Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon stopped by to talk with Dennis & Callahan Friday morning at Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., and said he is focused on rebounding from last season's disastrous ending and "getting back to that domination." Said Papelbon: "I'm kind of on a mission this year. I've got new sights ahead of me."
Papelbon said he replayed his ALDS collapse against the Angels numerous times in the offseason, despite people saying they would prefer not to revisit past failures. "That's just me. I'm a different animal," Papelbon said. "I use it for motivation. I use to remind me I'm not perfect. I've got a lot of work to do. ... I've still got a lot of things to accomplish."
Papelbon said "a multitude of things" went wrong in that game. "The biggest thing you want to look at in that game is not being able to execute 0-2 pitches and close people out," he said. "It kind of snowballed after that. I wasn't executing my pitches. I tried to go up and in and I'd let the ball run out over the plate."
Many people assume Papelbon will become a free agent in two years when the Red Sox no longer have control of his future. "It's not accepted with me," he said. "This is the organization that gave me the opportunity to play major league baseball. ... I've said before that I want to try to break every record there is for a closer in a Red Sox uniform." Added Papelbon: "I don't think I'm determined to become a free agent. That's just the situation I'm in now."
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