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Phillies’ Jonathan Papelbon: ‘Since I’ve been here, I haven’t seen any leadership’

02.22.13 at 9:44 am ET
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Jonathan Papelbon

While the Red Sox have been blasted for their problems in the locker room over the past season-plus, former Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon apparently isn’t finding the situation much better after one season in Philadelphia.

“Since I’ve been here, I haven’t seen any leadership,” Papelbon told the Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call.

Papelbon acknowledged his own failure in that department.

“I felt like I could have been a little bit better leader than what I was, and I held back at some times,” he said. “Hindsight’s 20-20.”

The Phillies won their fifth straight National League East title in 2011, winning a team-record 102 games. But they dramatically underachieved in 2012, finishing 81-81 and in third place, and Papelbon said a change in attitude is needed for 2013.

“I think we’re capable of greatness,” Papelbon said from Phillies spring training in Clearwater, Fla. “I think we’re capable of a world championship. I really, truly believe that. But the biggest key for us is that we’re going to have to find our identity, and we’re going to have to find our identity quick.”

Added Papelbon: “Every good team that I’ve been a part of has had a good core group of veterans and an influx of a good group of young guys and I think that’s a recipe for success,” he said. “But at the same time, that doesn’t mean we’re going to have success. In my opinion, this team has way more to lose than to prove. I think a lot of guys on this team have proved a lot. But I think this year if we don’t go out and do what we’re capable [of] and supposed to do, then we have a lot more to lose.”

Papelbon has the support of manager Charlie Manuel.

“I’m not answering nothing for him, but he won’t tell you because he’s a little stubborn in some ways, but I think he expected us to play better, he expected us to win more games,” Manuel said. “I think he can be good for us. He’s very serious about winning and he loves to pitch. I like everything about Papelbon.”

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