As you may have read last night, Jonathan Papelbon, well, he hates Philly. Here he is speaking to the Boston Globe:
Three days into the season, Jonathan Papelbon was still pulling things out of a box, getting his locker in order.
He had his Ric Flair action figure flexing on the shelf and a World Championship Wrestling belt hanging from up top.
He pulled out a pink “Nature Boy” robe, purple feathers fluttering out, Flair’s autograph in black magic marker on the back and hung it next to the belt.
The setup was essentially an upgraded version of the shrine to Flair that Dustin Pedroia made for himself in the Red Sox clubhouse in 2011 and, in a way, it made sense.
“The Red Sox are a part of who I am, man,” Papelbon said. “I don’t really feel much like a Phillie.
“Boston’s where I was born and raised. It’s kind of like that, you know. It’s the city you were born and raised in.”
“It’s been a tough transition over here,” Papelbon said. “I’m not going to lie. It’s been tough. Tough getting used to the way it is here. It’s two totally different organizations.
“The way they’re ran, the way they’re coached, the players that are on them. Two totally different styles of baseball. I don’t know if I can honestly tell you if I’m even used to it yet.”
“So if you ask me, what runs deep in you, the Red Sox still run deep in me. It’s where I’m from. It’s where I grew up, it’s who I became as a pitcher. So that will always stick with me no matter what.”
“I’ve never been embraced here, from day one,” Papelbon said after saving the Phillies’ 4-2 win over the Red Sox, narrowly avoiding catastrophe when Hanley Ramirez’s deep drive to left with the bases loaded in the eighth was caught by left fielder Ben Revere when off the bat it looked like it might be Ramirez’s second grand slam in two games.
“It’s not antagonizing,” he said. “It’s speaking the truth. When I get asked that question, I give you the truth.
“I don’t say anything to piss anybody off, piss the fans off, by any means. I’m honest, you know? I’m a Phillie right now. I play for the Phillies, but there’s a big part of my heart that lies with the Red Sox, you know what I mean?”
What a guy. He did, however, have nice things to say about his bullpen mates. So… there’s something.
I was holding off on posting Exhibit A last night because I was trying to confirm the little tip I got about Papelbon telling Jim Salisbury to “fuck off” and go back to his “dick-sucking hole.” And yep, that happened. Here’s audio we obtained– listen closely in the background, after the Rick Flair “Wooo!”:
“Gonna see some shit explode this year, brother. Fuck off, Salisbury. Go back to your dick-sucking hole… fuck… you’re standing in my face.”
You like how we pulled that Nature Boy lede full-circle? You don’t get this anywhere else. Full, 360 coverage here, baby.
It’s hard to tell if Papelbon was joking – you hear a laugh in the background – or if he was being serious. He seems to have a weird rapport with Salisbury. Last month, Salisbury did pushups at Bright House Field after losing a bet with Papelbon over Mississippi State football. So I think Papelbon may have been joking here. Still, you’re not gonna get this shit on CSN.
getting Hanley Ramirez to fly out a cold miserable night knocked down Hanley Ramirez’s sure-fire, go-ahead grand slam to end the eighth inning, Papelbon gave the Red Sox dugout his trademarked crotch grab. Not tonight, boys:
Classy guy. But honestly? We’d probably love him if the Phils were even halfway decent.
H/T to (@stunnerkline)