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Meanwhile, In Jonathan Papelbon Sucks News

Here we go...

Here we go…

Philadelphia Phillies’ epically overpaid closer Jonathan Papelbon has routinely proven himself to be the most loathsome player in MLB. Voted one of the most overrated players in baseball by his peers in a 2011 Sports Illustrated poll, the former Boston Red Sox closer was rewarded with a four-year deal worth $50 million by the Phillies that same year.

Of course he was. There is no sport that can overpay for mediocrity like baseball!

As a reliever Papelbon pitches less than 70 innings per season—sometimes under 60. Whereas New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who is widely considered the greatest of all time, pitches 10 more innings than that on average—and the 107 innings he pitched in 1996 bested Papelbon’s most productive season by nearly 40 innings.

If you want to argue that last point, you’re either a Red Sox fan or a needlessly combative naysayer. Sorry (for being right). Yet Papelbon is set to make $13 million in 2013, while Mariano will earn $10 million. Which means that if Papelbon pitches 70 innings again in 2013, he’s getting paid $185,714 per inning or $61,904 per out.

The general consensus at the time he was signed was that the Phillies overpaid for his services. Like seriously overpaid:

Considering the Phillies are currently in a distant third in the NL East, 12 games behind the Atlanta Braves and three games behind the Washington Nationals, it’s safe to say that money would have been better spent…uh…anywhere else. And riding their eight-game losing streak, the lowly New York Mets are now just two games behind Philadelphia, breathing down their necks.

They may be a distant third in their division currently, but their $160 million payroll is the third highest in the league, behind only the Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2012 they finished an impressive(ly bad) 17 games behind the Nationals and 13 behind the Braves, despite their $170 million payroll being the second highest in baseball.

In a situation like this, most players would think it best to keep their heads down and their mouths shut. Then again, most players aren’t Jonathan Papelbon. Picking up where former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens left off, there may be no one in all of professional sports who delights more in making a bad situation worse than Papelbon.

In an interview with a Philadelphia radio station in March 2012, Papelbon initially seemed to be complimenting Red Sox fans, before turning around and crapping all over them. Sayeth he: “It’s a religion [in Boston]. It’s a way of life.” Before adding that Phillies fans “tend to know the game a little better,” whereas Boston fans are “a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game.”

Not long after in February 2013, Papelbon again took aim at his former team when he admitted in an interview that he and several of his former Red Sox teammates had injected the legal, but very controversial, anti-inflammatory drug Toradol. Naturally he decided to take down everyone else in the clubhouse with him, rather than just speaking for himself. Although, that sounds just about right.

In an interview with the Allentown Morning Call in February 2013, Papelbon dumped on the Phillies, stating: “Since I’ve been here I haven’t seen any leadership.” When pressed on the incendiary comments by MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, he doubled down on them insisting: “I don’t say anything that’s not accurate.”

In March 2013 Papelbon opened his yelling hole again for CSN Philly to share his simplistic take on American politics in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Rather than just sending his thoughts to Boston, he decided to insert his empty head into the national gun control debate, stating:

“Today’s day and age has gotten so crazy…everything. You know? [There] is all this stuff going on. And, should man, Obama wants to take our guns from us and everything … And you got this kind of stuff going on? It’s just a little bit insane for me, man. I really don’t even know how to take it.”

Someone should let Papelbon know that when he has no idea what he’s talking about, perhaps it’s best to shut is big fat flapping trap. And he did concede that he didn’t know what he was talking about. The fact that he used to live near “where one of the bombs went off” (two years ago) doesn’t make him anymore qualified to speak on the situation.

In early July 2013 Papelbon offered up his opinion on the possibility of Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig participating in the All-Star game. The opinion coming from any other veteran in MLB would have been more palatable, but coming from Papelbon, it just seemed vile. On Puig as a potential All-Star he said: “To me, it’s an absolute joke. It’s really kind of stupid if you ask me.”

In Papelbon’s defense, the real stupidity—the real joke—was soliciting his opinion in the first place. He went on to argue the “injustice” Puig’s candidacy was to veteran players, as if he were championing the plight of the American farmer during the depression. Of course, in reality, all he was doing was mimicking the talking points of the baseball establishment—ya know, those who write the unwritten rules.

Most recently Papelbon expressed his displeasure with the effort of his Phllies teammates, right between their seventh and eighth straight losses. He told MLB.com: “I definitely didn’t come here for this. It’s going to take, in my opinion a lot. And in my opinion, I think it’s going to be something very similar to what the Red Sox went through a couple years ago. From top to bottom.”

[Side note: We all know he didn’t go to Philly for “this.” Pabelbon went there because they were stupid enough to pay his ass over $10 million a year. Duh…]

So a few weeks ago the Red Sox were the team of evildoers that forced him to inject questionable drugs and had fans that were less cerebral than those in Philadelphia. And now suddenly they are the team of destiny that pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps and broke a century’s old curse through the power of positive thinking. What a difference a year makes!

It’s hard to imagine that fans in Philadelphia, the town infamous for booing Santa Claus, are going to take kindly to their outspoken, under-producing and overpaid closer that never stops running his mouth while he continues to blow saves.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer was quick to set straight any fans hoping this nightmare would come to a speedy resolution. His recent column entitled “Jonathan Papelbon isn’t going anywhere” pretty much says it all.

In other words: It’s gonna be cold. It’s gonna be grey. And it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life. It’s Jonathan Papelbon’s bleak and unpleasant world—we’re all just living in it.

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