[Note by Randy Booth, 03/12/09 12:12 PM EDT ] This is a promoted FanPost, but I'd figure I'd give my two cents. Usually I don't like it when guys on the team just kind of spit stuff out like this, but it's Papelbon. He doesn't hold back his fastball, so why should he hold back feelings about an ex-teammate? It's obviously not the smartest thing to do, but he was being honest and he's not going to sugar coat anything. Plus, we all knew it anyway...
"It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that's exactly what was happening," Papelbon reportedly told the magazine. "Once we saw that, we weren't afraid to get rid of him. It's like cancer. That's what he was. Cancer. He had to go. It [stunk], but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us."
"He was on a different train!" Papelbon reportedly said of Ramirez in Esquire. "And you saw what happened with that. We got rid of him, and we moved on without him. That comes from the manager, and it comes from guys like Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz. Nobody is ever going to be allowed to do that."
"So Manny was tough for us," Papelbon reportedly added. "You have somebody like him, you know at any point in the ball game, he can dictate the outcome of the game. And for him not to be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man!"
"And after, you could feel it in the air in the clubhouse, We got Jason Bay -- Johnny Ballgame, plays the game right, plays through broken knees, runs out every ground ball -- and it was like a breath of fresh air, man! Awesome! No question."
Update, Papelbon was asked about the comments he made to Esquire.
FORT MYERS, Fla. - "I'm not going to sugarcoat anything, It takes 25 guys on a team to win, not 24, and that was blatantly obvious, It doesn't matter who you are - you could be Babe Ruth - if you're not in that same cubbyhole with the rest of the guys going to war with you, you're all going to die. That almost happened."
"It was bad enough to where we weren't winning games [with Ramírez]," Papelbon said, emphasizing he was not speaking for his teammates. "We weren't doing our job. When it comes down to that, we've got to find a cure. Jason Bay was our cure. It's that simple. We've got a team with one guy, we're not winning games. He leaves, a new guy comes in, and then we start winning games. That's pretty much putting the writing on the wall, if you ask me."
Yesterday Papelbon said it was not frustrating to see Ramírez succeed with the Dodgers. Fact was, Papelbon was excited when the trade came through.
"I was excited because I knew he didn't want to be there," Papelbon said. "I wasn't excited that he was leaving because I know how good of a player he can be when he wants to be a good player. If you don't want to be a good player, you're not going to be good. If you want to sit out games against certain pitchers or you want to sit out because you don't feel like [it] for whatever reason, I mean, you've got guys like [Dustin] Pedroia that are playing with a broken wrist and guys like Mikey [Lowell] that are trying to make it through hips that need surgery. You've got [Josh] Beckett with a bad back, everybody in the bullpen that's picking up extra innings that's breaking down. All kind of extra stuff that we're pushing through.
"When 25 or so guys are pushing through and one guy is not, that creates a problem. A problem was created and we weren't winning games, so we had to do something. It is what it is. Yeah, we lost a great player, but we started winning games. So what's more important?"