Yesterday, hatred for Jonathan Papelbon began spewing out of control, as the Philadelphia Hate Volcano belched out blistering runoff in response to his claims that he “didn’t come here for this.”
Bitterness toward Paps seemed like he was simmering, as it does for guys who come across as tools. His margin for error is razor thin, mostly because of his personality and pay check being the polar opposite. So, he screwed up a bunch of times, then mouthed off about how much the team sucks to the press, which is a situation pretty much in all the history books that ends with “…prior to being run out of town.”
Most guys were at the end of their ropes contractually anyway before they left Philadelphia; it can’t really be said that at some point fans piled into a pick up and chased an athlete to the city limits while frantic banjo music played.
But the difference here is, how exactly was Papelbon wrong? And why are we so proud about making athletes hate us?
Jimmy Rollins stepped in and agreed with Papelbon, or at least, defended him. And he should. ”The man has an opinion, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Jimmy said.
Do you want to be here to watch the team go 1-8? To get blasted by double digits? To crumble and fold and stumble and drop and crap all over the place and then promote Steve Susdorf? And you don’t have a clock ticking on your arm and usefulness. For fans, we have all the time in the world.
On other hand, $50 million and a bunch of blown saves. So.
Regardless, Papelbon didn’t come here for this. Neither did Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay, and nobody complains that they want to win as well. And nobody would blame them for going somewhere else to do it (Halladay’s health not withstanding).
It’s no surprise Jimmy shrugged off Papelbon. He’s not insulting the team or the city or the fans, though how dearly we want him to so we can feel justified in our directionless venom, in fact, he said he’d like to stay here… but not if the team is terrible.
What a monster!
A TV interview with Ryan Howard yesterday featured a hilariously awkward moment in which Michael Barkann asked Howard about Paps’ comments and Howard had no idea what the hell he was talking about – he was just trying to get attention for a charity.