Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I’ve been having this reoccurring dream where Jonathan Papelbon leaps out from the bullpen, sprints all the way to the pitcher's mound, and pummels Billy Wagner to the ground while screaming, “Who’s your closer now?!”
And then I wake up in a cold sweat swinging my arms and legs frantically while yelling, “No Papelbon, no! We need him, you hack!” Needless to say, it has been pretty horrible.
For those of you who live under a rock (like me) Papelbon recently discussed his true feelings regarding Wagner with WEEI.com. To be more specific, Papelbon said, "What has he done? Has he pitched this year? Is he ready to pitch or is he not? I think our bullpen is good where we're at right now. Don't get me wrong, I guess you could always make it better. It's kind of like the [Eric] Gagne thing, I guess."
Firstly, Wagner’s agent is Bean Stringfellow. I thought this was a joke for a few days, but when I found out it was true I wanted to know who he killed to get that name. He must know the secret of life or something. I can only assume that he has passed this on to Wagner. Secondly, Paps thinks the bullpen is good where it is right now. Evidently he’s been dozing off too much during the games.
I can understand that Papelbon wants to protect the team dynamic. After all, the Boston bullpen is a tight bunch, but even Theo Epstein thinks Paps needs to shut up and pitch,
“I think Paps feels like he was misunderstood", Epstein said. “He’s not a Rhodes Scholar to begin with, obviously.” No, no he’s not.
Rhodes Scholar or not, Paps needs to realize that no one will soon take his position as Supreme Closer of the Baseball Universe. It’s sweet that he’s worried about the team chemistry, but what harm is there in bringing someone else in? Especially if they can help. I didn’t hear Papelbon complaining about any of the other players that were brought in recently. You can say the same thing about Victor Martinez or Alex Gonzalez. Where were you on those, Paps?! Plus, it’s clear Wagner has no intention of taking over. He said to the press recently that “the Red Sox have a great bullpen and I certainly don't want to come in and make it worse. I don't want to be a headache to anyone. I want to make it better." That’s just precious. Think of the potential to win Papelbon!
My dad told me on Tuesday night that he could tell I had become a true Red Sox fan because I was predicting our imminent doom before it even happened. I thought about arguing, then I thought about kicking him and running away. Unfortunately, I realized that not only is he too fast for me to run away from, but he’s right. We all sit around and say, “Oh we’re going to lose” and “Oh our bullpen sucks.” If we say it then it makes it acceptable. “Oh here comes another Red Sox loss.” Forget it you guys. How about we start supporting the win? Or maybe start seeing a therapist for our collective low self-esteem issues?
All I’m saying is that now I’m not surprised why Boston fans love Papelbon so much. He’s got the same mentality as the rest of Red Sox Nation: Don’t fix it because it’s totally not broken.
Now come on Paps, let Wagner join the Boston Bullpen Band.
Samantha Lewis is the author of "Hit Like a Girl". She is the Creative Director of Northshore Editorial in Salem, MA and can be followed on Twitter. She recently enjoyed the Torchwood:Children of Earth mini-series and she is totally unavailable, so stop sending me emails (guys and girls).