Former Red Sox and current Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, in an interview on WEEI’s Hot Stove show with Rob Bradford and guest co-host John McDonald (who played with Papelbon in Philadelphia in 2013 before getting traded to the Red Sox in August) on Thursday, said that he followed his former team’s postseason run enthusiastically. He suggested that he was unsurprised by his team’s ultimate success, both on the basis of the leadership provided by former teammates Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz as well as the dominance of Koji Uehara.
“I watched every game of the World Series, every inning, every pitch. I loved it, man. I was calling pitches when Koji was in there — you know how you do when you’re watching games, ‘He’s going to go to this’ or ‘He’s going to go to that.’ I tell you what, I was pulling for them,” said Papelbon. “I knew, I don’t want to say this now, but I knew they were going to win. I knew what that clubhouse was like. I knew what was probably going on before the games, how it was, I knew what kind of leadership they had over there with David and Dustin. I just knew, if I was a betting man, I would have bet on them. But I’m not a betting man. I was happy for them. Dustin’s one of my best friends in the game. I couldn’t have been happier.”
Papelbon is now connected in both Red Sox and baseball history with Uehara, as both pitchers have recorded the final out of the World Series for the Red Sox, with Papelbon and Uehara having accomplished the feat six years apart as the culmination of dominant postseasons. Papelbon described his colleague as having been a pivotal force in October. “I’m obviously biased. I thought he was the difference-maker and the reason why the Red Sox won the World Series. I truly do,” said Papelbon. “He did what he was supposed to do and put the team on his back. He was in that groove. He was just feeling it. As an athlete, when you start to feel that, it doesn’t really matter what you throw or what you do. You’re just going to be good. That was it.”
As for his current Phillies team, Papelbon suggested that clubhouse dynamics were responsible for preventing the team’s players from translating ability into success during a 73-89 2013 season.
“On our team, I honestly believe we have more talent than any other roster out there. But if you don’t take that talent and mesh it together, figure out each others’ little pros and cons and figure out how to make a 25-man roster form into one, nothing will work. I don’t care how much you spend or how many guys you have in the bullpen or how many starters you have and it just doesn’t work,” said Papelbon. “Look at the Red Sox last year. John [McDonald] will probably tell you the moment he walked into the Red Sox clubhouse there was an entirely different feel from when he left Philly. I’m not putting those words in John’s mouth by any means, but when you have a group of guys who go for 162 games plus spring training plus the playoffs, you have to have each other’s backs and know what he’s going to do before the next guy from you is going to do before he does it.”
Papelbon made similar claims during the season with the Phillies, including a memorable midyear suggestion that he “didn’t come [to Philadelphia] for this.” McDonald said that he understood where the Phillies closer was coming from in making that claim. Papelbon, meanwhile, suggested that he’s made similar statements while with the Red Sox at times when his team struggled, but without the same response.
“I was a new guy coming into the Philadelphia clubhouse. Coming into a new clubhouse, you tend to watch more than you speak. I will say this, I came from a clubhouse where it was in your face, it was ‘this is how we’re going to do it.’ We’re going to yell at each other and when we don’t do what we’re expected of, we’re going to let you know. That’s kind of the way I was groomed into being a baseball player,” said Papelbon. “Then I go to Philadelphia and it wasn’t necessarily that way, and I know that I’ve gotten a bad rap, some of the guys will say I’m not a good clubhouse guy because I’ll get upset and I’ll say something, but I’ve always said what’s on my mind. I don’t think I’ve ever shied away from my beliefs. But I think some of it reporters in Philly maybe take a little bit different because I was used to saying that, hey, this is how I feel, we’re not winning and I’m not happy.”
Papelbon has two years and $26 million remaining on his contract, with a vesting option that could bring him an additional $13 million for the 2016 season if he finishes 100 games in the next two years or 55 in 2015. Though Papelbon has a 2.67 ERA, 67 saves, 10.2 strikeouts and 2.0 walks per nine innings in his first two years in Philly, concerns about declining stuff and his sizable contract have reportedly left the Phillies open to moving Papelbon.
“I think there’s a little bit of truth to every rumor,” Papelbon said of whether he thought there was substance to the reports of his availability. “I don’t know. It’s hard to say. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price wrap up how the Patriots fared in the 2015 NFL draft and what they accomplished.
WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable discuss the selection of 6-foot-2, 320-pound defensive lineman Malcom Brown out of the University of Texas by the Patriots with the 32nd overall pick Thursday night and where the Patriots might go to fill needs in Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Joe and Dave are joined by Mookie Betts who had the first multi-HR game of his career as he drove in the Red Sox only runs in a 2-0 win over the Rays
Former big leaguer and broadcaster Tim McCarver joined Joe and Dave on the night where the 1975 Red Sox were honored at Fenway and talked about his experiences as a player and broadcaster and gave some insight into Allen Craig
On the night where the 1975 Red Sox were honored at Fenway, Luis Tiant came up to the booth to talk about his time in the majors and the 1975 team
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
Curt Schilling joined the show to give his thoughts on the Sox.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys discussed the Sox honoring the 1975 team.
Kevin Millar talks about the rotation, Allan Craig, Clay Buchholz , Ben Cherington and what it was like playing with Pedro Martinez.
Heath Evans joins the show to talk about how the AFC East looks after the NFL draft.
Christian quizzes the guys on his favorite Mexican movies. Chris "The Mad Dog" Russo rips TNT, Charles Barkley, and Reggie Miller. And Tim re-visits Kirk Minihane tearing into his Dorito-loving, sandal wearing, Chris Russo booking, dog FaceTiming, warm ice-coffee bringing, future bank telling producer, Chris Curtis.
We talk all things Sox, good and mostly bad, with one of the great voices of the club, our friend Dave O'Brien.
Warranties last only 90 days, but the NFL has taken 102 days to investigate "Deflategate" and the hypocrisy is still around in leaps and bounds.
Whether it be Rex Ryan visiting with a potential murderer, or the Seahawks denial about whether Frank Clark assaulted a woman, the NFL and their no-tolerance stance on domestic violence looks worse now with the 2015 draftees.
Mikey, Lenny, and Erin talk about the Sox 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Patriots Day and the Sox hold on first place in the AL East. Also, the Celtics trail the Cavs 1 Game to 0 in their 1st Round series and the 2015 Boston Marathon is in the books.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Ben and Russ preview Revs vs Red Bulls, talk about the state of the MLS, and discuss the latest rumors and gossip.
In honor of the release of "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Jerry and his pal Adam "Uncle Buck" Cormack discuss the Golden Age of the Superhero Movie, why the genre is so popular and count down their all time favorite superhero films.
The NFL has welcomed 32 new players into the league as of last night and there are many implications for Fantasy Football this season. Jim Hackett & Pete Davidson of Rotobahn.com get into who was picked, where they landed and how the impacts the 2015 Fantasy Football landscape. Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper and Kevin White top the list of 10 skill position players taken in Round 1 and Jim and Pete have plenty of analysis and opinion to bridge the gap before Round 2 starts. Enjoy!
Gerry, Kirk and Glenn discussed the Mayweather fight.More from this show
Tom E Curran joined the show to talk about the possible approach that the Patriots had when the decided to go heavy on front 7 guys and not draft a CB until the 7th round.More from this show
We discuss the disappointment that was the big fight, and how it seems like the glory days of boxing are so far removed that they'll never return.More from this show