Jonathan Papelbon said many things yesterday, the most notable of which was his (patronizing?) comment that he would bet on the Phillies to win it all: “If I was a gambling man, I’d take us to go all the way.”
If I was a gambling man, I’d bet on Paplebon to be gone by the deadline. But tomato, tomahto, right?
“When it’s a day game in New York and you’re 12 games behind, that dial ain’t really turned up. That ain’t really how I go. I’m sure velocity has something to do with that, but you know I don’t feel like I was at my healthiest I could have been last year and I had to grind through some things here and there.”
Paps is the soup du jour today, because yesterday he was the guy the Phillies rolled out for their daily press junket ‘neath a palm tree. It’s a Clearwater tradition, doling out small media nuggets each day. It used to be fun – like when the Four Aces and Joe Blanton met with the assembled media – but now it’s just sad. Here’s some of the coverage of Paps:
When asked if he was blaming Manuel, Papelbon didn’t exactly remove blame.
“When Charlie was here there was already a set environment. There was already a set way of things to do,” he said. “And they were winning. Then all of a sudden it hits rock bottom. Literally within a year you start losing. So I think that just took on a whole life of its own. Not that I didn’t buy into it. I bought right in. But two years, you lose 100 games a year almost . . .”
When asked what is different this year, Papelbon followed up. “Because I think we have different personnel in place,” he said. “I think we have a whole new team, a whole new group of guys, a new manager, new guys in the bullpen. It is different.”
Getting rid of Joe Savery and replacing him with Brad Lincoln was the difference between 100 losses and a berth in October.
It is wonderful for our business when a guy like Papelbon comes along. When he talks and says what is on his mind, we often run out and put big banner headlines on it. The man is certainly not dull.
But the dilemma here for both Papelbon and the Phillies is can he toe the line and still be true and honest to himself at the same time? Can you be outspoken and still be a good teammate if a team is going poorly? Can you be critical and avoid finger pointing and appearing to be selfish?
Meanwhile, Domonic Brown, who often resembles a drunken colt when tracking fly balls, is drinking the good juice, too. He told Jeff Skversky:
World Series! Best outfielder in the game! It’s gonna be a fun season.