Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pap Smear

Gotta love Jonathan Papelbon. We already know he can dance, and now he sings, too!

Paps went all medieval on Manny Ramirez's ass in the April edition of Esquire, joining Curt Schilling as the third-man-in on the Manny-bashing curcuit. Paps goes so far as to call Manny "a cancer" for his dubious self-engineered exit from Boston last summer.

"He was on a different train!" the always-calm and lucid Papelbon begins. "And you saw what happened with that. We got rid of him, and we moved on without him. That comes from the manager, and it comes from guys like Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz. Nobody is ever going to be allowed to do that. Even a guy like me, just heading into my fourth year in the big leagues — if David Ortiz gets a little, you know — I’ll tell him what’s up! I’m not afraid to do that. I’m not afraid to put him in his place, because I think everybody needs that.

"And if somebody does it to me, I understand that. I most certainly understand that. Varitek tells me all the time, 'Just shut up. Do what you’re supposed to do.' So Manny was tough for us. You have somebody like him, you know at any point in the ball game, he can dictate the outcome of the game. And for him not to be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man! It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening. Once we saw that, we weren’t afraid to get rid of him. It’s like cancer. That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go. It sucked, but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us.

"And after, you could feel it in the air in the clubhouse. We got Jason Bay — Johnny Ballgame, plays the game right, plays through broken knees, runs out every ground ball — and it was like a breath of fresh air, man! Awesome! No question."

It is somewhat ironic (and not just a little hypocritical) for Papelbon to follow Schilling's lead, considering Papelbon pounded Schilling a couple years ago for calling out Barry Bonds (Schilling later retracted it). But whether as the closer or the commenter, Papelbon loves to blaze his own trail. The question is, when will he get burned by it?

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