This was not the first time Phillies fans greeted Jonathan Papelbon with boos, but it was impossible to ignore them Thursday afternoon when the closer entered to protect a 2-1 victory. He threw 55 pitches in the previous two nights and allowed four runs.
"I heard some of them," Papelbon said.
He threw 10 pitches for an effortless save. Papelbon, who has not hidden his desire for a trade, could be stuck in Philadelphia. Teams are reluctant to absorb his generous salary or to surrender talent in exchange for money and Papelbon's services. The Tigers and Angels have filled their closer needs.
Papelbon said he would not mind remaining in Philadelphia. But it is not his preference. He is sure to hear boos again.
"I just think it's fun," Papelbon said. "It brings a little bit of energy and life to the ballpark. It gives me a little bit of something to look forward to every day."
Were Phillies fans were not loud enough with their disdain?
"Maybe we can get the whole park booing here soon," Papelbon said.
Like a good villain, Papelbon does not mind angering his constituency.
"I mean, you have to be able to take it if you want to dish it out," Papelbon said. "I think that goes both ways for me and the fans. It's kind of like a big brother-little brother relationship, I would say."
And which is he?
"Big brother," Papelbon said.
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