Jonathan Papelbon Hath Seen No Leaders

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Somewhere, Jimmy Rollins just made a big frowny face.

Speaking yesterday to Mandy Housenick of the Allentown Morning Call, Jonathan Papelbon gave us our first real memorable quote – for better or worse – of the 2013 season:

“Since I've been here I haven't seen any leadership.”

“Every good team that I've been a part of has had a good core group of veterans and an influx of a good group of young guys and I think that's a recipe for success. But at the same time, that doesn't mean we're going to have success. In my opinion, this team has way more to lose than to prove. I think a lot of guys on this team have proved a lot. But I think this year if we don't go out and do what we're capable [of] and supposed to do, then we have a lot more to lose.”


Well, he’s not wrong.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Papelbon signing, but he surprised me last year. He was one of the few guys on the team you could count on to do his job, and do it well. His intensity wasn’t just some shtick (what it seemed like in Boston). Rather, it was a genuine disdain for losing not winning (those things are different). Without being too cliché, he seemed to take great pride in his craft. But while there are many things for which you can criticize the (2012) Phillies – chasing bad balls, poor fielding, bad bullpen – leadership, on a team with Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay et. al, isn’t on the top of most people's lists.

Papelbon didn’t put all of the blame on others, however:

“I felt like I could have been a little bit better leader than what I was, and I held back at some times. Hindsight's 20-20.”


Good stuff from Housenick, who has more quotes on the matter from Halladay and Charlie Manuel.


10 Responses

  1. the Phils starting line up cared more about getting their dick wet and cheating on their wives to care about the team

  2. And, the Philly PHAITHFULL come out swinging. Sadly, mainly because I somewhat agree with Paps, this will not be recieved well.
    Rollins needs to do one of two things. Either step down from his supposed ‘leader’ roll, or be a genuine leader and do what is best for the collective group. That means take yourself out of the leadoff spot, do something to make up for the half-step you lost in the field, and for the love of CHRIST, stop swinging at first pitches.
    That said, I never really considered the members of the Phillies core (Rollins, Howard, Ruiz, Utley, Hamels) to be leaders. Ruiz leads from behind the plate, but nobody is giving that spark that ignites the flame to produce the wins needed. It hasn’t been there since 2008. It’s just not there. And it needs to be, because it’s sad.
    End rant.

  3. I don’t know what Pap stands to gain from this but the unquestioned leader of this team is Chase Utley and the unquestioned leader of that pitching staff is Roy Halladay. Chase leads by example. Roy is mentoring Kyle Kendrick into a decent pitcher and has given his wisdom and workout routine to the rest of the staff. You can see his effect, especially in guys like Hamels.
    We’re not even 2 weeks in and the damn closer is throwing the entire teams lack of leadership under the bus…not cool Pap.

  4. i agree with FACE. not quite sure what papelbon is hoping to accomplish by openly stating this to the media. the fact that he has only been here 1 season doesnt help his cause either. however, i do agree with him to an extent. i also dont believe there is a true team leader. this team is lacking a fiery personality. i think a main reason this team underperformed in 2010 and 2011 is because i think they lacked that an emotional leader to say this is unacceptable. it seemed like there too many guys just going through the motions.

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