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Papelbon won't escalate Steinbrenner feud

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  March 15, 2008 01:20 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - Jonathan Papelbon was amused yesterday by Yankee owner Hank Steinbrenner's comments in the New York Post in which he said, "being insulted by Papelbon is like being attacked by a mouse."

During the good-natured back-and-forth between Steinbrenner and Sox owner John Henry a few weeks back concerning which team's brand is more recognizeable, Papelbon had told the Hartford Courant, "I don't know if he's trying to stir things up or not. I sure as hell don't care because he sure as hell hasn't stepped on a baseball field. He needs to just stick to pencil-pushing, I guess."

Papelbon said in response to the mouse quote, "What ever dude. Obviously by that comment he's trying to start something. I'm not gonna get into it back and forth. I mean I said that because I honestly believe it. People nowadays, whether it be reporters, ESPN analysts, guys that don't play the game, don't understand what it's about. What the grind is about, what the clubhouse is like."

When told Steinbrenner said that Papelbon made it personal, the closer said, "I don't know why he would take it that way. I'm saying, guys that have never been on the field don't have the right to speak their mind about things that they don't know about. I'm not insulted by what he said."

Papelbon said he didn't want to do anything to escalate it any more and said he was even flattered by the fact Steinbrenner would go out of his way to single him out.

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