. I saw the days he got beat up and the way he  came back. I saw him have success the way he handled that. I think he’ll be fine.”

13 Comments

Papelbon was always about him. It wasn’t the money, right. Every year he griped about wanting only a year’s deal. When the Red Sox finally offered him a year’s deal which is what he wanted he also griped about that. Baloney about the Sox not offering him a deal. He made himself scarce for the Sox and before you knew it he was with the Phillies. The guy has no gratitude after the Sox signed him up fresh from where? From nothing! They gave him the chance, the opportunity, the money.
At least have the decency to admit you were an ungrateful player and a big mouth to boot. I for one am glad he is gone.

“I feel like with me being at the top of my position, I feel like that [salary] standard needs to be set and I’m the one to set that standard” – Jonathan Papelbon, quoted by AP, March 4, 2008

humility is not present with this guy.Not missed in Boston.

bag of rocks

Hey Papsmear, man, so many of us are glad you are gone man, you know what man, you are the cancer that started the bull of the chicken and beer man, hey man, you are a jock man, english just escapes you doesn’t it man.

Papelbon still hasn’t improved his grammer. Still talks like some kid, trying to be cool. For him, IT was all about the money, he said that from day one. I, for one, am glad he is gone. We’ll see how he does with the “lowly” Phillies.

Security? Really? Love Paps and love most of the job he did for the Red Sox. And I think I know where Ian was going with this. He was really talking about the absence of a long term deal. But Paps had made at least 28 mil$ in his previous seasons in Boston. He already had as much “security as he ever needed. Oh and he still got a 40% pay raise after his worse performance year in Boston. And he couldn’t run out of Boston quick enough. Boston made it abundantly clear they would offer nothing more than a 3 year deal. Paps and his agent jumped at the 4+1 deal he got from the Phillies. So now he is a really good closer on one of the bottom 5 teams in the NL. Why don’t you ask him how it feels to pitch on a team that is out of contention at the All Star break?

Man, like who can’t move on, man? Paps, man, or the Red Sox man? Move on, man. I, I, I……

What a dumbass, so glad the sox didn’t go after Pap this past year!

It may be over, but it is probably the best thing that they start going in the youth movement. This just didn’t start to sink with Bobby V., look back at the last 3 seasons, Bobby was not around, Tito was and he just made excuses for the players running the team. Useless is gone and that was a happy day, now more need to go!

Zip it Papelbon. Whenever someone says “it was never about the money”, that is what it is most definitely about. But the money aside, you never wanted to play in Boston anyway. If you did then you would have signed a long term contract instead of going to arbitration every year. And you couldnt ever shut your damn mouth. Always had something to say. And what a surprise it was that for last year you pretty much kept your mouth shut the entire season. NOT!! You kept your mouth shut because it would inhibit you from getting the most money. No one wants someone who cant keep their mouth shut. So it all makes sense….free agent you, you finally keep your mouth shut and get that big contract out of Boston that you wanted. But it wasnt about the money right? Dont get me wrong, it is ok if it was about the money. Just dont say it wasnt and try to make believe that the Boston ownership disrespected you.

Does this guy really talk like that?

Your next post should be titled “The one million dollar question” contest – What the heck is wrong with John Lester?????????

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