Old friend Jonathan Papelbon has once again made his way back into the news, and unsurprisingly, it's because he's talking.
"I definitely didn't come here for this."
"I would like to stay [in Philadelphia]. But if I'm going to have to put up with this year after year, then no, I don't want to be here. Why would you? Why would anybody?"
Jonathan Papelbon doesn't like losing. Jonathan Papelbon likes winning. That's all well and good, and I'm sure just about every fan and player out there can sympathize with that. But let's get one thing straight: Jonathan Papelbon didn't go to Philadelphia to win.
Sure, the Phillies were an attractive enough landing spot at the time, fresh off a season that saw them win more than 100 games (although anyone paying close enough attention could point out the risks of their aging, expensive roster). But Papelbon was never shy about telling anyone and everyone that his goal was to set a new bar for free agent relievers. That was why he went year-to-year with the Red Sox even when they approached him time and again with offers of an extension. That was why the Red Sox did little more than their due diligence in attempting to re-sign him.
Now Papelbon is losing, and apparently $12.5 million a year is not enough of a salve for him to keep his comments to himself.
Maybe he gets his wish and finds his way to a winning team (because that whole last-to-first overhaul he's looking for requires a Dodgers-sized miracle). Maybe his comments are what inspires Ruben Amaro Jr. to break from his usual tactic of asking for the world and pretending the Phillies are contenders. Maybe they even take some of the money just to get the disgruntled employee out of the clubhouse.
Just as likely, though, is that Papelbon will be stuck in Philadelphia. And if he is, irony of ironies, it will probably be his large contract--in conjunction with a declining fastball and strikeout rate--that keeps him there.
Read more Red Sox:
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- Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox, and an ever changing future
- Red Sox trade targets: Luke Hochevar
- Despite drop in velocity, Felix Doubront turning into top arm for Red Sox
- Dustin Pedroia's extension perfect for Red Sox and Pedroia