Papelbon: Lack of Phillies leadership was total team failure
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Jonathan Papelbon affirmed comments criticizing a lack of leadership in the Phillies clubhouse during the 2012 season, and admitted it was a total team failure.
"I put myself in that category," Papelbon said Friday. "I don't feel like I took a certain leadership as much as I could have with the guys in the bullpen. And I intend to make that change this year. I hope that other guys on this team feel the same way as I do."
Earlier this week, Papelbon told The (Allentown) Morning Call, ""Since I've been here I haven't seen any leadership." He reiterated — and expanded — that, while citing injuries as a cause, but not the only excuse.
"It was an all-around leadership void from A to Z," Papelbon said. "From being a vocal leader to being an off-the-field leader to being an on-the-field leader to everything. You can't just point your finger at what type of leadership was missing. It was the whole part of the equation. Our team identity is formed by that leadership."
Papelbon said it was not a bad clubhouse in 2012, merely one that did not have an "identity." The Phillies stumbled, especially during a 9-19 June, when Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley were missing.
Both Halladay and Utley have long been viewed as two of the team's most dominant leaders by example.
Papelbon did not put the blame solely on their absences.
"Everybody on this team can be a key figure," he said. "[People are] sitting here trying to pick out one guy, or a guy here, or a guy in the lineup, or a starter, or a closer. That's just not the way it is. It's different. Doc's personality is different than mine. He's going to lead differently than me. Ryan's personality is different. Chase's is different. Everybody takes a certain little part of the equation and makes that equation a success."
The closer, who signed the richest deal for a reliever in baseball history last winter, said he does not regret his decision to join the Phillies. He likes the current clubhouse vibes.
"Yeah," Papelbon said. "[Expletive] yeah. I love this clubhouse. I liked this clubhouse when I was in Boston and played against it. I admired what I saw on the field. That was a big reason why I came here."
Contact Matt Gelb at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @magelb.