Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jonathan Papelbon Douchebag-ness 101


In an attempt to portray Papelbon as a great player and an off-beat, unconventional athlete, and get the 2010 Boston Red Sox Hype Machine going, Gordon Edes' piece on ESPN.com instead makes Papelbon look like one of the biggest assclowns in sports.

Observe:

"Every time I'm in the gym struggling, feeling like [expletive], I look up at the TV, and it gives me a kick."
- referring to video footage of his Game 3 ALDS meltdown.

Yeah, dude.  Don't be too cliche with that garbage.  Let me guess, you've also got "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background while you chase chickens around your basement and have Dustin Pedroia hit you in the stomach while you do situps.

"It's something I really had a lot of pride in and cherished, my scoreless postseason run..."

Of course.  Because personal goals and stats are always more important than winning championships.

"The difference between All-Stars and Hall of Famers is that they don't stay in ruts. So I'm going to get in a four-wheel drive and pull right out of that mud hole.''

A four-wheel drive?  A four-wheel drive what?  Truck?  Jeep?  SUV?  Come on, man, know you're fucking vehicles if you're going to use a car metaphor.  And nothing says hard-nosed like a ridiculous metaphor that sounds like something Terry Bradshaw would say on FOX NFL Sunday.

"Got a name picked out,'' Papelbon says. "Gunner Roberts. The significance? Nothing, man. Just a badass name, so we went with it.'' - referring to his soon-to-be-born son.

Because badass always trumps something significant, bro.  Although with a name like Jonathan Papelbon, I can't say I blame him for trying to make his son sound a little less lame.  "Jonathan Papelbon" sounds like some guy who comes forward in his mid-30s to claim he was raped by his priest.

"I had no idea we got [John] Lackey until [trainer Mike] Reinold came down to see me, just a few days ago,'' he said. "I swear to you. I don't know anything about the ballclub, but I know the words to the 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse' song."'

Adrian Beltre deal? He hadn't heard. Casey Kotchman about to be traded to the Mariners? Nope. Mike Cameron? "Cameron, Mike Cameron?'' he said. "We got him? I swear to you, I didn't know.''

"I heard about [Marco] Scutaro because my mother-in-law told me, and I know about [Jason] Bay because Maholm knew him on the Pirates and told me,'' he said. "And I know about [Mike] Lowell because we have the same agent.
 
Jonathan Papelbon: Mouseketeer?  Yes.  Jonathan Papelbon: 21st-Century person who reads the newspaper or watches TV?  Not so much.  Jonathan Papelbon: Good Teammate?  Not even close.
 
The Red Sox last winter offered their closer a two-year deal for about $14.75 million, within a couple hundred thousand dollars of what Papelbon was seeking, according to a source close to the negotiations. "I ixnayed their offer,'' Papelbon said.
 
Fuckin' ixnayed the shit out of it, bro.  Gotta have that extra couple hundred thou, man, you know?  How else am I supposed to afford the new Disney Sing-Along DVDs AND Hannah Montana concert tickets for my daughter?
 
Now Papelbon is in line for another big raise, one that almost certainly will make him the eighth Sox player to be paid $9 million or more in 2010. Only the Yankees, with 10, have more...
 
This actually has nothing to do with Papelbon.  It's just always fun to point out how the Red Sox aren't exactly the small market, scrappy little ballclub trying to compete with the big bad Yankees, as much as ESPN would like you to think they are.  How the ESPN editors allowed Edes to even write, let alone print, that sentence is beyond me.  Poor Gordon is probably in an electrical closet somewhere in Bristol getting waterboarded by an ESPN exec and Tim Kurjian.
 
"Heck yeah, as far as what me and my brain are thinking..."- Papelbon referring to the notion that he should command $10 million per year.
 
Now there's what seperates Papelbon from other closers.  He doesn't think with his brain; he and his brain think completely independent from each other.  According to Kurkjian, that makes Papelbon only the 13th pitcher in the modern era to have the ability to think seperately from his brain.  The obvious next question is who was making the decisions to throw fastball after fastball right down the middle of the plate in Game 3 against the Angels?
 
"...but I haven't even sat down with my agents [Seth and Sam Levinson] yet. We don't even have a number in place. There haven't been any discussions between me and the Red Sox and my agents at all.''
 
Numbers, dude?  Don't even know what they are so can't even put one in place.  That's what my Jew Crew is here for anyway, man.  But I do know that number should be above 10,000,000.  My brain told me that and I agree. And whatever that number is, the Red Sox better not try to short me a couple hundred thou again, dude, cuz my brain and I aren't going to sit or stand for that.  We'll get in a four-wheel drive and straight up leave.
 
"...when you look at what I've done so far, you can't compare it to many other closers besides Mo [Rivera].''
 
Except that Mo has only gotten better since his first 4 seasons and is arguably better now, staring down the barrel of 40, than he was in his 20s and 30s, and Papelbon has seen his numbers decline slightly since 2006, culminating in career worsts in walks, K/BB ratio, and WHIP in 2009.  Again, why the fuck would Gordon Edes include this info in this story and how did The Leader let it happen?
 
"Wouldn't you want a guy to pitch in Boston, New York and Philadelphia who you know has consistently had just three or four blown saves a year.... If in the beginning of the year, you're in Boston or New York or Philadelphia, and somebody tells you this guy is going to blow only three or four saves all year, who else are you going to get to do that, you know?"
 
I mean, who are you going to get who can put up awesome numbers in the regular season and then be even better in the postseason and not blow a clutch save in an elimination game?  Mariano Rivera, maybe? 
 
And not for nothing, but if you're trying to prove a point that you're one of the best closers playing in a big market, you might want to leave out Philly?  Did you see what Brad Lidge did last year?  Probably not, I forgot; there was a new season of "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody" on the Disney Channel.
 
"Don't get me wrong. This kid [Bard] has got talent through the roof. If I had anything to do with it, I'd want Bard in my 'pen, to set me up. But that's part of the cat-and-mouse game, too.''
 
"This kid???"  What is Daniel Bard, a fucking middle schooler?  And when did Papelbon suddenly become a "grizzled veteran?"  If I were Daniel Bard I would march into spring training and beat the shit out of Papelbon for saying that.
 
And as far as this cat-and-mouse game he keeps referring to, I'm assuming that since he always has the Disney Channel on instead of ESPN that Papelbon is the mouse.
 
"I'd love to have that sense of security of being with a team and knowing, 'Hey, they want me, and I want them, let's have a happy marriage.'"
 
Let's cuddle together.  Let's dance around in our compression shorts on the field.  Let's make sure I get my $10 million.
 
"But what do I have to give up to be in that marriage? Understand, I'm in the prime of my career. Why would I give up something?"
 
If I want to go out to the movies with the Blue Jays or get a handjob from the Diamondbacks, I don't want to miss out on that.  And if I have to give up my $10 million, then that's just not something my brain and I think we can live with.
 
"I'd give up something if it's fair to both sides, but I want to do things for my fellow closers, just like Mo paved the way for me. I want every closer out there, man, to get every penny they deserve.''
 
Jonathan Papelbon: paving the way for all overpaid athletes who participate in a 1/3 or less of their teams' games a year in the least physically demanding of the major sports in the US everywhere.  Suck it, Martin Luther King.
 
So there you have it.  Jonathan Papelbon is using ground-breaking techniques like using past failures to motivate himself, doesn't know anybody on his team and doesn't care to, doesn't have a number in place for what he thinks he deserves from the Red Sox but knows it should be at least $10 million, and is leading the revolution against oppressive GMs and owners everywhere.  God, what a guy.  Obama might as well sign the bill now to have Roosevelt's face taken off Mt. Rushmore and have it replaced with Papelbon's.
 
And if all that wasn't bad enough, ESPN throws a sidebar comparing Papelbon's and Rivera's first 4 seasons.  It looked something like this:
 
Papelbon vs. Rivera

A look at how Jonathan Papelbon's first four seasons stacks up against the first four years of Mariano Rivera's career.
     
                 Papelbon          Rivera


                 2006-2009      1997-2000


ERA          1.74                2.14


ERA+        270                 216


WHIP        0.92               1.06


Saves         151                160


Blown Saves 17               23


K per 9      10.6               6.9


Postseason ERA 1.17      0.83


WS Titles     1                  3

So let's see, Mariano had more saves, a better postseason ERA, and more rings than Papelbon, while Jonathan was slightly better in all other, less important, categories.  The fact that those are there splits through the first 4 years proves that there is no reason to ever compare Papelbon to Rivera because he wasn't better than him in his early years and isn't better than Mo now when he is in his prime and Mo is in his 40s.
 
But hey, Mo never tried to "pave the way" for his fellow closers against GMs who aren't willing to give their closers that extra couple hundred thousand in their multi-million-dollar contracts while everyday people like you and me are left to worry about whether our company is going to fire us or go under.  So yeah, ESPN, Papelbon is clearly the Penn to Mo's Teller.
 
This picture, however, begs to differ...