"Philadelphia has a cool feel to it, man,'' Papelbon says. "It's a vibe that the city produces. It makes you feel like you are in Paris. I've never been to Paris, but I've seen it in a lot of movies. I think [Philadelphia] is going to be a great place to live."
"When I walk down the street [in Philadelphia], everyone is nice. They say hi, and then they let you do your business," says Papelbon, who grew up in Baton Rouge, La. "In the other city, the people get up in your face a lot more and want to talk about baseball, the team and how you are going to do. It's more easy-going in Philadelphia.''
"I'm glad it was the Phillies, man,'' Papelbon says. "I like the way they play. I never really thought about the money. I was thinking more the team and the opportunity.''
"Every athlete wants to try (to make amends),'' Papelbon said, "But it was time for me to go. All good things must come to an end. So I moved on.''
SI.com - Gone from 'other city,' Papelbon embraces new surroundings
I'm too lazy to Google it, but I'm willing to bet that this was the first time, and will be the last time, that anyone compares Philadelphia to Paris.
I imagine a handful people out there will take exception to his "other city" comments. I think we all can agree that Philly isn't some laid-back, easy-going town. It may be the one place in America that's more sports insane than Boston. So if people are leaving him alone and letting him antique in peace in the streets of Philadelphia (and make no mistake about it, Paps is definitely an antiquer), it's only because they don't quite know who he is yet. Give it a year. After a blown save he won't be able to show his face in Starbucks without 16 people trying to throw hot cups of coffee in his face. Hell, this was the fanbase that booed him in his first appearance in Philly. The love won't last.
And for Papelbon to utter the statement that he never thought about the money is laughable. It was always about the money with him. One of the reasons we respected him (and, ultimately, knew the day would come that he'd head out of town) was that he never pretended it was about anything else. The Phillies threw a lot of money at him. Boston didn't attempt to match or beat. That was that.
But Papelbon talking out of his ass isn't anything new. We were able to enjoy it for several years, and now that we're no longer in on the joke (and, at times, are the butt of the joke), it's a little grating. The other half of the Papelbon experience is that he's one hell of a closer. That's something else that hasn't changed with his shift to the NL. He has 9 saves through 12 games with 13 K's an ERA of 3.00 while holding batters to a .190 BAA. In comparison, the current Red Sox closer Aflredo Aceves has pitched in 13 games, but only has 5 saves with an ERA of 6.39 while batters are hitting .265 off of him. He does have 4 more strikeouts than Papelbon, so there's that.
I've been flip-flopping on the 'The Sox should've re-signed Papelbon' issue. We don't know yet what type of player Bailey is going to be, beyond injury-prone. He may be just as effective in the 9th. But this team is simply too flawed. With each loss it's becoming more and more apparent that the Sox are destined to watch the 2012 playoffs from home. Depositing several millions of dollars in Papelbon's bank account wouldn't have changed that fate.
Photo: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
On Page 2, will the real Bobby Valentine please stand up
If ever an opportunity screamed for Bobby V to be Bobby V, this was it. Yank Beckett from his start, a la Jimy Williams after Pedro Martinez showed up late to the park in 1999 (when, incidentally, Martinez was the best pitcher on the planet).
Make it abundantly clear that such behavior is unacceptable. Levy a fine. Short-sheet his bed. Do something.
Instead we got this: “I’ve never seen a pitcher get hurt playing golf.”
It just continues a curious pattern of sedation. We’ve awaited Valentine’s transformation into the “monster that breathes fire” he insisted he was not at his introductory press conference. But it hasn’t happened.
When he caught heat for questioning Kevin Youkilis [stats]’s desire, he backed down. When Dustin Pedroia [stats] stuck up for Youkilis by saying “that’s not the way we do things here,” Valentine would’ve been justified, as the boss, in benching his fiery second baseman. It wouldn’t have been a popular move, but it would have sent a clear message.
But maybe Valentine simply isn’t that guy. Or maybe he hasn’t been empowered to be that guy. Either way, the season is on the verge of tumbling into the abyss.
Herald - Light ’em up, Bobby Valentine
Terry Francona was too laid back to manage this ballclub. There wasn't nearly enough skulls being cracked under his watch. Bobby Valentine was going to change all that. This was going to be a complete 180 from the Tito regime.
......and we're still waiting.
I don't know how much of this dreadful season I'm comfortable laying at the feet of Bobby V. After September's collapse, I expected the Sox veterans to come out guns blazing. That never happened, minus a select few.
The question that needs to be answered: Is this Sox squad simply indifferent to the Win column, or has Bobby still not figured out where the motivation button lies with the team? Maybe a little from Column A, and a little from Column B.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Johnny Damon finds new home |Josh Beckett, Red Sox off course | At least they've been a relief | Globe - Last chance for Clay Buchholz? | Indians - and fans - let Beckett have it at Fenway | Paper bag-wearing fan at Red Sox game a Twitter sensation | CSNNE -McAdam: Defiant, unapologetic . . . and clueless | ESPN -Derek Lowe up to his old tricks | Breaking down Buchholz | WEEI - Cherington: Beckett 'always accountable' | One season later, Red Sox have yet to fix their clubhouse culture