In what was one of the strangest interviews ever, Jonathan Papelbon joined WEEI radio in Boston yesterday, to discuss his thoughts on the Red Sox winning the World Series, his name surfacing in trade rumors, and the differences between playing for the Phillies and the Red Sox, among other things.
Besides the fact that Papelbon’s phone kept dropping the call, the interview sounded amateurish because future Phillies wall-of-famer John McDonald, who is doing off-season work for WEEI, kept cutting off Papelbon and kissing his ass, for lack of a better term.
Papelbon did admit that he believed that there was some truth to all trade rumors, including the ones that have surrounded him this off-season.
He also discussed the difference in the clubhouse atmosphere from when he was in Boston, to Philadelphia.
“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 also blamed the Philadelphia media for the fact that he stuck his foot in his mouth last July, when he was upset with the Phillies lack of success and said, “I didn’t come here for this.”
“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.”
I’m not saying that if Papelbon was an analyst, I wouldn’t be agreeing with virtually everything that he is saying. He is right about the clubhouse not meshing, and he might be right about the media taking his quote out of context. But essentially the media turned it into a headline, and then gave their thoughts in articles about it. In reality, readers who only read the headline and judged the quote singularity off that, took the quote out of context.
I will continue to believe that Papelbon being this outspoken isn’t a good way to get the Phillies clubhouse to “mesh”, and it displays a lack of clubhouse leadership that no one gets in Papelbon’s face and tells him to cut it out.
Anyway, you can listen to the full interview below, where Papelbon goes further into discussing the Phillies clubhouse atmosphere, his reported trade rumors, and much more.
The interview begins around the 18:30 mark.