FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Speaking to WEEI.com following his annual spring training meeting with the media, Jonathan Papelbon talked about how important the contract Rafael Soriano signed with the Yankees was, and how it might effect his mindset while potentially heading into free agency after 2011.
"That's the position I want to be in," Papelbon said regarding Soriano's positioning heading into the free agent market following the 2010 season. "When the season is all said and done this year, I want to be the No. 1 guy coming out, no question."
Soriano, perceived as the top reliever available on the open market in the offseason after notching an American League-best 45 saves with Tampa Bay, inked a three-year, $35 million deal with the Yankees to set-up Mariano Rivera. Papelbon did say that he was open to the idea of returning to the Red Sox next season, while saying he understood speculation this may his final year in Boston.
The Soriano deal, along with Rivera's two-year, $30 million contract, slowed down a downward trend for closers in terms of salaries. Papelbon, who avoided arbitration by inking a one-year, $12 million in Jan., could be fighting for the free agent dollars with closers Heath Bell, Jonathan Broxton, Joe Nathan (club option for $12.5 million), Brad Lidge (club option for $12.5 million), and even Soriano, who has an opt-out clause after each of his first two seasons with New York.
"I don't know all the logistics of his deal, but it definitely has opened doors for a lot other people in this game," said Papelbon of Soriano. "I think it has opened a lot of things in the game, and that's a good thing for people to do.
"I'm excited. [Soriano] was one of the best in the game last year and people should realize that. If you're one of the best, you should be [paid] like one of the best."
Papelbon said that his goal heading into '11 is to put all doubts about his status as one of the game's closers to rest.
"I think that's my mindset this year," he said. "I understand there are a lot of doubters out there, and that's just natural, but I use that for fuel. That's just me. That's who I am."
When talking earlier to the collection of media at the team's minor-league training facility, Papelbon did stress that he wasn't planning on letting thoughts of free agency dictate his approach for the upcoming season.
“I think for the most part, guys like us, we will be fine," he said. "Is it human nature to think about those things? Of course it’s human nature. But to think about them and then sit there and dwell on them are two totally different things. Are we going to think about it? Of course. We’re humans. But to sit there and dwell on it and wonder is this going to happen, is that going to happen, I don’t think that will be the case.”
For more coverage from spring training, see the Red Sox team page at weei.com/redsox.
Patriots DB Duron Harmon joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian, and he discussed the team needing to come together after losing Gronk, and the turnovers in the Jets game can propel them to create more turnovers.
We check in with former Patriot Heath Evans, now with the NFL Network, for his complete analysis on the win over the Jets in NY.
Dale and Michael talk with Patrick Chung after a win over the Jets on Sunday.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about what the Celtics will need to do in order to be considered one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference along with the Cavs.
WEEI's Mike Petraglia talks with Josue Pavon about how the Celtics are looking better with Al Horford back on the court and the overall toughness of this team.
Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen preview the Celtics season. Will Jaylen Brown be an impact rookie and prove he was the right pick at #3? Will the Celtics win the Atlantic Division? Is the season a failure if the Celtics don't advance past the first round of the playoffs?
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase talk with Curt Schilling to get his reaction to Dan Shaughnessy and Jon Heyman's comments about not voting for Curt for the Hall of Fame again based on some of Schilling's comments on social media.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are taking some calls and reaction to their interview with Curt Schilling in regards to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame voting. We also hear about Rob's upcoming working vacation to the Dominican Republic for the David Ortiz Charity Golf Classic.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking about Dan Shaughnessy's column about how he would no longer vote for Curt Schilling for the Hall of Fame. They then talk with Curt Schilling getting his thoughts on the whole situation and whether he would rather make the HoF or the Senate.
Hour two of Saturday Skate after a Bruins 2-1 over Buffalo, with Ken Laird and Rear Admiral debating the status of Krejci, Chara, Krug and Bergeron.
The first hour of Saturday Skate starts up against the third period of Bruins - Sabres, so Ken Laird and Rear Admiral give some Red Sox hot stove and Rob Gronkowski thoughts before moving into Bruins - Sabres game reaction
Ken Laird and Ty Anderson chat Bruins after a 2-1 win in Florida improved the team's record to 5-4.
Damien Woody joined K&C and shared a story regarding a conversation he had with Bill Belichick in the training room in Foxboro.
In the 9 am hour Gerry and Kirk mocked the Belichick press conference and took a call from Jim the Wrestling Goon who is not a fan of Amani Toomer.
In the 8 am hour Gerry and Kirk talked about a brutal answer by Dan Shaughnessy regarding Bill Conlin'sn spot in the Hall of Fame.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian are less than surprised that Bill Belichick won't comment further about Gronk than the released statement. Speaking of statements, how weird is it that the Gronkowski family is releasing joint statements with the Patriots?
Orthopedic surgeon to the pros, Dr. Thomas Gill of Steward Health Care joins Glenn, Lou, and Christian in the wake of Gronk's back injury. He talks about different types of disc injuries, and one type of fusion which could potentially prevent Gronk from playing football. He also commented on the unique situation of a joint statement between the Patriots and the Gronkowskis, and clarified his role in Gronk's arm surgeries.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian wonder how the man who shot former NFL RB Joe McKnight can be free of charges and walking around the streets of New Orleans.
Dale and Michael check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin on a Friday.
We open it up in the final portions of hours 3 and 4 on a Friday.
Hour two in it's entirety.
Kirk Minihane, WEEI Podcast King, talks to the Podcast Godfather Adam Carolla about his new documentary about Le Mans, the backlash from the Election, and his time with Donald Trump on the Apprentice. The audio quality isn't great but the conversation is.
Kirk Minihane is a non-believer, Larry Johnson is a preacher, when Larry found Kirk doesn't believe in God he challenged Kirk to allow him on to the podcast to talk about religion and faith. Kirk and Larry have a tremendous conversation about God and Larry tries to convert Kirk into a believer.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Barstool Sports contributor and podcast host John Feitelberg. Kirk and Feitelberg talk about the rise of barstool, the sale of the website, what it is like to work for Dave Portnoy, and their live podcast shows at the Wilbur Theater.
Ben, Alex, and Russ talk about how Toronto winning the MLS cup will be best for the league, the FIFA Player of the Year award, and the tragedy in Brazil.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis finish out the week recapping the Friday edition of Kirk and Callahan, with critiques of Dale & Holley's Keefe announcement and more.
Kirk & Callahan producers Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are back together after a few days apart to dish about all things K&C show, this after a Thursday Reim-Job.
In the 7 am hour Gerry and Kirk discussed the hiring of Rich Keefe and the announcement yesterday on Dale and Holley.More from this show
In the 9 am hour Gerry and Kirk mocked the Belichick press conference and took a call from Jim the Wrestling Goon who is not a fan of Amani Toomer.More from this show
The worst kept secret in the city is now official - welcome aboard Rich Keefe.More from this show
In the 8 am hour Gerry and Kirk talked about a brutal answer by Dan Shaughnessy regarding Bill Conlin'sn spot in the Hall of Fame.More from this show