The next time Jonathan Papelbon is brought in to save a game he will not come out accompanied by the Dropkick Murphys' "Shipping Up to Boston."
Today, Papelbon signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Earlier in the week, it appeared that the Phillies were going re-sign Ryan Madson but it turns out the Phillies were using him as leverage to lure Papelbon.
I was actually at Fenway to see Papelbon's MLB debut back on July 31, 2005. He actually started a Sunday afternoon game against the Minnesota Twins. The other reason I remember that game is because it was the trade deadline and there was some question of whether the Red Sox were going to deal Manny Ramirez. They didn't and out came Manny came to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth and lo and behodl he hit a walk off single and "Manny Being Manny" was born. Happier times.
Papelbon became the team's closer in 2006 and saved 219 games for the Red Sox plus seven post-season saves. Later this month, Papelbon turns 31. I don't know if his best years are necessarily behind him but I don't know if the Phillies are going to get four years worth with Papelbon. We shall see. But I do see him giving the Phillies bullpen a boost in 2012.
As for the Red Sox, they could promote Daniel Bard from being the eighth inning set up man. But I don't see him a closer and he struggled mightily in the eighth inning role during the Red Sox collapse. The Sox could pursue Madson as well as other free agent closers including Heath Bell, Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez, Brad Lidge and Jonathan Broxton.
So what music will accompany Papelbon when he is brought in to close games at Citizens Bank Park? Somehow I can't see Paps coming out to "Philadelphia Freedom."
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