Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What Papelbon Deserves

Theo Epstein kept his arbitration-free streak intact, as the Red Sox came to terms with Manny Delcarmen (one year, $905,000), Ramon Ramirez ($1.1 million), and Jonathan Papelbon ($9.35 million). I'm a big fan of Ramon Ramirez (though I refuse to call him "Ram-Ram"), and we've all heard the "MDC has the best 'stuff' on the team" company line. I have no problem with either of their contracts.

Really, I have no problem with Papelbon's contract, either. Numbers seldom lie, and he's definitely a quality closer. It's his attitude about such things that really rubs me the wrong way sometimes:

"Understand, I'm in the prime of my career. Why would I give up something? I'd give up something if it's fair to both sides, but I want to do things for my fellow closers, just like [Mariano Rivera] paved the way for me. I want every closer out there, man, to get every penny they deserve.'' -via Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston.com

Let's be honest here, Pap... You don't want to do anything for your fellow closers. You want to take care of Number One, and that $9+ million goes a long way. And what, exactly, do you think you "deserve?" You think that because you throw a ball with accuracy and velocity, you deserve to make more money than any reasonable human being needs?

Here's a newsflash for you, Jonathan: people don't always get what they deserve. In fact, most people never see a fraction of it, and a huge portion of the world lives on less than a dollar a day (you might have heard something about Haiti...?). Most people work much harder than you do, Paps. Let's see some humility, or at least some gratitude... because right now? The only thing you deserve is a healthy dose of perspective.


  1. So now we are going to throw the, you are only a ball player so take what we give you line at Paps? He knows that money like this sets up him and his family for a long, long time. He has worked hard at his career and he deserves whatever the Sox and the market are willing to pay him. You see closers like Putz, Cordero and Gagne go into career meltdown while Cinco Ocho stays healthy and remains one of the best relievers in the league. Closers dominating for 12 plus years like Mariano Rivera you almost never see so if Papelbon wants to make as much money as he can, while he can then so be it. Who cares what he says his reasons are. His perspective is that careers in this league hang by a thread and thats a simple fact. His perspective is that he shows up and does his job like he is paid to do. And he shows his gratitude by representing his team on and off the field. He has never showed up late, held the team hostage, faked an injury or even pushed down a travelling secretary. And for that, I as a fan am grateful.

  2. He has never showed up late, held the team hostage, faked an injury or even pushed down a travelling secretary.

    Actually, I have no idea about any of that. I do know that his peripheals are declining though, and he makes me nervous as our closer beyond this year.

    For that reason, I'm comfortable paying him the $9 million this year, and then evaluating where we are at that point. If he has a great, incredible year, then fine, it might make sense to give him a big-money, four-year deal. But if some team wants to be frickin' insane and throw him $20 million a year, then let them.