That’s a solid Ric Flair impression up top: Noted crazy person and part-time closer Jonathan Papelbon believes in his fellow bullpen residents. In fact, he believes in them so much, he’s found out who all of their spirit-animal pro wrestlers are. According to CSN:
“Papelbon is a pro wrestling aficionado. Over the last few weeks, he has given his mates in the bullpen nicknames to go along with pro wrestlers.
Diekman is Jake the Snake Roberts.
De Fratus is Goldust.
Giles is Diamond Dallas Page.
Martin is the Iron Sheik.
Hollands is Eddie Guerrero.
Mike Adams is The Hulk.
Antonio Bastardo is Rey Mysterio.
B.J. Rosenberg is Stone Cold.
Jeff Manship is Mankind.
Bullpen catchers Jesus Tiamo and Bob Stumpo are The Bushwhackers.
Bullpen coach Rod Nichols’ nickname is a classic — Vince McMahon.
Papelbon, of course, is Ric Flair. He enters games to a sound track of Flair’s booming voice at Citizens Bank Park.”
“I gave Diekman the nickname Jake the Snake,” Papelbon said. “When he takes the mound, I want to see Jake the Snake out there.
“When I take the mound, I don’t want Pap out there. I want Ric Flair out there.
Somewhere, Cinco Ocho is PISSED.
Papelbon, of course, considers himself the same as a man who is a 26-time World Champion, even if all 26 of those championships are fictional. The rest of those I’m not sure I see. Jake Diekman is Jake “The Snake” because of the whole Jake thing, sure. De Fratus as Goldust? Okay. Bastardo as Mysterio? We all know what he did there. The rest of them? Jeff Manship is from Texas, while Mankind is from the Boiler Room [Editor’s note: The Man thing, Jim. The Man thing.]. Ken Giles throws pretty hard, and DDP does yoga now. I can’t say I get it, but if I did, and my mind and Papelbon’s followed the same paths? That’d be more worrisome.
In other news: WWE SummerSlam Heatwave Tour is coming to Wildwood.