Jonathan Papelbon: Get Me Off of the Phillies!
Although the Phillies have just taken three in a row from the Milwaukee Brewers, the team with the best record in the National League, they’re still way back in the standings. At 40-51, the Phillies’ playoff odds are less than one percent. And closer Jonathan Papelbon, who saved last night’s win, says he’s ready to move on to another team.
Papelbon has been quite good this season. After a slightly down 2013, Papelbon has has allowed just five earned runs, has walked just nine guys and has the best WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of his Phillies career. He hasn’t even given up a homer! With the Phillies out of it, a reporter asked him post-game if he hoped his performance would lead to a trade to a contender.
“Of course, man,” he replied. “What kind of question is that?” Papelbon is apparently as tired of watching the Phillies as many Philadelphia fans are.
Papelbon signed a 4-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies after the 2011 season, one where the Phillies won 102 games. Papelbon hoped to sign with an annual contender; the Phillies have not had a winning record since.
The Phillies closer, who once said Philadelphia reminds him of Paris, was actually incredulous players wouldn’t want to move to a contender. It’s more common that one might think, since players don’t want to leave if they’re comfortable in their situations — especially if they have families that enjoy the area.
Since Papelbon’s apparently unfamiliar with that concept, this was a fun exchange:
“Some guys want to stay on a losing team?” he said. “That’s mind-boggling to me.”
So if a contender called, you’re ready to go? “Yeah,” Papelbon said with an are-you-kidding-me laugh. “I think that’s a no-brainer.”
Papelbon was asked if he believed a contender would come knocking? “I don’t know,” he said.
Does he hope one will? “Yes and no,” he said. “You know, I came here for a reason … and I say that because I’m with a group of guys in the bullpen that can do very special things in the future. I’ve been waiting for that, you know what I mean? It’s fun to be a part of that, it really is. We are there finally with our bullpen. So that aspect of it would kind of suck to leave. But at the same time, winning is the cure-alls of cure-alls.”
I know lots of Philadelphia sports fans are not fond of Papelbon, but if he’s traded I will miss his quotes immensely.
Also: Papelbon still doesn't have a "crystal 8-ball." So he doesn't know what's going to happen.
— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) July 10, 2014
The Phillies attempt to complete a four-game sweep of the Brewers today at 2:10 p.m.