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Jonathan Papelbon Reacts to Being Booed by Red Sox Fans

May 29, 2013, 2:07 AM EDT


Perhaps it was against Charlie Manuel’s better judgment to remove Cliff Lee from a game where the 2008 Cy Young Award winner had retired 23 consecutive batters and only thrown 95 pitches.

Regardless, Jonathan Papelbon got his storybook ending at Fenway Park on Wednesday – or part of it at least – mowing down the Red Sox 1-2-3 in the ninth inning to earn a save against his former team of seven seasons. We say only “part of it” because the homecoming might not have been received quite as Pap imagined it.

The Phillies closer was mostly booed as he took the mound, this despite reports that the Sox organization did not offer him a contract following the 2011 season, a point the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo raised again after the contest.

If it bothered Papelbon, it didn’t show before or after his outing. The 32 year old continued to look untouchable in ‘13, finishing out a 3-1 victory to convert his 10th save in as many opportunities, and thin-slicing that ERA to 0.92 in the process – you can almost see through that number.

Later on in the locker room he did his best to downplay the mixed crowd reaction, more or less admitting it only gave the alter-ego “Cinco” more fuel. Per Cafardo:

Papelbon said he didn’t mind the boos. He felt it was a sign of respect.

“Felt like the first time I got booed at Yankee stadium I felt like I had made it. I’ve always enjoyed this city and pitching off the mound here. It felt like old times with all the visuals you get. Old times but in a different uniform,” Papelbon said.

Jim Salisbury also indicated Papelbon more or less brushed the response off, the nine-year veteran offering a resigned, “That’s how they love you in this town.”

Papelbon was a four-time All Star in Boston and helped the franchise win its last World Series in 2007. The team apparently didn’t even make an offer. Tough crowd.

Sounds familiar.

The fans’ tunes would undoubtedly change were Papelbon sent back to Boston. If the Phils are sellers at the trade deadline, an elite closer like Pap could fetch a fair price on the market. And while his no-trade clause covers the Red Sox, something tells us he could make an exception.

>> Papelbon gets the best of his ‘brothers’ [Globe]

More from Jonathan Papelbon on his 105th save at Fenway:

  1. Boston Blows - May 29, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    Not sure how that city can get away with things that the national media would rake Philly over the coals for.

    • Dan - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      Been to 50+ Sox/Yankees games at both venues and have yet to see someone get attacked for wearing the wrong jersey….that’s why Philly is destroyed in the national media. Low class, low brow, guys like you with stupid names like “Boston Blows” talk shit all days while the Sox, Pats, B’s and C’s wear out the parade route in Boston.

      You may say Boston blows but you hate only because you cry in your beer at the end of every devastating, gut wrenching, heartbreaking, loss while 8 trophy’s get hoisted in Beantown over the last decade or so

  2. Nick - May 29, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Kind of sounds like another fan base who continues to boo and hate on a former player who (1) was part of a World Series team; (2) wanted to stay in Philly; (3) was not offered a contract by the Phillies; and (4) signed in Washington.

    Can’t think of who that is though………….

    • barsmoney - May 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      Nobody was going to give Werth what the Nats offered him. And he signed with a team in the same division. Not really the same thing but whatever. Hate on…

      • Nick - May 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        I am not hating, its just the same non-story. Boston fans can boo Paps just like Philly fans boo Werth. It’s not something that should be made a big deal about OR something to judge the fan base by.

  3. rkm - May 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Was at both Fenway games this week. On Monday they actually had a little “welcome back” series of clips and highlights on the Jumbotron (think it was in the 1st). Everyone around me cheered pretty hard. He just barely acknowledged it, waiting a while before tapping his hat brim, expressionless. I think he got a bit of a mixed response from Sox fans after that.

    Last night, the sound in my section, and probably all around the stadium, was a mix of “traitor!” and Phils fans heckling Ortiz. It got freakin LOUD between the boos and the cheers. Felt like watching in CBP again!

  4. Uncle Mike - May 29, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Red Sox fans like to think they’re the most knowledgeable in baseball, but that’s baloney. It was the same thing with Clemens: The player didn’t ask out, he was cast out, and they’re booing the player for management’s decision.


  5. Jordan Klavz - May 29, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Anyone interested in baseball, please check out my blog. It’s for a school project.

    • Andrew Kulp - May 29, 2013 at 4:09 PM

  6. Dan - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Update-just in case you were too busy not paying attention to the Phillies or thinking the Eagles would win a Super Bowl (which they won’t as Seattle will smush them if they’re lucky enough to make it to the NFC Championship).

    The Sox won the W.S again due to great team play, a wise G.M, and your boy Paps sucked from the All Star break on. Koji Uehara cost $4 million, Paps an extra $8.5. The Phils could have used that $8.5 to pick up a 3B who didn’t suck? Koji best closer in baseball this year, look at the numbers and you will see.

    Paps will always be remembered for 2007 (wasn’t there in 04, was Keith Foulke) but the most knowledgeable fans in sports who are New England sports fans don’t take well to oddballs like Paps and talk s@#t about the team that gave them their start.

    Have fun with that contract. 2 more years or a lopsided trade and it’s all done. Just like the Phillies


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