Thursday, March 22, 2007

So, Papelbon's Closing Again in Boston

I had planned on giving my take on this, but PeteAbe said it best:

Tony La Russa drives in a straighter line than the Red Sox.

In August, Theo Epstein stood on the field at Fenway Park making excuses
that he couldn’t have a payroll like the uber team Yankees. Two months later
they were spending money wildly to get Daisuke Matsuzaka, Julio Lugo and J.D.

Then we heard that the best thing for Jonathan Pabelbon’s sore
shoulder was to start. Terry Francona swore at the start of spring training that
he would never use him to close. It has to be about protecting the kid’s future,
he said.

Now Pabelbon is the closer again. The party line out of Fort
Myers is that he asked to close. Oh, well that makes perfect sense. I’m sure the
medical reasons will just go away. Perhaps Manny will ask to play

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 7:53 PM   8 comments


At 3/23/2007 11:18 AM, Blogger Rex Banner said...

I don't know why they took him out of the pen to begin with. Why mess with a good thing? Can you imagine how Mo would have turned out if he tried starting again after 96?

At 3/23/2007 2:30 PM, Blogger Mr. Faded Glory said...

They were concerned that pitching every day would be detrimental to his long term health, as he's got a bum shoulder.

At 3/25/2007 9:33 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

I thought I heard it wasn't a long-term thing. I think part of the deal is Paps will close until Timlin is closer to 100%. It's not outrageous for him to close again this year, especially since he was so 'lights out' last year. Also, it's not that uncommon for a player-situation to change in the Spring. You're right, Tito said he wouldn't close with Paps earlier in the Spring, but that doesn't really make him a bad person/manager for changing his mind for the betterment of the team once the pitching staff was further evaluated. And if Paps is just filling in at the closer spot until someone else is available that's not so bad health wise.

At 3/27/2007 5:13 AM, Blogger Eklof 22 said...

''Terry Francona swore at the start of spring training that
he would never use him to close.''

That never, ever happened.
Papelbon's shoulder just needed a rest, and he has followed a strict off season regime to build it up. He's a big, strong kid, he'll be fine, and good for 35-40 saves at the backend of the best rotation in the AL.

At 3/27/2007 1:06 PM, Blogger Mr. Faded Glory said...

Eklof, I'm going to bet you're a Red Sox fan. Going out on a limb simce you claim that the "best rotation in the AL" is Mt. Schilling, unproven Matsuzaka who looks identical to Igawa so far, Josh Beckett, who nearly set the ML record for HR allowed last season, Tim Wakefield who is always good for a lot of innings and an ERA around 5, and Julian flippin' Tavarez. That is no where near close to the best rotation in the AL.

Francona did in fact say a number of times that Papelbon was not going to close. Also, Papelbon

At 3/28/2007 6:43 AM, Blogger Eklof 22 said...

Mr Faded G, Francona never 'swore' Papelbon wouldn't close again, as you wrote.

Yup, Red Sox fan. I would guess from your inane view of the Sox rotation you are a Yankee fan?

How does it feel to have Pavano as your opening day starter?


At 3/28/2007 1:15 PM, Blogger Mr. Faded Glory said...

I don't put a lot of stock into who starts one particular game out of 162. If they had time to set the rotation it would be Mussina, but it is what it is. It will be nice to see how Pavano handles it.

As for the Red Sox, they in no way have the best rotation in the AL. I mean, it's not even close. I can't fathom how you can make that argument. I am not under the delusion that the Yankees rotation is the best in the AL.

At 3/28/2007 1:17 PM, Blogger Mr. Faded Glory said...

Mr Faded G, Francona never 'swore' Papelbon wouldn't close again, as you wrote.

I didn't write that. That's a direct quote from a beat writer who spoke with Francona. It's linked in my post.

If you need more proof on the organizational 180:

February 7, 2007:

While it's always been Papelbon's goal to be a starter, he doesn't believe every pitcher shares that dream. "There are a lot of pitchers I know whose goal it is to be a closer. Or to be a middle reliever," he said. "For me, my entire makeup is to be a starting pitcher. That's what I know. Since I've been in the Red Sox organization, I've been a starter until last year." - Jonathan Papelbon

March 22, 2007:

"I haven't been sleeping well because there's been that feeling deep down in my heart that I wanted to close," Papelbon said after the Phillies and Red Sox played to a 4-4 tie in 10 innings on Thursday. and "This is something I want to do for the rest of my career," he said. "It has nothing to do with Timlin's health or us not having a closer or my shoulder. I broke into the league as a closer. They drafted me as a closer. In college, I learned to pitch in the bullpen. It's where my heart is." - Jonathan Papelbon


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