Friday, May 26, 2006

good times never felt so good

Timlin, who had relieved Keith Foulke in the eighth, faced runners at the corners with two outs, but Francona went with closer Jonathan Papelbon, who rambled in to a standing ovation

Boston Globe

So, I went to the game last night and it's AMAZING how people love them some Papelbon. That standing ovation was loooooong. The mood changed when he came out, people were paying more attention, and it wasn't a close game and it didn't feel that tense, even with the runners on. Even as it took him awhile to get that first out in the 9th, everyone was behind him. He's earned the faith of Sox fans and that's impressive.

Also? I saw the MOST WONDERFUL curly, gray mullet on a guy in a Schill jersey in the next section over. There was a fight in our section, some idiot ran onto the field and gotten taken down, and hey, we won. All in all, a fantastic night at the ballpark.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

who's your dealer?

Yes, yes, last's night game was miserable-- we left the bar in the 5th and I couldn't bear to look at the score again, actually. But, apparently what I missed, according to the New York Post was our man Papelbon shutting down Sheffield. Let's take a look:

The swing is savage. Brute force. Unbridled rage.

But last night it meant nothing. Now matter how hard Gary Sheffield swung, he couldn't catch up with John Papelbon's heat. This made for remarkable theater in Fenway Park - Sheffield, one of the great sluggers of all time squaring off against Papelbon, one of the game's young guns in the ninth.

"He's one of the more aggressive guys in the league," Papelbon said. "He can be aggressive because he can get to almost any pitch."

In his first game back after coming off the disabled list, Sheffield held nothing back. Neither did Papelbon, who took over the closer's role this season and has no plans to give it up. For all of Sheffield's menacing wave of the bat and spine-screwing swing, Papelbon looked in and dealt heat.

"Personally I like his approach," said Papelbon. "You can't be vulnerable and you can't get too excited. It's one strikeout."

One that will be remembered.

Well, the man's definitely agressive. And by "agressive," I mean "probably suffering from years of 'roid rage," but that's only because I hate him and not because of any proof. So, you know.

Anyway, Shef reportedly called the whole thing "exciting," even though The harder Papelbon threw, the more over-heated Sheffield's swing became.

Read a bit more about it

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

bring your wives unto him

Enjoyable piece about Papelbon from USA Today:

Later, when Papelbon returned to his corner locker in the visiting clubhouse at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park, Timlin, 40, let him have it. "My bullpen? Is that what you said?" the good-natured Timlin started.

entire article

And that's all we've got this morning.

Monday, May 22, 2006

i want one of those dolls

You take a weekend off to shenannigate around in the sunshine and suddenly your inbox is overloaded, papelbon style. A round-up.


Is it possible that a role reversal could take place, that Papelbon could become a closer for life and Hansen, who can touch 98 miles per hour, a starter?

entire article


Over on the couch, David Wells and Jonathan Papelbon have the volume on VH1 Classic turned up to a deafening level while watching Metallica and Guns 'N Roses videos.

Of course they do. A little "how these Sox are different than the Idiots" piece.

entire article


In addition to improving their defense, the Red Sox have taken the adventure out of the ninth inning thanks to rookie closer Jonathan Papelbon, who leads the majors with 14 saves.

"He calms the game down," Francona said. "Any time someone can do that, it's very beneficial."

Little bit about Papelbon in a Philly paper's preview of that series.

entire article


If you go to the June 7 Sea Dogs game, you can get a
Papelbon bobblehead. Sweet.


From the Boston Herald's
Sox Notebook:

PHILADELPHIA - That move Jonathan Papelbon busted in the ninth inning of the Red Sox’ 5-3 win over the Phillies last night would have gotten him booted from "Dancing with the Stars," but the Red Sox closer survived his unplanned 360-degree spin move without any damage.

"It didn’t look too pretty - I don’t know if you should pirouette before you throw to first," Mike Lowell said after Papelbon slipped when David Bell’s chopper was hit at him.

As Papelbon reached for the ball, his right foot lifted and he wound up spinning around. He recovered and threw Bell out at first for the first out. He went on to record two more quick outs without any drama as he recorded his 15th save.

"Just one of those things, I lost my footing. What can I say," said Papelbon, visited quickly after the play by manager Terry Francona and medical operations coordinator Jim Rowe. "Skid (Rowe), he’s got to get some TV time."

Said Francona: "He gave us all a scare. It looked ugly."

The best part of that is totally that they've nicknamed their medical coordinator after one the worst 80s hair bands. Brill. Also, if you follow the link you can see my new favorite pic of Tek and Papelbon. Awww...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

as long as schill's okay with it

A small Boston Globe piece:

Jonathan Papelbon began last night leading the major leagues in saves with 14, in an equal number of chances. Since allowing his only run, and absorbing his only loss, May 3 against Toronto, he had pitched five times and allowed one hit. He has appeared in 53 percent of the Red Sox' games (20 of 38), and with that regular work has come a conclusion.

"I could never start a game again in my life," Papelbon said yesterday afternoon, "and I'd be happy."

Papelbon was a closer in college (Mississippi State) but started 48 of his 58 minor league games and fell in love with that role. He began this year saying his goal was to be a starting pitcher in the major leagues, even if he began the season in the bullpen. That desire?

"It's gone," Papelbon said yesterday. "Starting does not even enter my brain anymore. I get a lot of satisfaction out of closing. I feel like more of an everyday player. Hopefully, I'll be able to close for a long time.

"I'd never closed in the big leagues before. All of a sudden it's like a newfound glory. It's like, wow. I found out I like it. It's very satisfying."

Papelbon's role beyond this season probably hinges upon a number of factors, including team needs and the development of Craig Hansen and Jon Lester. Curt Schilling, meanwhile, lobbied early this spring for Papelbon to be in the rotation, viewing him as far more valuable pitching 200-plus innings than 60-80 innings out of the bullpen.

How does Schilling feel now? "Whatever he feels most comfortable doing, I guess," Schilling said. "Circumstances are right now that he's perfect for what we need. If he stays there the rest of his career, I think he'll be phenomenal. But if he doesn't, I think he'll be phenomenal anyway.

"He's what you look for in a top-of-the-rotation guy: demeanor, body, the stuff, the work ethic, obviously the arm. There's huge pros to both of them. When you're succeeding at one, I don't want him to think about anything other than what he's doing now."

Entire article

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

papel-bot? more like papel-messiah

Ages since there was any news!

Boston's Jonathan Papelbon is the perfect example of a young player who seems to be fitting into the closer's role with the perfect combination of electric stuff and the right temperament.

An article on young pitchers from FOX Sports


Boston Globe game recap

Plus, right now on the in the NESN video box, there's an interview with Papelbon on save 14 of 14. Look for it
here until they take it down.

I need to work on stealing saving those to my webspace for future reference.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

come again some other day

Entering yesterday, Papelbon's 19 appearances were tied with Kansas City's Andrew Sisco for first among American League pitchers. A lefty with a 7.07 ERA, Sisco had pitched only 14 innings to Papelbon's 20 1/3.

Small piece on Papelbon getting some rest due to rain here.

So at least there's one upside to this constantly depressing weather?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

stressed out

A piece from the Boston Herald about Papelbon's new-found teeth-grinding problem. It actually sounds really bad:

As Red Sox players were milling about the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium Thursday afternoon, Jonathan Papelbon was hunched over a table in the middle of the room, pressing the side of his head against a hot pack.

The right-hander would have the hot pack pressed against one side of his head for a few minutes, and then switch it to the other side.

Also, Papelbon continually says "self-conciously" when he means "unconciously," which is something I would find irritating in regular people, but find ADORABLE in professional atheletes. No one pays them for their vocabularly, man.

Entire article here

Friday, May 12, 2006

that day without papel-news was harsh, yo

"This was fun for me," the 25-year-old righty said. "Things don't get much better than coming into Yankee Stadium, into a hostile environment and winning a series like this."

That's right, crazy hostility junkies make the best closers. Apparently. A whole article all about Papelbon from The New York Post


"Dreams are made of these games," Papelbon said.

Last night's AP game recap

Really, any game that starts with Matsui breaking his wrist is going to be fun a sad night because it's not nice to revel in the pain of others. But, just in case you feel yourself starting to do such a thing and need to punish yourself, go read
Dan Shaugnessey's column about it.

Oh, and don't forget the Globe
game recap as well as their look at the bull pen's performance last night here.

"I knew I had to stay focused," said Papelbon. "I didn't want to get ahead of myself.

"I executed my pitch and stayed within myself."

Please to note that this article, while it does discuss Papelbon, is especially good on Mike Timlin content. If you care about that kind of thing, which I can assure you, around here we do.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

that's just who i am now

Since there's only one lonely papel-item today, I've put the entire thing here. From's look at hot young things up-and-coming around the league:

Jonathan Papelbon, Boston: The Red Sox right-hander wasn't the closer when the season began, but after converting 10 of 10 save opportunities in April and winning recognition as Major League Baseball's Delivery Man of the Month for April, Papelbon is rapidly gaining fame.

In 14 1/3 April innings, the 25-year-old from Baton Rouge, La., did not give up a run and struck out 14.

The Red Sox view Papelbon, a fourth-round draft pick in 2003, as a starting pitcher down the road. But right now, he is too invaluable as the closer.

"I like the competition, the fact that you have to go in there and be successful every day," Papelbon said. "You've got to get outs right then and there -- the pressure is on."

Papelbon, who counts a 95-mph fastball and splitter in his repertoire, has been dominating.

"I set my goals high. If you were going to tell me I would have had 10 saves and not given up a run, I would have believed it," Papelbon said. "That's just the way I go about it. It's not cocky, it's just confidence. It's just me going out there knowing who I am, knowing the pitcher that I am and going out there and executing."

entire article

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

like he overdosed on cialis

An off day yesterday meant not much in papel-news for me this morning. But then there was this article all about Papelbon.

Seriously, everyone is impressed with the guy.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona was chatting with a visitor in spring training when the talk turned to Jonathan Papelbon.

"If he's our closer," Francona ventured, "he'll be an All-Star."

Rivera: "What I saw is, he threw strikes and challenged hitters," the Yankees' closer said. "If you do that, you go far."

Schill: "A lot of guys aren't good enough to be scared," said Schilling. "They say, 'I have no fear.' Yeah, that's because they [stink]. But he's got both the weapons and the maturity. That's pretty special."

Also, they refer to him as "delightfully kooky" and you really can't go wrong with that.

Monday, May 08, 2006

papelblog laughs at your contempt

Could you imagine Papelbon not in this bullpen? The possibilities are so frightening that I refuse to further discuss such a scenario.

That scary vision of reality brought to you by a grim look at the Sox bullpen from Eric Wilbur of NESN. He's not wrong, unfortunately.

entire posting


Wretched Dan Shaughnessy previews the NY series, including this from Papelbon:

Rookie Papelbon got to pitch one inning in Yankee Stadium at the end of last season and said, ''We're going to have to keep our emotions in check. I know it's going to be a hostile environment, but I like pitching in a hostile environment. Last year we had batteries thrown at us. I'll be ready."

entire article


And special for my favorite contemptuous Yankees fan, not one but TWO articles telling us why it's great to have Papelbon on your fantasy team:

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

(Any fantasy GM who is fortunate enough to have Papelbon on their roster has a pretty good chance of winning, as well.)

And from the The San Francisco Chronicle

(The only thing bad about rookie Jon Papelbon was the Mohawk haircut he got after winning (that's right, winning) a bet with teammate Kevin Youkilis.)

Friday, May 05, 2006

what, like there's a word i can't put "papel" in front of?

"Anytime you feel anything [is a little scary, because] no one wants to go on the DL," added Papelbon. "You want to be able to go out there and help your team day in and day out."

The number of times Papelbon says some variation of "walk it off" in this piece about his tweaked leg last night fills me with joy. Skate it off and get back on the ice, baby.

entire article


Here, have the Boston Globe's
game recap with its awesome pic of Tek and its clumsy but Papel-tastic lead:

With one out in the top of the ninth, one runner aboard, and the Red Sox ahead, 7-4, last night, a 7-1 lead dissolving in the hands of Rudy Seanez and Julian Tavarez, the 36,396 at Fenway Park began to chant. Their roll call was for "Pa-pel-bon," but, when rhythmically blended together, it sounded like "Let's go home." And, really, either statement would have been pleading for the same thing: a quick conclusion.


"He's just a good pitcher and a good kid," Francona said. "Everybody's fallen in love with him, myself included. But we liked him before the ERA was zero. There's a reason he's doing this job. We wouldn't have put him in this situation if we didn't think he could handle it."

A few days old (as in, before he became "unperfect"), but a nice little Papel-piece from Newsday.

entire article

Thursday, May 04, 2006

goofy looking kid

I know that a blog that links to another blog is much like this picture I once saw of David Hasselhoff holding a picture of David Hasselhoff holding the same picture and so on and so on until you're driven to the edge of madness. But.

Sometimes the risk of potential insanity is worth it, because sometimes you find the
story of watching a minor-league Papelbon pitch last summer AND an interview with that same minor-league Papelbon from 2005 spring training.

Brilliant work by Evan Brunell of Firebrand of the American League at being into Papelbon when he was underground.

that guy's my new hero*

[sigh] Perfect no more.

From the Sox official site:

In other words, there can be a fine line between being invincible and proving to be fallible. Papelbon is eager to jump back on the other side.

And "No doubt about it, I want the ball [on Thursday]," Papelbon said. "There ain't no doubt about it."

entire article

From the Daily News:

Last night, the Toronto Blue Jays managed to do what no team through 21 1/3 innings and since Sept. 19 could do: score on Jonathan Papelbon. And it mattered.

entire article


"I let my team down, but tomorrow I'll be ready to go," said Papelbon, AL rookie of the month in April with 10 saves in 10 chances and a 0.00 ERA. "There's a long way to go, and I have a lot of innings to pitch."

entire article

From The Boston Globe, talking more about Toronto's perfect closer:

"He's had a pretty good year," a smiling Ryan said yesterday of Papelbon, a fellow Louisiana native. "He's got great stuff but he gets up there and throws strikes. That's the big thing when you pitch late in the game. You go out there, throw a lot of strikes, and let guys make plays for you."

entire article


The AP's
game recap.


Two articles written before last night about the inevitableness of Papelbon's stumble:

Asked about the possibility that Papelbon would blow a save at some point, the manager said, "(The Yankees’ Mariano) Rivera blows some every once in awhile but I’ll bet they’re excited every time they give him the ball."

From The Patriot Ledger

Someday Boston's boy wonder will blow a save. Then what?

"I'll handle it just like I handle everything else, man," Papelbon said. "I've blown games before. I've blown games in college. I blew a regional game in college to go to the (College) World Series. ... I came back from that. It's not the end of the world. The sun's gonna rise tomorrow."

From The Albany Times Union
here. This one's rather a good article, actually.

And look at that, not only did the sun rise this morning, but for the first time in days you could actually see it. Clearly a sign.

(*subject line from my brother in re: Papelbon)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

the honors come pouring in

Details on the Rookie of the Month for April from the AP here.

Papelbon's take on it, from The Daily Item of Lynn:

"It's good to get accolades like that," he said."AL rookie of the month, pretty cool. I'm excited and proud to get that honor and I just want to keep them coming."

entire article)

And on his perfect record, from The Boston Globe:

"I understand, I'm going to fail," said the 25-year-old, who is considered a rookie because he was on the 25-man roster for fewer than 40 days last season. "I can't go through the season perfect. I understand it's going to happen. The deal is once it does happen to make the adjustment and keep chugging along and go on another long run of saves."

entire article)


As posted the other day, the grizzled face of Joe Torre is impressed with Papelbon:

"The kid isn't afraid to come at you," said Torre. "He's got some artillery with him, too -- fastball and split. He throws strikes. Aside from his natural ability, the best thing he has going for him is the fact that he puts you on your heels a little by throwing a lot of strikes."

Notes column, most of which is about Alex Gonzalez.


And! MetroWest Daily News brings us the feel-good, family story we've all been waiting for:

For the 25-year-old Papelbon, it’s easy. In his mind’s eye, he just dials up the face of his younger brother Jeremy.

Siblings, near-death experiences, and recalled pharmaceuticals-- this story has it all.

entire article


Finally, because I do exactly what Tek tells me at ALL times, I will not be comparing Papelbon to Rivera:

"Don't do it," said Boston catcher Jason Varitek. "You can't even mention Pap with Rivera. Total different pitchers. Totally different pitchers. Mariano throws a cutter with an occasional sinker. Paps a four-seam, two-seam, slider guy. Totally, totally different pitchers. No comparison."

From The Salem News,
here, but that's about all you can read for free. So.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

do you hate the yankees?

But of all of the mystic elements at play, none were greater than Ortiz's bat. With a thunderous swing, he launched the ball into the Boston night, not to come down until it landed in the glove of Jonathan Papelbon, who was warming up in the bullpen.

Papelbon hurled it halfway up the bleachers, a proper exclamation point to a 7-3 Sox win before 36,339 in the first of 19 regular-season meetings between these teams.

Okay, so that's more about Papi's amazing homerun than about Papelbon's continued scoreless-innings streak, but really, that homerun was pretty impressive.

Also impressive was the delightful way Papelbon struck out the much-loathed A-Rod to open the 9th.

Get the Boston Globe's full game recap


In other news, The New York Sun is talking AL East race because after all, it is MAY:

Sox skipper Terry Francona gave closer Keith Foulke exactly one game's worth of rope to hang himself with before making Papelbon his closer. That decision saved the Red Sox from the bullpen uncertainty that undermined them in two of the last three seasons.

whole article


The Canadian Press talks closers, specifically Papelbon and Baltimore's Chris Ray:

Papelbon is already gaining folk-hero status in Boston for his quick and ruthless ninth innings. In a city where the attention is high and the pressure even higher on a playoff contender, he’s handled it all with ease.

whole article

Monday, May 01, 2006

T-minus 8 hours until he who slaps balls returns to the scene of the crime

Joe Torre on Papelbon, from today's Boston Herald:

"They have this kid who’s closing for them. We got a little taste of him last year. He’s very impressive," Torre said of Papelbon, who set a rookie record for saves (10) in April. "What he does is what Mo does for us. Sure, he’s not as established as Mariano is, but he certainly has the ability, at least in the early going, and the confidence. It shortens the game for you, when you have someone like that to go to."

complete article

(It includes some obvious observations on Papelbon by Judas Damon, and a really unfortunate shot of Matsui. Cheers!)

just wacky enough

Quick mention of the Papel-hawk in Mark Herrmann's Newsday column yesterday:

Latest in the saga of Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox reliever. He won a bet with teammate Kevin Youkilis and, for a prize, gave himself a Mohawk hairdo. Yes, that's what he did when he won the bet. This Papelbon might just be wacky enough to be a legitimate closer.

whole column


Assuming the rain holds off, tonight should be the debut of "Wild Thing" here at Fenway against the wretches from NY.