His name has been floating around trade rumors...I went and looked how he's done since leaving Boston...and he's been worth his 4/50, especially for a big market team. Now, PHI put themselves in a hole that started with Ryan Howard's mega-deal, and continued when Doc broke down, but that doesn't mean Pap hasn't been worth it.
Many SOx fans will simply say the Sox haven't missed him...and that would be a flat out lie. Had the Sox not gotten insanely lucky with Uehara, they would be regretting their decision to let Pap walk.
2012 was a disaster in ever sense of the word...and not the least of which was the closer position. QUICK! Name the closers in 2012!!!! Bard? Aceves? Albers?
2013 was lucky...in every single sense. Closer was no exception. Uehara was the 3rd ON ROSTER OPTION...nobody, and I mean NOBODY expected him to be the best closer in baseball for 2 years.
Papelbon is having arguably his best season to date. At 33, his WHIP is back down to a miniscule 0.85 and his ERA is a very good 1.24. 06 and 07 were slightly better in just about every way, though his ERA was higher in 2007.
12.5 per season for a guy who has been one of the top closers in baseball for 9 straight seasons is a very reasonable price.
I once commented I would keep him and run him out there "until his arm flew off".
I miss Pap. I miss his alter ego. I miss his insanity. I like Koji, he's fun and exciting...but Papelbon was a home-grown talent which, to me, makes it more special. I liked the fierce attitude. I did not like the stretches between pitches. Aside from that, however, he's one of the more fun Sox players in recent history to watch. And he was unfairly bludgeoned following 2011, and most fans were wanting him gone given the final game, ignoring the facts:
"For the 2011 season, Papelbon recorded 31 saves in 34 opportunities. He blew just 3 saves all season long, but 2 occurred during the final month of the season, including the final game of the 2011 regular season;"
Thank you for everything you did in Boston Papelbon.
Thank you for DEMANDING to be the closer when they were going to make a starter out of you again.
Thank you for being so dominant early in your career.
Thank you for memories of you dancing with a 30 pack on your head, on the mound after winning in 2007.
I'm not happy you left, but Thank you for making a quick decision, and not taking any pot shots at Boston on your way out.
Thank you for recording 200 saves in the fewest appearances ever, passing Mo's record, and doing it against the NYY no less.
He's a guy that was dynamic, and historic for Boston...and fans couldn't wait for him to leave. Even with Koji...I miss him. He was a rare talent, and an even more rare personality.
I'm glad he's done well since, and silenced all but the most stubborn of his haters.
Rock on Cinco Ocho!