Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Papelbon speaks

CLEARWATER, Fla. — As far as perfunctory press conferences go, this was up there. Jonathan Papelbon sauntered into the cafeteria at Bright House Field wearing shower sandals and spent 20 minutes answering many of the same questions he fielded upon becoming the highest paid reliever ever in November.

Papelbon speaks

Phillies´ closer Jonathan Papelbon warms up during his first spring in Clearwater. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Phillies' closer Jonathan Papelbon warms up during his first spring in Clearwater. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — As far as perfunctory press conferences go, this was up there. Jonathan Papelbon sauntered into the cafeteria at Bright House Field wearing shower sandals and spent 20 minutes answering many of the same questions he fielded upon becoming the highest paid reliever ever in November.

Was it difficult to forget how last season ended in Boston?

"I don't think about it at all, man," he said. "When I was a rookie and made my first All-Star Game, I had a chance to talk to [Mariano Rivera] and asked what's the biggest thing that's going to make me successful in this game? His first answer was short-term memory."

Is there pressure to win a World Series?

More coverage
Phillies Zone: Halladay arrives to spring training in style
Photos: Phillies arrive in Clearwater
 
Follow the Phillies: On your iPhone or iPad
Buy Phillies tickets
 
From the Pharm: Phillies Minor Leagues
Latest Phillies videos
 
2012 Phillies schedule
Which team is the biggest threat to the Phillies’ chances to win the NL East for the sixth straight year?
Atlanta Braves.
 
  774 (48.8%)
Miami Marlins.
 
  480 (30.3%)
Washington Nationals.
 
  271 (17.1%)
New York Mets.
 
  61 (3.8%)
Total votes = 1586

"I like pressure," he said. "That’s what makes me tick, man. I’m excited."

Has anything surprised him?

"No, not really," he said. "Maybe the fact that Jim Thome’s still in as good a shape as he’s in. But that’s about it."

The man is wired like a closer, so much that when the Red Sox attempted to move him back into the rotation in 2007, he demanded he remain the ninth-inning guy. Known for his theatrics on the mound, a number of Phillies players this winter remarked how excited they were to actually meet the person behind the intense personality.

He was reserved Saturday, on the eve of Phillies camp opening, and that was to be expected. The Riverdancing and references to Cinco Ocho, his alter ego, can wait.

But then, when Papelbon was asked if he could picture playing against Boston in October, the confidence briefly revealed itself. No, Papelbon said, it's not hard to look ahead. His current tasks are long tossing and meeting his new teammates. The rest will come later.

"But," he said, "I do know when we play the Red Sox."


Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected