Jonathan Papelbon, a guy who is paid $13 million a year by the Philadelphia Phillies to pitch just one inning in games in which his teammates have handed him a lead of between one and three runs, says the team is no longer meeting his high standards.
“I definitely didn’t come here for this,” said Papelbon, whose teammates have struggled to stay near the .500 mark this season. “It’s gotten so bad that occasionally they’ve put me into games in which we don’t have a lead to pitch an inning. How humiliating is that? All the guys on this team who do all the hitting and fielding and the guys who pitch the first eight innings better get their acts together. And soon.”
Papelbon did confirm that a deposit from the Phillies for $541,666 is still appearing in his bank account on the 1st and 15th of every month.
“So that’s a silver lining, at least,” said the closer, who has blown 13% of his save opportunities since joining the Phillies.
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, who has battled through injuries all year to stay on the field, said he still has hope the team can turn it around.
“The talk in the dugout and on the field in every game is always about doing it for Jonathan,” said Utley, making what appeared to be a wanking motion. “We don’t want to let him down and he’s really improved this team since we got him in 2012. We all get so pumped up to see him come in at the end of the games we’re winning and get three outs like no one has ever done that before. If I am disappointing him in any way, I am greatly ashamed. Hey, remember that extra inning game a few weeks ago when that outfielder pitched and got three outs? Interesting.”
Papelbon said he would welcome a trade to a team that can hand him leads of between one and three runs more often.
“I liked playing in Boston, but they probably suck now without me,” he said. “No? They’re doing great? Well, then, yeah. Boston it is. And preferably I’d only enter games in which we have a three-run lead there. Let them know my expectations and we’ll get this trade finished.”