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Papelbon the sourpuss.....

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Big Chee, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member


    As if Jonathan Papelbon wasn't unpopular enough in New York.

    While the rest of the baseball world heaped praise on Mariano Rivera for his Hall of Fame career during Monday's All-Star media day, the Red Sox closer declared that he deserves to be the American League's ninth-inning man at Yankee Stadium Tuesday.

    "If I was managing the team, I would close," Papelbon said. "I'm not managing the team, so it don't matter."

    Papelbon, though, seemed to believe that Boston's championship a year ago not only ensured Terry Francona's place as the American League manager, but him being the closer.

    "We've both earned that right; us, by winning the World Series and having the opportunity of having our manager there and our team being represented, and Mariano by what he's done for this role, we're in Yankee Stadium and blah, blah, blah," Papelbon said. "It's not that easy. Everybody thinks it's a cut and dry answer, but it's not."

    Francona, meanwhile, was coy when asked about his ninth-inning plans.

    "Out of the spirit of the game and competition, and having a little bit of fun, we're not going to announce the rest of our rotation yet," Francona said, saying he didn't want to give the NL any help by disclosing his plans.

    When the subject of who should close out the game for the AL tonight was broached, Rivera respectfully tabbed himself as the most worthy candidate.

    "It's definitely tough, but we're here in Yankee Stadium. I think I should get the shot," Rivera said. "I definitely would love to. Knowing Francona, I have a feeling he'll put me there if we have the opportunity to close the game."

    Rivera's career accomplishments easily trump those of the other five closers on the AL roster, but the Yankees' All-Star could make a case for the closer's job tonight based solely on his numbers from this season.

    Rivera is 23-for-23 in save opportunities, allowing just one run in those games. Baltimore's George Sherrill leads the AL with six blown saves, while Papelbon (4), the Angels' Francisco Rodriguez (3), Minnesota's Joe Nathan (2) and Kansas City's Joakim Soria (2) each have blemishes on their record. Rivera's 1.06 ERA is the lowest of the six relievers, and his four walks are less than half of his closest competitor.

    Asked if Francona would make it out of the Bronx alive if he didn't use Rivera in the ninth, Papelbon said, "You're starting to scare me with that question. Do you have the mob after him or something?"

    After his 50-minute media session, Papelbon backtracked on his statements, telling the Boston Globe that he had had a change of heart after answering questions on the subject for the better part of an hour.

    Papelbon grabbed the Boston reporter's tape recorder, held it to his mouth and said, "This is Jonathan Papelbon, closer of the Boston Red Sox. Mariano Rivera will be closing the 2008 All-Star Game in Yankee Stadium. I'm making a statement right now, saying I don't want it, I want him to have it. I said all that earlier, but that's the way I feel about it."

    While Papelbon may have been torn over who should close the game, he was in the vast minority. Rodriguez, who has an MLB-best 35 saves, considers himself the top closer in the game ("Who's got the most numbers?" he said. "The most saves?"), but he also praised Rivera.

    "He's one of the greatest closers of all time," Rodriguez said. "This is Yankee Stadium, so it won't surprise me to see him pitch the ninth. He's amazing. It seems like it's not an effort for him and he's still so dominating."

    "I've always said he's the guy we need to look up to," Nathan said. "I don't think there's going to be anybody in this room that doesn't think he should be the guy in the ninth inning."

    The Mets' Billy Wagner, who might handle closing duties for the NL, was surprised there was even a question who would close for the AL.

    "Mo's the best closer in the game," Wagner said. "Yankee Stadium probably crumbles if Mo doesn't go out there for the ninth."

    Rivera said he wouldn't be disappointed if he was passed over in the ninth, but he made it clear how much it would mean for him to get the ball for the final All-Star inning in the Stadium's illustrious history.

    "It would be an honor to have an opportunity to close this game at Yankee Stadium," Rivera said. "I hope we have the opportunity to be ahead and I have the chance to close the game. The experience, it would be special."


    eh...chalk it up to youthfulness, but how selfish is Papelbon? Especially when Mo is having a better season than him?
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    I hope the NL wins 20-0 so this silly business becomes moot.
  3. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Or it's a 1-0 game and he uses Soria or Nathan.
  4. KP

    KP Active Member

    Of course Rivera is going to pitch the 9th, and it shouldn't just be because the game is at Yankee Stadium, he's been the best all year. But if I'm a closer that gets selected I want to be the guy.
  5. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Though I agree that Papelbon does come off as selfish, it was actually Rivera who started this crap. Rivera should pitch the ninth, but he shouldn't be lobbying for it ahead of time.
  6. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    "Saves" is a silly stat, IMO, but if closers are all about the "save", wouldn't you use the guy who is obliterating the season record this year for saves?
  7. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    I don't recall seeing anywhere that Rivera has been lobbying for the closer role in this game. Do have a link for that?
  8. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    This is a good example of the recurring misconception that athletes are actively promoting their opinions when, nine times out of 10, they're just answering a question posed to them by a writer.

    A red flag goes up whenever I read about a player "lobbying," "whining" or "complaining."
  9. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    Let's make a deal: If Rivera stepdances out to the mound from the bullpen, I'm cool (and I'm sure Pap would be, too) with him taking the ninth.
  10. Ashy Larry

    Ashy Larry Active Member

    funny....the Boston Herald didn't seem to think Papelbon was being a baby.


    Headline is:Jonathan Papelbon tips his cap to Mariano Rivera
  11. Oz

    Oz Active Member

    Not to mention Joakim Soria, who easily trumps Papelbon's numbers this season.
  12. KP

    KP Active Member

    The comments to that story are certainly interesting.

    BTW Bradford (Felger as well) will soon be heading over to weei.com
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