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Friday, November 11, 2011

You Will Never See Anything Like Him Again: Jonathan Papelbon

I’m not saying that the Red Sox cannot replace Jonathan Papelbon’s production going forward, but I am saying that what he did for them (us) was incredible. With a 197 ERA+ for his career, a 1.00 ERA in the playoffs, Paps was just about as close to perfect for the Sox as a closer can be. Add to that the fake intense face, the dancing, the goofy Ricky Bobby persona, and you’ve got one of the most memorable Red Sox ever. Thanks for the memories.

Darren Posted: November 11, 2011 at 09:56 PM | 62 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dave Cyprian Posted: November 11, 2011 at 10:15 PM (#3991389)
Congrats to Pap for winning his year-to-year contract gamble, and he will be missed.
   2. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 11, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3991415)
Darren - agreed. One of the things I love about Papelbon is I don't think he's as dumb as he is perceived. Oh I don't think he goes in for the book learnin' but I think he's well aware of how his public persona makes him popular.

So many great moments in his career. Wasn't his MLB debut the day at the deadline in 2005 that Manny was surprisingly yanked right before first pitch leading all of us to think he was being traded? Then at the end of that year he had a huge multi-inning relief appearance in Toronto that Ortiz won in extras with an HR I think. And of course 2007 was sensational. His work in game seven of the ALCS gets lost but to retire Hafner, Mrtinez and Garko all representing the tie run in the eighth was electrifying.

Glad he's headed to the Phillies, I've always liked them so rooting for him will be easy.
   3. Darren Posted: November 11, 2011 at 10:50 PM (#3991425)
One of my fondest memories of him came early in 2007. he came in in the eight with 1 out, 2 on, vs. Texas, and got two outs, with no runs scoring, including K'ing Michael Young on a high fastball.

Loved that multi-inning appearance you mentioned too.

If he stays healthy, he is going to put up some ridiculous numbers in the NL.
   4. dirk Posted: November 11, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#3991441)
well said in the intro, darren. i won't miss the silly faces, but his performance won't be topped any time soon. paps was nails.
   5. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 11, 2011 at 11:09 PM (#3991443)
I will take the 2 draft picks
   6. Darren Posted: November 11, 2011 at 11:17 PM (#3991449)
The best thing about the dancing was that it came before the World Series. He just didn't care about tempting fate or looking like a fool if they lost in the playoffs. He just went ahead after that and was perfect.
   7. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: November 11, 2011 at 11:21 PM (#3991453)
My favorite Papelbon memory was his last game, because I was there. :-)

MUWAHAHAHAH! YANKEEZ ROOL!
   8. Srul Itza Posted: November 11, 2011 at 11:30 PM (#3991457)
If he stays healthy, he is going to put up some ridiculous numbers in the NL.


Why? The big difference between the two is pitching to DH's vs. pitching to pitchers. How many closers in the NL get to face pitchers?
   9. Guapo Posted: November 12, 2011 at 12:22 AM (#3991481)
You Will Never See Anything Like Him Again


If you sign up for mlb.tv, you should be able to watch the Phillies games. I don't think you're in a blackout area.
   10. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: November 12, 2011 at 12:27 AM (#3991485)
Our long national nightmare is over! Very happy to see him go. Games will be so much easier to watch next year.

Good luck, Philly. You will need it.
   11. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: November 12, 2011 at 12:32 AM (#3991488)
Good luck, Philly. You will need it.


Pretty sure the Red Sox are much more in need of luck than the Phillies.
   12. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: November 12, 2011 at 12:35 AM (#3991491)
I have to admit, Papelbon being gone takes just a little more air out of the rivalry. If Ortiz is gone too...
   13. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: November 12, 2011 at 12:45 AM (#3991494)
Beating Papelbon was always special, because he was so damn good (really, he was). In his honor, I will now list my five favorite instances of the Yankees actually beating him.

4)June 3, 2005: Alex Rodriguez hits a tie-breaking, ninth inning solo homer to the opposite field over the short wall at Fenway.
3)July 6, 2008: Brett Gardner hits a walkoff 70 hopper worm-burner up the middle.
2)May 17, 2010: A-Rod hits a game tying homer, then Marcus Thames wallops a walkoff a few pitches later.
1)August, 2006: Derek Jeter flares a duckfart into right field in Game 4 of the 2006 Boston Massacre, tying the game with two outs and two strikes. Yankees would win it in extras.
   14.     Hey Gurl Posted: November 12, 2011 at 12:50 AM (#3991497)

Why? The big difference between the two is pitching to DH's vs. pitching to pitchers. How many closers in the NL get to face pitchers?


You mean now that La Russa's retired?
   15. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 12, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#3991502)
[13] You said you'd list 5 but only listed 4.
   16. Darren Posted: November 12, 2011 at 01:23 AM (#3991521)
2)May 17, 2010: A-Rod hits a game tying homer, then Marcus Thames wallops a walkoff a few pitches later.


I remember this vividly. It was so maddening, so incomprehensible. Arod really crushed a good pitch on that one.
   17. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: November 12, 2011 at 02:22 AM (#3991544)
15. thats how good he was...i couldnt think of a fifth....
   18. The Well-Tempered Javier Vasquez (loungehead) Posted: November 12, 2011 at 02:43 AM (#3991562)
This game is, I think, my most painful memory with Papelbon. I worked second shift at the time and was following the game on Gameday. As I left work the Red Sox had a rather comfortable 5-run lead. I got home in time to watch Papelbon give up three straight hits to cap a single-inning 6-run Yankee rally.

Also, Okajima really sucked that game.
   19. Darren Posted: November 12, 2011 at 03:13 AM (#3991579)
How about some good Pap memories now?
   20. The Well-Tempered Javier Vasquez (loungehead) Posted: November 12, 2011 at 03:25 AM (#3991588)
Such as the pickoff of Matt Holliday during game 2 of the the '07 Series? The think the announcers were talking about how Rockies were going to be able to run freely on Papelbon just before it happened. I don't know much the facts back up what they were saying (I had never see Papelbon pick someone off before, but I don't get to watch many Red Sox games), but it made for a really good time.
   21. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 12, 2011 at 03:38 AM (#3991598)
How about some good Pap memories now?
Far as I'm concerned, this thread has been nothing but good Pap memories. His last appearance in a playoff game for the Red Sox was a good one too.
   22. tfbg9 Posted: November 12, 2011 at 03:53 AM (#3991608)
Pap's high-ish fastball which resulted in the swing and miss that ended the 2007 WS was pure beauty. Just perfect.
   23. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 12, 2011 at 03:59 AM (#3991615)
Regardless of how one feels about Paps, I think we can make two statements which are not mutually exclusive:

1) Papelbon certainly won the arbitration, year-to-year gamble. By taking the gamble, he probably picked up, what, close to $5 million extra in salary over his Red Sox career, and got to free agency a couple years earlier than he would've in a Pedroia/Lester/Youkilis-type deal. Good for him.

2) I think the Red Sox will be happy they did not sign him to this kind of money by year three of the contract. I mean, how many guys have been able to keep this level of effectiveness up through their 10th year of relief pitching? And, if the Sox were going to have to spend $12-$13m a year to keep him, wouldn't that be better spent on quality starting pitching? I'm cool with making Bard the closer, and preparing to redirect the money coming off the books this off-season towards true blue-chip players in the lineup and the starting rotation...even if it means not spending all that money this off-season because of a lack of blue-chip players available...
   24. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 12, 2011 at 04:03 AM (#3991619)
It wasn't pretty but the Sunday night game against Tampa where he loaded the bases with no outs and a one run lead then went struck out the side to end it. I'm drunk right now so there may have been a pop up in there.

That Texas game was a doozy.
   25. villageidiom Posted: November 12, 2011 at 04:28 AM (#3991640)
Such as the pickoff of Matt Holliday during game 2 of the the '07 Series? The think the announcers were talking about how Rockies were going to be able to run freely on Papelbon just before it happened. I don't know much the facts back up what they were saying (I had never see Papelbon pick someone off before, but I don't get to watch many Red Sox games), but it made for a really good time.
Supposedly Papelbon hadn't thrown a pickoff attempt in 2007 prior to that. And Boston's advance scouts had picked up that Holliday likes to stretch his lead a little bit with two outs, so they figured they had a good shot at it.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: November 12, 2011 at 04:47 AM (#3991655)
1) Papelbon certainly won the arbitration, year-to-year gamble. By taking the gamble, he probably picked up, what, close to $5 million extra in salary over his Red Sox career, and got to free agency a couple years earlier than he would've in a Pedroia/Lester/Youkilis-type deal. Good for him.


Yes he bet on himself and won. But I don't think the gamble was as big as it was made out by writers who thought he was stupid not to take whatever team-friendly deals were offered to him.
   27. Darren Posted: November 12, 2011 at 05:30 AM (#3991686)
We don't know what the offers were, but based on what Pedroia, Lester, and Buc have signed, I'd bet it was somewhat modest and had options well into his free-agent period. Then again, a long-term deal would have given Pap assurance that the Sox were doing their best to keep him healthy long-term.
   28. Joel W Posted: November 12, 2011 at 05:33 PM (#3991823)
That pick off is a great memory. I will remember Papelbon in a way that people remember Rivera. Not because he's as good obviously, but because I remember thinking in 2005 "he has one pitch and it doesn't even look that special." I remembered thinking it would start getting hit, that he couldn't be this good for this long, and then...hitters just kept swinging and missing. Every single damn time they'd just swing under the damn thing. I'd scream at the TV for him to throw a splitter or something, and he'd keep throwing that fastball, and, well, 5 years later somebody thought he was worth $50 million. Good for him.
   29. Chip Posted: November 12, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#3991837)
Will be interesting to see, now that he's gotten his payday, if he goes back to babying the shoulder with arm slot changes and refusal to throw breaking pitches for multiple appearances in a row. Because there's always another payday down the line.
   30. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 12, 2011 at 06:37 PM (#3991870)
I have to admit, Papelbon being gone takes just a little more air out of the rivalry. If Ortiz is gone too...


I've been reading this sort of thing quite a bit lately, and I just don't follow. The rivalry is the rivalry because it goes back pretty much to the founding of the American League. Did the air go out of the rivalry after the 1908 season, when Jack Chesbro left the Yankees and Cy Young left the Red Sox? Yankee fans still have Youkilis and Beckett to hate; Red Sox fans can still rag on A-Rod and Jeter.
   31. Darren Posted: November 12, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#3991875)
That pick off is a great memory. I will remember Papelbon in a way that people remember Rivera. Not because he's as good obviously....


No, of course not. He's better so far.
   32. tfbg9 Posted: November 12, 2011 at 07:20 PM (#3991901)
#29: Skipppy's making things up again.
   33. Chip Posted: November 12, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3991917)
Papelbon tweaking delivery for long haul

This subject has been widely discussed here over the years. Guess you weren't reading, or comprehending.
   34. TomH Posted: November 12, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3991933)
If he stays healthy, he is going to put up some ridiculous numbers in the NL.

Why? The big difference between the two is pitching to DH's vs. pitching to pitchers. How many closers in the NL get to face pitchers?


This brings up an interesting analytical point, which should be dealt with when predicting ERA for pitchers switching leagues:

Do closers have a different league-swapping effect on their stats, since part of the AL/NL difference is the DH/notDH, and closers in general face very few pitchers batting? Has anyone researched this?
   35. tfbg9 Posted: November 12, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#3991944)
and refusal to throw breaking pitches for multiple appearances in a row.


The article does not support this. It says at one point he was using fastballs 81% of the time. And neither does it confirm your slander that Papelbon consciously made the decision to pitch in a manner more geared towards his own financial security than for helping win games for the Red Sox.

Like I said...you make things up.
   36. Textbook Editor Posted: November 12, 2011 at 08:47 PM (#3991972)
I'm more than fine with letting him walk if keeping him required the deal Philly just signed him for.

The pivot from Madson to Papelbon in 36 hours when supposedly the team had a deal in place for Madson is... interesting. Will be fun to hear the story there. Have always liked Madson, but suspect the Red Sox will just go with Bard as closer, unless Cherington has Bell/Madson in mind with Bard getting shipping in some mega-deal for a starter or something.
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 12, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#3992014)
The Holliday pickoff and the Texas shutdown (I remember watching that in a bar, completely exhausted from my bachelor party) were the two Papelbon memories that came to me.

I think his 2006 is an underrated super-fun season. Guy just started dominating the league from day 1. You don't see that happen much in this game.

The Red Sox have, in my estimation of things, $25-30M to spend this offseason. I can't claim to be terribly disappointed they're not spending half of it on Papelbon. But there are also worse ways of spending 4/50 than on Jonathan Papelbon, so I'm leaving my opinion open to revision until I see what they do with their money.
   38. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM (#3992078)
The Red Sox have, in my estimation of things, $25-30M to spend this offseason.


This struck me as a bit odd with Papelbon, ORtiz and Drew coming off the books, so I checked over at Cot's expecting to see a bunch of arb-eligibles that I'd assumed weren't arb-eligible yet. What I found out instead was that Crawford and Gonzalez will cost $20M more in 2012 than they did in 2011. Wow. Still, would paying Papelbon $0.5M more than they did in 2011 really have broken the bank?
   39. Meramec Posted: November 13, 2011 at 01:33 AM (#3992268)
Such as the pickoff of Matt Holliday

Apparently that's not hard to do...

It surprises me that so many Red Sox fans have great memories of the guy and yet are happy to see him go. Does it matter that much to fans how much money a team spends on players? Do we enjoy a guy more if his salary-to-WAR ratio is low? I mean, do we think this contract is an albatross for Philly? Surely he's got at least a couple more great years in him and any nitpicking on contract is at the margins? It's not Vernon Wells territory here.

I would be sad as a fan to lose a player like this, but it appears many in Boston are happy with the two draft picks? Maybe I am not looking at this the right way.
   40. Darren Posted: November 13, 2011 at 01:42 AM (#3992276)
Have you read anything else at this site? :) Every transaction that is discussed on this site takes into account the salary involved. It's part of being a fan these days. People have enjoyed Papelbon but they recognize that there might be better values out there, which would allow the Red Sox to win more games given their budget.
   41. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 13, 2011 at 01:50 AM (#3992282)
But there are also worse ways of spending 4/50 than on Jonathan Papelbon, so I'm leaving my opinion open to revision until I see what they do with their money.


True, but we allready have Lackey under contract anyway.
   42. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 13, 2011 at 02:04 AM (#3992293)
It surprises me that so many Red Sox fans have great memories of the guy and yet are happy to see him go. Does it matter that much to fans how much money a team spends on players? Do we enjoy a guy more if his salary-to-WAR ratio is low? I mean, do we think this contract is an albatross for Philly? Surely he's got at least a couple more great years in him and any nitpicking on contract is at the margins? It's not Vernon Wells territory here.


I never understand this POV. Do I care how much the Red Sox spend? - No, not really. But I understand that they AREN'T going to spend Yankee level infinity dollars. So knowing that they are only going to spend about X, I care what we get back for that.
If you ask me on opening day, would I rather have the team that they have, or the same team plus Papelbon, it would be a no brainer. But that's not the choice. If having Papelbon means they miss out on signing one of Wilson/Darvish/Jackson/Buehrle etc, I would not be happy about having Papelbon, since I think SP are both better bets than closers, and also represent a bigger need for the Sox right now.
   43. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 13, 2011 at 05:20 AM (#3992371)
It surprises me that so many Red Sox fans have great memories of the guy and yet are happy to see him go. Does it matter that much to fans how much money a team spends on players? Do we enjoy a guy more if his salary-to-WAR ratio is low? I mean, do we think this contract is an albatross for Philly? Surely he's got at least a couple more great years in him and any nitpicking on contract is at the margins? It's not Vernon Wells territory here.
Has anyone said they're happy to see Papelbon go? I'm sad to see him go.

But I also know that the Sox have a payroll limit. Something like $25-30M more, and they need two starting pitchers, a DH, and another good relief arm or two. I look at that problem, and spending $13M on a closer doesn't look like the best plan of action. The money needs to be spent as efficiently as possible, and I don't think a relief ace is the best use, especially when the Sox project to have a good reliever worthy of high-lev innings already on the roster.

I thought that all the memories here of Papelbon were reasonably clearly a way of saying goodbye to a guy we all really liked. I don't see any dancing on his grave or whatev. (other than fly, but fly is a crazy person.)
   44. Dale Sams Posted: November 13, 2011 at 05:30 AM (#3992377)
Has anyone said they're happy to see Papelbon go?


I think as a whole the Sox have the worst fanbase in baseball....but not around here.
   45. Toby Posted: November 13, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#3992460)
Personally, I am meh about Papelbon leaving. I was never really attached to him, but that's probably because he was a closer not a starter. I think I never really liked the way he bailed on being a starter. That, and I always got the sense with him that he was in Boston only temporarily and would bail as soon as he could. Lo and behold, he did.

Great pitcher, was glad to have him, never became emotionally invested in him.
   46. Textbook Editor Posted: November 13, 2011 at 03:14 PM (#3992472)
It's amusing to me that Phillies fans I have conversed with have almost uniformly celebrated the deal as a deal for a "proven closer" and who is (in their minds) loads better than Madson would be in that role. (For some reason rank-and-file Phillies fans just think Madson isn't good enough to close full-time... it's almost like because he's home-grown they distrust him or something.)

When I've tried to point out that they recently signed a "proven closer" to a 3-year deal that turned out to be a disaster (Lidge's extension from 2009-2011) as far as allocation of resources goes, they've basically shrugged and said the equivalent of "but Papelbon's got a killer fastball and Lidge got hurt." To which I've replied, "Exactly."

I would have been mad as hell had the Red Sox signed Papelbon to the deal the Phillies gave him, so in that sense I'm glad to see him go. But I also never thought he'd re-sign either, so the "meh" feeling for me is that I've thought for years he wouldn't be around after this year.
   47. Hugh Jorgan Posted: November 14, 2011 at 06:43 AM (#3992847)
It's amusing to me that Phillies fans I have conversed with have almost uniformly celebrated the deal as a deal for a "proven closer" and who is (in their minds) loads better than Madson would be in that role.

Well it'll be interesting to see how excited they are when Paps comes in to close a 3-2 game, walks the first guy and let's him go to 2nd on indifference, and the next batter hits a deep fly to left centre....THAT I won't miss.

Needless to say, Paps was good, but as mentioned above, with the choices on offer, would much rather spend the 13mil/per elsewhere. Would love to see some solid SP.
   48. RollingWave Posted: November 14, 2011 at 06:51 AM (#3992849)
2) I think the Red Sox will be happy they did not sign him to this kind of money by year three of the contract. I mean, how many guys have been able to keep this level of effectiveness up through their 10th year of relief pitching? And, if the Sox were going to have to spend $12-$13m a year to keep him, wouldn't that be better spent on quality starting pitching? I'm cool with making Bard the closer, and preparing to redirect the money coming off the books this off-season towards true blue-chip players in the lineup and the starting rotation...even if it means not spending all that money this off-season because of a lack of blue-chip players available...


Nah, 12-13 millions will be (literally) chump change 3 years from now anyway when the world economy goes down the abosalute shite pipe.
   49. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 14, 2011 at 08:41 AM (#3992869)
the abosalute shite pipe

Not a pipe I will be smoking...
   50. Dan Posted: November 14, 2011 at 09:36 PM (#3993369)
Papelbon's deal with the Phillies apparently includes a vesting option for a fifth year at 13 million. That officially pushes his deal into crazy town. It vests with 55 games finished in 2015 or 100 combined in 2014 and 2015.
   51. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 14, 2011 at 10:00 PM (#3993401)
Presumably if he is able to meet either of those vesting criteria the Phil's will be quite happy with the deal because it will mean he's effective and they are competitive. If those two things are not true the Phillies should be able to move him (like the Mets with K-Rod) or will simply move him out of the closing role depending on what the problem is.
   52. Textbook Editor Posted: November 14, 2011 at 10:01 PM (#3993402)
So then the deal would basically be 5/$63 million. Yup, I'm quite glad the Red Sox didn't pay that kind of money, even though I suspect the vesting option will get massaged to the point Papelbon doesn't wind up getting that 5th year.
   53. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 14, 2011 at 10:27 PM (#3993435)
I don't think the vesting option makes much difference. The reason you don't sign Jonathan Papelbon to a long-term deal is because of the risk he gets injured. If Papelbon's shoulder blows up, he won't be closing in 2015, so the vesting option is moot.

For me, that fifth-year option is only a very minor consideration. The big reason not to sign Papelbon is the worry about his health, particularly his shoulder's structural integrity, and the option is close to fully hedged against that. Guaranteed years three and four are the place where the club really takes on the risk of Papelbon's shoulder. For the Sox, the further reason not to match this contract is that the club doesn't have a lot of money to spend this offseason, and so they'd be getting relatively less value from the early seasons of the deal, which are supposed to be the team-favorable slice of the contract. Obviously the Sox have to spend the money well to make this choice a good one.

EDIT: I had talked about "opportunity cost" to signing Papelbon, but I edited it out because it's not quite the right term. The issue for the Sox is that they have limited resources, and the replacement level on the roster for leveraged relief innings is Bard/Aceves/Morales/Albers. The team also needs two starters, and the replacement level for those innings is Doubront/Weiland/Tazawa. The Sox will get more value for their free agent dollar if they go for starters - the idea I'm trying to express in the last couple sentences there is mostly about replacement level and relative value given the actually-existing Red Sox roster.
   54. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 14, 2011 at 10:54 PM (#3993459)
Has anyone said they're happy to see Papelbon go?


I think he generally wasn't appreciated enough. (And to forestall your next question, no, I don't have "proof," so feel free to disregard my comments.) He was a great, great reliever for the Red Sox, and generally succeeded in high profile situations, including in the precious "playoffs." I don't know what it would have taken for people to appreciate him, but I know he wasn't able to find it.
   55. Jim Wisinski Posted: November 14, 2011 at 10:55 PM (#3993461)
My favorite Papelbon memory is Dan Johnson's home run off him in 2008.
   56. Dan Posted: November 14, 2011 at 11:02 PM (#3993475)
I think Papelbon was appreciated early in his career, especially after 2007. People took him for granted after he had a few less amazing years. It probably doesn't help that he was on the mound to blow saves to send the Red Sox home for the winter in 2 of the last 3 seasons. That doesn't really leave a good impression over the winter months when your last memory of the guy's season is him being setup for a save to keep the season alive, and he blows it.
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 14, 2011 at 11:10 PM (#3993483)
I think he generally wasn't appreciated enough. (And to forestall your next question, no, I don't have "proof," so feel free to disregard my comments.) He was a great, great reliever for the Red Sox, and generally succeeded in high profile situations, including in the precious "playoffs." I don't know what it would have taken for people to appreciate him, but I know he wasn't able to find it.
I basically agree with all of this. Papelbon's numbers have been among the best in baseball over his career, and I think quite a few Sox fans have taken for granted that the club had a reliever of Papelbon's quality on the club. Bard is good, but he's not at Papelbon's level, and I think the odds are good that the Sox will lose more games after leading in the 8th over the next five years than they did over the last five.

I was just saying tha Meramec seemed to be suggesting that Sox fans who accepted Papelbon's leaving for the Phillies were happy to see him go, and I wanted to make a distinction between feeling Paps wasn't worth the contract and being happy about his departure.
   58. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 14, 2011 at 11:19 PM (#3993497)
I was just saying tha Meramec seemed to be suggesting that Sox fans who accepted Papelbon's leaving for the Phillies were happy to see him go, and I wanted to make a distinction between feeling Paps wasn't worth the contract and being happy about his departure.


Fair enough. I do think the truth is closer to "happy to see him go" than "not worth the contract."
   59. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 14, 2011 at 11:22 PM (#3993498)
Papelbon was also pretty clear in his public statements for several years that he wasn't really interested in an extension, and that would be exploring the free agent market. Most fans got the message and while I think most people enjoyed his excellence, it wasn't a big secret that he would probably be leaving once his contract was over. People didn't get too attached.
   60. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: November 14, 2011 at 11:26 PM (#3993505)
the precious "playoffs."

You're such a purist.
   61. Nasty Nate Posted: November 14, 2011 at 11:38 PM (#3993516)
I don't think there's any need to worry about Paps being under-appreciated, he was wildly popular amongst casual fans.
   62. Joel W Posted: November 15, 2011 at 07:05 AM (#3993764)
I think, with Mariano Rivera the constant exception, to be under-appreciated is the best compliment a closer can have. Most appearances for a great closer are forgettable, as they should be. It's only the high K/high walk guys that leave you with strong memories.

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