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Questions abound in back of Boston bullpen

Posted on: February 13, 2011 2:07 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 3:15 pm
 
Jonathan Papelbon Coming off his worst year in the big leagues, there's naturally some questions about Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon coming into spring training.

The fact that he's a free agent after the season and that the team also signed former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, well, that just adds to the number of questions about the back of the Boston bullpen.

With Red Sox pitchers and catchers reporting on Sunday, it was time to ask some of those questions.

When asked about the assumption that he's leaving, Papelbon said, "Why does everybody think that?" (via Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe on Twitter .)

"There may be various reasons why he wants to bounce back. I'm not sure I care, whether it's financial … I just want him to get a bunch of saves," manager Terry Franonca told reporters, including the Boston Globe . "He looks like he's in great shape."

As for Jenks, Francona said he immediately called Papelbon when the deal was done. "I don't think it was much of an issue," Francona said.

Jenks said the same thing when he spoke to a group of reporters, including the Globe .

"I didn't come here to step on anybody's toes. I know what my role is," Jenks said. "Coming here, we have been friends, shoot, for many years now. I don't think that's going to be any problem throughout the year at all."

Bobby Jenks It doesn't hurt the plausibility of that statement when Jenks is coming off his own disappointing season in Chicago. Jenks had a career-high 4.44 ERA and a career-low 99 ERA+. While his strikeout rate was up, so was his walk rate. He also lost the confidence of his manager, but refused to speak about that or Oney Guillen's twitter rants against him.

That said, Jenks does have 173 career saves, including two in the World Series. If Papelbon does struggle, the calls for Jenks will likely increase.

"If those questions do come up, it's going to come down to the decision of the manager and whatever they think is best for the team," Jenks said.

Jenks said he did have opportunities to close, but chose the Red Sox because it's a place he wanted to play.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Comments

Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2011 8:14 pm
 

Questions abound in back of Boston bullpen




Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2011 4:34 pm
 

Questions abound in back of Boston bullpen

Give me a break djlpostl757. Damon came out and swore he’d never betray the Sox by signing with New York, but his agent Scott Boras, was shaking down Sox management for an additional 2 years that they weren’t prepared to give with Jacoby Ellsbury waiting in the wings, so Damon opted for only one more additional year than Boston was offering to sign with New York, effectively ruining all good will he’d built up with Boston’s fans. Bill Mueller was a 34 year old with knee problems in his final year with Boston and was out of baseball a year later so it’s ridiculous to even bring him up as evidence of the Sox lowballing players. Varitek’s skills had diminished greatly by his contract year but he was still offered $10M in arbitration which he declined in order to test free agency because he thought someone would be dumb enough to overpay him like Jorge Posada was (how's that working out, by the way?). No one was interested in a 36 year old catcher who can’t hit anymore so he re-signed with Boston for half of their arbitration offer, effectively costing himself $5M. Papelbon is making $12M after a horrible season so how do you suppose he’s being lowballed? I could point to the Sox re-signing of an aging Mike Lowell with a bad hip for $37M over 3 years because of overwhelming fan support and a phenomenal regular and post-season but I don’t expect your selective memory to remember that. I understand as a Yankee fan, it’s your prerogative to trash the Sox at every chance, but in the future, try to know what the **** you’re talking about before shooting your mouth off.




Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2011 9:12 pm
 

Questions abound in back of Boston bullpen

Editors note - Get one, this is a poorly written article, and I very rarely critisize anyone's writing here.  But first, there are the typos.  Then there is the omition of closer-in-the-waiting Daniel Bard and how he plays into the bullpen situation.  He throws harder, has better stuff than both Jenks and Papelbon, so what about him?  Is he now the 7th inning guy?  Obtaining Jenks was overkill and didn't address anything for the Sox, other than adding another right handed set-up guy.  Awesome.  Where's that article?



Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: February 13, 2011 8:04 pm
 

Questions abound in back of Boston bullpen

"Papelbon questions why Red Sox fans think he wants to leave.  He stated so two years ago and reiterated it in the spring last year.  He wanted Mariano Rivera money, except he is no Mariano Rivera.  He said it was all about the money.  So, I would think it is a given that he is gone, although I do not know who will pay him what he wants.  Krod couldn't even come close to getting what he wanted, even after a 60 save season.  He said $15 mil per year and 5 years was the starting point.  He settled for $13 mil and 3 years.  Pap, face facts, Bard is better at 1/20th of the price and Jenks is half the price.  The money would be better spen on Albert Pujols next year.  We have $40 million coming off the books in 3 players (Papelbon, Drew, and Ortiz).  The writing is on the wall.  Sometimes it is best not to push your luck, you may get what ask for and that may not be pretty."

Talk about some revisionist history.  No, what he said was like MO before him as one of the top closers in the game his slary would be used as a reference point for other closers.  THAT required that he get a fair market deal and not some sort of "home town" discount.  He stated this point amny times just as descirbed so it is rather well documented.

I love how the guy finally blew one post season game then had a bad year (which still found him the top 5 or 6 closers in the bigs, and Red Sox fans are ready to toss him under the bus.  Then again, that has been their M.O. for years now.

When it becomes apparent that the front office will low ball someone they pile on about how they sucks anyways.  They did it to Johnny Damon, they did to 'Tek, to Bill Mueller and now Paplebon.  Hell, they did it to Theo a couple years back when the front office offered him diddly squat in dollars to keep him.

But I don't expect their selective memories to remember all of that.



Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2011 7:54 pm
 

Questions abound in back of Boston bullpen

Papelbon questions why Red Sox fans think he wants to leave.  He stated so two years ago and reiterated it in the spring last year.  He wanted Mariano Rivera money, except he is no Mariano Rivera.  He said it was all about the money.  So, I would think it is a given that he is gone, although I do not know who will pay him what he wants.  Krod couldn't even come close to getting what he wanted, even after a 60 save season.  He said $15 mil per year and 5 years was the starting point.  He settled for $13 mil and 3 years.  Pap, face facts, Bard is better at 1/20th of the price and Jenks is half the price.  The money would be better spen on Albert Pujols next year.  We have $40 million coming off the books in 3 players (Papelbon, Drew, and Ortiz).  The writing is on the wall.  Sometimes it is best not to push your luck, you may get what ask for and that may not be pretty.



Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: February 13, 2011 7:48 pm
 

Questions abound in back of Boston bullpen

My guess is Bard will be closing games for the Sox this year because Jenks and Papelbon are both unreliable. I'd feel good about the closer situation as a Yankees fan if it weren't for Bard.



Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 13, 2011 7:43 pm
 

Questions abound in back of Boston bullpen

Papelbon will have ample motivation to excel this coming year.  He is in the final year of his contract, which typically is enough incentive for most players.  He also has, arguably, the best offense in baseball, which should provide some additional save opportunities.  My guess is that he will capitalize on these opportunities this season and once again be a top tier closer.


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