Jonathan Papelbon on WEEI in Boston this week talking about how he “loved it” when the Red Sox won the World Series and why the Phillies’ clubhouse is nothing like Boston’s (I’m assuming he means the 2013 iteration, not the 2011 clubhouse where everybody got drunk and that Paps walked into after the Sox’s playoff aspirations wound up in left field at Camden Yards):
“I watched every game of the World Series, every inning, every pitch. I loved it, man. I was calling pitches when Koji was in there — you know how you do when you’re watching games, ‘He’s going to go to this,’ or ‘He’s going to go to that.’ I tell you what, I was pulling for them,” Papelbon said. “I knew, I don’t want to say this now, but I knew they were going to win. I knew what that clubhouse was like. I knew what was probably going on before the games, how it was, I knew what kind of leadership they had over there with David and Dustin. I just knew, if I was a betting man, I would have bet on them. But I’m not a betting man. I was happy for them. Dustin’s one of my best friends in the game. I couldn’t have been happier.”
And why the Phillies didn’t do that:
“On our team, I honestly believe we have more talent than any other roster out there. But if you don’t take that talent and mesh it together, figure out each others’ little pros and cons and figure out how to make a 25-man roster form into one, nothing will work. I don’t care how much you spend or how many guys you have in the bullpen or how many starters you have and it just doesn’t work,” said Papelbon. “Look at the Red Sox last year. John [McDonald] will probably tell you the moment he walked into the Red Sox clubhouse there was an entirely different feel from when he left Philly. I’m not putting those words in John’s mouth by any means, but when you have a group of guys who go for 162 games plus spring training plus the playoffs, you have to have each other’s backs and know what he’s going to do before the next guy from you is going to do before he does it.”
“I was a new guy coming into the Philadelphia clubhouse. Coming into a new clubhouse, you tend to watch more than you speak. I will say this, I came from a clubhouse where it was in your face, it was, ‘This is how we’re going to do it. We’re going to yell at each other and when we don’t do what we’re expected of, we’re going to let you know.’ That’s kind of the way I was groomed into being a baseball player,” Papelbon said. “Then I go to Philadelphia and it wasn’t necessarily that way, and I know that I’ve gotten a bad rap, some of the guys will say I’m not a good clubhouse guy because I’ll get upset and I’ll say something, but I’ve always said what’s on my mind. I don’t think I’ve ever shied away from my beliefs. But I think some of it reporters in Philly maybe take a little bit different because I was used to saying that, hey, this is how I feel, we’re not winning and I’m not happy.”
For all I know, Papelbon is 100% right about the Phillies’ clubhouse, and from afar, there appears to be a serious gel deficiency. But man… he needs to stop talking, unless it’s about his declining strikeout rate and velocity.
Audio here (around 21:00). Bonus John McDonald audio, too, where he echoes Paps’ sentiments.
H/T to reader Chris