|Phillies’ Jonathan Papelbon: ‘Since I’ve been here, I haven’t seen any leadership’||02.22.13 at 9:44 am ET|
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.”
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jonathan Papelbon says Red Sox promoted controversial drug Toradol, but not PEDs||02.11.13 at 7:58 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Bobcats, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Spurs at Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Marquette at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Old Dominion at Delaware, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: TCU at Oklahoma, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas State at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Alcorn State at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Kings at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Beanpot final, Boston College vs. Northeastern, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon told ESPN that he was regularly injected with Toradol, a legal but controversial anti-inflammatory drug, during his time in Boston. Papelbon said his current team, the Phillies, told him he no longer would use the non-steroidal drug when he signed as a free agent after the 2011 season.
“They told me, ‘We don’t do that here. That kind of surprised me,” Papelbon said. “I haven’t had a single Toradol shot since.
“But here’s the thing you have to understand. There are so many organizations that do it. Not only baseball, but every sport. Football, basketball, hockey. It’s not just the Red Sox.”
The drug was the subject of some discussion last year when Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz was hospitalized with esophagitis, said to be a side effect of Toradol. In December 2011, some retired NFL players filed a lawsuit accusing the league of indiscriminately administering the drug before and during games.
Following Curt Schilling‘s accusation that a member of the Sox’ medical staff recommended he consider performance-enhancing drugs, Papelbon said he did not have a similar experience.
“No, no, no — never,” Papelbon said. “I think that would be pretty asinine for any team doctor or trainer to say that don’t you?”
♦ An autobiography from former Mets catcher Mike Piazza reveals details about his feud with pitcher Roger Clemens, who beaned Piazza with a 98 mph fastball in 2000. Piazza said he refused an apology from Clemens and took karate lessons to prepare for another altercation, which occurred in the 2000 World Series when Clemens threw a piece of a broken bat at Piazza. However, only words were exchanged.
“There were complications,” Piazza explained. “The least of them was the realization that Clemens was a big guy, and I stood a pretty fair chance of getting my ass kicked in front of Yankee Stadium and the world. That was a legitimate concern.”
Piazza regrets his failure to act in that situation.
“It was not only possible but — circumstances be damned — it was in order.” Piazza said. “It was the story of the Series. I couldn’t deliver a punch.”
Also in the book, Piazza denies rumors that he took illegal steroids, although he admits to using muscle-building supplements and stimulants.
♦ Rapper Lil Wayne claims he was kicked out of Sunday’s Lakers-Heat game in Miami because he was cheering for the visiting team.
Tweeted the rapper:
So I’m @ da Heat game right, rootin 4 da Lakers kuz dats my team & would u believe they got police 2 make me leave?! Wow [expletive] da Heat.
Wayne previously made news during the 2012 Western Conference finals when he complained he was “denied by the team to be in their arena” in Oklahoma City to see the Thunder play the Spurs in Game 3. However, a Thunder spokesman explained that Wayne demanded a front-row seat but was told there were none available.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 11, 1973, which 35-year-old rookie goalie recorded his first NHL shutout in the Bruins’ 2-0 victory over the visiting Kings?
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Youkilis shines again for White Sox, Jonathan Papelbon blows one for Phillies||07.06.12 at 7:59 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Braves at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, Game 1, 12:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, Game 2, 7:15 p.m. (Fox; WEEI)
MLB: Cubs at Mets, 4 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Orioles at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB)
MLL: Cannons at Nationals, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 9 a.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
MLB: Braves at Phillies, 1:30 p.m. (TBS)
MLB: Blue Jays at White Sox, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MiLB: All-Star Futures Game, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLS: Red Bulls at Revolution, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 9 a.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ A couple of former Red Sox players are in the news for opposite results from Thursday night. In Chicago, Kevin Youkilis continued to deliver key hits for the first-place White Sox, while in New York, Jonathan Papelbon said, “This one’s on me,” after blowing a save for the last-place Phillies.
Youkilis completed a memorable first homestand at U.S. Cellular Field as a member of the White Sox, as he hit a game-winning home run in the sixth inning for a 2-1 victory and series sweep of the Rangers.
Youkilis is batting .307 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in his 10 games with the White Sox, even though he claims he hasn’t found his comfort zone in his new home.
“I haven’t gotten too good of a feel for [U.S. Cellular Field] yet, but hopefully the ball keeps jumping,” he said.
Papelbon, who left Boston as a free agent after last season, entered his team’s game in the ninth inning with a 5-4 lead but allowed two runs as the Phillies dropped a 6-5 decision to the Mets at Citi Field.
“The way I look at it, this one’s on me,” said Papelbon, who is 2-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 18 saves (but two blown saves in his last three opportunities). “This ain’t on nobody else. I thought the team went out and grinded as hard as we could, every out, every inning. This one’s on my shoulders. When I take it on my shoulders, I take it pretty serious. I’ve just got to come back and keep fighting.”
♦ The Tony La Russa-Dusty Baker feud continues, as La Russa said Thursday that he isn’t ready to forgive Baker after the Reds skipper accused him of holding a grudge when he left two Cincinnati players off the All-Star team. Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips were key figures in a brawl between the Reds and Cardinals two years ago, and Baker said that’s why La Russa passed them over when naming his reserves.
La Russa, who retired after leading the Cardinals to a World Series championship last year, defended his decision earlier in the week, then he appeared on Thursday’s Dan Patrick Show and didn’t hide his feelings.
“I feel betrayed by him,” La Russa said of Baker. “Professionally is one thing. That was personal. … That was a knife in the back I don’t think I’ll forget.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 6, 1966, the Red Sox swept a doubleheader from the Yankees. Which Red Sox pitcher won both games, and which Sox closer saved both games?
|Jonathan Papelbon writes $5,000 check for Jim Thome’s home run||06.24.12 at 1:51 pm ET|
After giving up a 6-4 lead in the top of the ninth on a pair of RBI singles by the Rays, Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon offered $5,000 to the teammate who could get the Phillies a win.
Enter: Jim Thome. In to pinch hit, the 41-year-old slugger knocked in the winning runs with his 609th home run, tying him with Sammy Sosa for seventh all time. It was also his 13th walk-off home run – the most game-winning homers in major league history.
“I came in the clubhouse, and I said ‘Whoever walks this guy off, I’ll give ‘em five grand.’” Papelbon said. “I didn’t think Jim would do it right off the bat. … I just wrote him a check for $5,000.”
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jonathan Papelbon wants umpire demoted to Triple-A||06.05.12 at 7:53 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA playoffs: Celtics at Heat, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WRKO)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Brewers, 8 p.m. (WGN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon took the loss Monday night after surrendering a single to Elian Herrera that scored the winning run for the Dodgers in the top of the ninth inning. Papelbon thought he struck out Herrera the pitch before, and he shared his thoughts about home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn after the 4-3 loss.
“I thought he was terrible all day,” Papelbon said.
Papelbon talked to Reyburn after the inning.
“I wanted to know If he could throw me out for what I was thinking,” the former Red Sox closer said. “And if he could, then I thought he sucked. It’s that simple.”
After suggesting that Reyburn should be demoted to Triple-A, Papelbon insisted: “That’s not a knock on him. That’s not a knock on the umpires. You’re up in the big leagues for a reason — to do a good job. When you don’t do a good job, you should be demoted or fired. … There’s no room for that up here.”
♦ Giants quarterback Eli Manning said he won’t be distracted by last season’s Super Bowl championship as the team begins working toward a new season.
“It really shouldn’t change things in your preparation,” Manning said. “The only difference is you have a night when you go get your Super Bowl ring and a day when you get to go to the White House and visit the president. Other than that, everything should be the same.”
♦ Former Mets general manager Jim Duquette and his daughter Lindsey had a combined nine hours of surgery Monday so that his right kidney could be transplanted into her abdomen to help her deal with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.
“The kidney’s working great and Lindsey is good, recovering in the pediatric intensive care unit,” Pam Duquette, Jim’s wife and Lindsey’s mother, said Monday night. “She’s in and out, and in lots of pain, [but] they were very successful surgeries.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 5, 1989, the Red Sox had a productive draft, selecting which two players who would go on to win MVP awards — one in the American League and one in the National League?
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Singer tells Jonathan Papelbon to get new closer song||03.07.12 at 7:35 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at 76ers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Hawks at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Grizzlies at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Big East tournament, West Virginia vs. UConn, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: Big East tournament, Georgetown vs. Pittsburgh, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Big East tournament, Louisville vs. Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NEC championship, Robert Morris at LIU, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big East tournament, Villanova vs. South Florida, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big Sky championship, Weber State at Montana, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Maple Leafs at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Dropkick Murphys lead singer Ken Casey said Jonathan Papelbon can no longer use “Shipping up to Boston” as his entrance song now that the closer has left the Red Sox for the Phillies. “That’s not Pap’s song,” Casey said. “That’s the [Boston] closer’s song.”
Casey, a huge Boston sports fan, said he plans to meet with Papelbon to finalize plans for the player to be a spokesman for the Philadelphia branch of The Claddagh Fund, a charity Casey founded. Casey also said he’ll help Papelbon find a new song, while offering “Shipping up to Boston” to new Sox closer Andrew Bailey.
♦ Jets free agent receiver Plaxico Burress, who last week expressed an interest in playing for the Eagles, said it’s a “great possibility” that he would return to his previous team, the Giants. Burress was a member of the Giants when he received a prison sentence for bringing a loaded gun to a nightclub (and accidentally shooting himself).
The 34-year-old claimed it was his decision not to sign with the Giants last offseason, after he was released from prison.
“I don’t have any regrets at all,” Burress said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “It was a decision that I made personally not to go back at that time. … I just kind of said to myself I just wanted to go somewhere and have a fresh start, and just go out and let everything kind of be new to me. That was basically the reason I didn’t turn to the Giants. I don’t have anything against them personally. Just for those guys to bring me back and talk to me and see if I wanted to come back, I have enough respect for those guys just off of that alone. But I just made a decision to go somewhere and have a fresh start.
“And I made the decision to go to the Jets. Like I said earlier, they’re a championship-caliber football team and I believe they will win a Super Bowl one day. And when free agency starts, we’ll see who the guys are who are knocking on the door.”
♦ The city of Sacramento officially approved the deal to build a new arena and keep the Kings, with the City Council voting 7-2 Tuesday to approve the plan. That set off a celebration outside the chambers and downtown. “Long live Sacramento, and long live the Kings!” shouted Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who returned home and helped broker the deal.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 7, 1995, which Celtic became the ninth NBA player to record 25,000 career points when he netted 19 during a 115-10 loss to the Knicks?
|Top Stories of 2011, No. 2: Red Sox’ September collapse||12.30.11 at 12:00 pm ET|
For the final 10 days of 2011, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. Our next entry in the countdown is No. 2: The Red Sox’ September swoon.
Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NBA lockout
No. 9: NFL lockout
No. 8: Celtics’ playoff loss to Heat
No. 7: Patriots’ acquisitions of Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco
No. 6: Jacoby Ellsbury’s MVP-caliber season
No. 5: Patriots’ playoff loss to Jets
No. 4: Celtics’ trade of Kendrick Perkins
No. 3: Red Sox’ manager/GM turnover
In the ninth inning of the Red Sox’ 4-3 loss to the Orioles on Sept. 28, the ticking time bomb that was Boston’s season finally blew up. In just three plays, the Red Sox watched a 3-2 lead turn into a 4-3 walk-off loss with closer Jonathan Papelbon on the mound.
Just minutes later, the Red Sox saw their season end when, down in Tampa, Evan Longoria hit a walk-off home run to cap a seven-run comeback against the Yankees for an 8-7 Rays win. The Rays won the wild card, shocking a Sox team that just 28 days before had been nine games up in the wild card race.
“This is one for the ages, isn’t it?” said Sox general manager Theo Epstein on the night the season ended. “What was going on with those two games, how poorly we played in September. We can’t sugarcoat this, this is awful.
“We did it to ourselves, and put ourselves in a position for a crazy night like this to end our season. It shouldn’t have been this way … 7-20 in September. We go 9-18, we’re where we want to be, and 9-18 is what, winning a third of your games? The worst teams in baseball win a third of their games. There’s no excuse, we did this to ourselves.”
So how did the Red Sox, a team that in June and July was the best in the major leagues, fail to win even a third of their games in September?
It started innocently enough, when the Sox lost the first game of the month in 4-2 fashion to the Yankees in a game that held hints of what was to come. Starter Jon Lester lasted just five innings, but his pitching line looked OK. He allowed one run on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks. It was a mediocre outing, but certainly not a disastrous one.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Wild sign 51-year-old senior league goalie as backup||11.24.11 at 8:01 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Packers at Lions, 12:30 p.m. (Fox; WEEI)
NFL: Dolphins at Cowboys, 4 p.m. (CBS; WEEI)
NFL: 49ers at Ravens, 8 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI)
College basketball: Boston College vs. St. Louis, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UMass vs. Florida State, 4:30 p.m. (Versus)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Wild were in a bind before Wednesday’s game against the Predators when starting goalie Nicklas Backstrom had to leave the team to address a personal issue. They summoned Matt Hackett from their minor league team in Houston, but they weren’t sure if his plane would arrive in time for him to serve as the backup to Josh Harding. So, they called Richard Deutsch, a 51-year-old who was a high school teammate of Wild assistant coach Mike Ramsey. Deutsch, a screen printer who plays in a local senior league, had some experience filling in for Wild goalies at practices on an emergency basis, even though he only starting playing the position at the age of 37 when his senior team was shorthanded at the position. Wednesday’s experience was a little different than a practice, however.
“Practice is one thing,” he said. “I have to tell you, the game faces are on, and I don’t see those very often. Usually it’s a practice, and we’re calm and we’re laughing and we’re ha, ha, ha. But game day is a lot different, so I’m trying to stay out of the way and not get in any trouble.”
After Deutsch “let the guys fire away” on him during warmups, Hackett arrived and was able to suit up in time to take the 51-year-old’s place. But Deutsch still got to say he signed an NHL contract, which he did just before the league deadline of 4 p.m. for him to be eligible that night.
“I actually was shaking while I was signing,” said Deutsch, who filled in “Minnesota Roosevelt Junior Varsity defenseman — 1978,” as his previous team on the contract.
♦ Giants running back Brandon Jacobs continued to voice his frustration with home fans who boo the team, as they did in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. “We try to work hard and overcome adversity and they make it even harder for us to overcome our adversity when they do things like that,” Jacobs said Wednesday on WFAN radio, echoing his criticism from after the game. “As a player we don’t want to hear that.”
Added Jacobs: “I’m not saying I don’t care about our fans. When we’re down and going through adversity we need them to lift us up, not kick us down. That’s all I’m trying to say. We do have great fans and I’ve witnessed that as well throughout my seven years here. The things we’re going through this year, as far as playing at home, the negativity. We don’t want to hear things like that when we’re playing at home and we’ve still got a chance to win. It’s really hard. That’s all I’m saying.”
♦ In honor of the new Muppets movie, Baseball Prospectus matches Muppets characters to major league baseball players. For example, clean-cut Kermit the Frog best compares to Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. And the egomaniacal, arrogant Miss Piggy is best represented by Alex Rodriguez. Three former Red Sox make the list: Manny Ramirez is compared to the oddball Gonzo, Jonathan Papelbon is a match with the zany Animal, and Adrian Beltre fits as Pepe the King Prawn.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 24, 2005, the Red Sox traded prospects Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado and Harvey Garcia to the Marlins for Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and which third player who never pitched for the Sox but remains active in the majors?
|Angels’ Jordan Walden replaces Mariano Rivera in All-Star Game||07.08.11 at 9:29 am ET|
The American League named Angels rookie closer Jordan Walden to the All-Star Game Thursday, replacing Mariano Rivera, who was shelved due to right triceps soreness.
“Good change of plans,” Walden told MLB.com. “I’m not going to complain at all. I’d rather be playing baseball.”
Walden is tied with Jonathan Papelbon for fifth in the AL with 19 saves. He is three saves shy of the Angels’ single-season record for saves by a rookie. He has struck out 39 in 36 2/3 innings.
Because the players voted Rivera to his 12th All-Star Game, his replacement had to be the next-highest-ranking reliever not already selected. Walden ranked fifth among AL relievers.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that because the All-Star Game determines home-field advantage for the World Series, lineups are now built differently than in the past.
“Especially when you look at a young power arm in a league, and bring him into a game that will have an impact on the World Series,” Scioscia said. “Major League Baseball would defer sometimes to a veteran player because of stature. Now I just think it’s just really talent driven, to go out there and put guys in a position to help you win the game
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Trio of Yankees top player poll of most overrated major leaguers||06.01.11 at 7:23 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY WEDNESDAY:
NHL Playoffs: Bruins at Canucks, 8 p.m. (NBC)
MLB: White Sox at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Sports Illustrated polled 185 major leaguers to determined the most overrated players in baseball. Three Yankees topped the list: Alex Rodriguez (18 percent), Joba Chamberlain (12) and Derek Jeter (7). Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon received 4 percent.
“I’ve been on this list before. I think it will be like that for the rest of my career,” Rodriguez told the New York Daily News Tuesday. Asked if he was one of the players who was polled, A-Rod said: “I have so much respect for anyone that wears a major league uniform, I would never answer that.”
Jeter brushed off a question about the poll, but Chamberlain joked that he was “disappointed that I’m not No. 1.” Said the reliever: “My bills are still paid and I still have a job. I could care less as long as I’m still getting outs and doing the things I need to do.”
♦ Two politicians (who are brothers) in Toronto are talking about landing an NFL team for the Canadian city. There has been some speculation that the Jaguars might be moved from Jacksonville after struggling with attendance the past few years. “We’re pretty confident,” said city councilor Doug Ford, brother of mayor Rob Ford. “How can the NFL keep ignoring one of the largest markets in North America? You can’t.”
♦ New Lakers coach Mike Brown is doing his best to make sure he does not offend Kobe Bryant. During his introductory press conference Tuesday, Brown said of the superstar guard: “This is still his team. We’ll make sure that he’ll have the ball in the sweet spots that he likes. He has a great understanding of my vision and he’s on board.” In The Orange County Register, Jeff Miller writes about the challenge Brown faces in following a legend in Phil Jackson.
♦ The Thrashers are set to move from Atlanta to Winnipeg, with the deal announced as official Tuesday. The Globe and Mail writes about Mark Chipman, the man behind the deal to return the NHL to Winnipeg.
♦ The New York Times profiles ESPN columnist Bill Simmons and discusses his new venture, a website called Grantland.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 1, 1971, which Red Sox player broke an 0-for-44 slump with a hit against the Royals?
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