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Dear Jon ...

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  March 9, 2012 08:25 AM

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By now you've heard that former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon thinks that Boston fans can get a bit "hysterical" about the Olde Towne Team, and that he believes the Philadelphia fans that he's yet to truly meet are a bit smarter than us dumb Northeastern hicks.

Know what's hysterical? Blowing Game 3 of the 2009 ALDS and choking away Game 162 of the 2011 season.

It's quite unbelievable that any local fan cares about what comes out of Papelbon's mouth these days, considering anything he said over the past seven years was treated with a roll of the eyes in any case.

Outspoken? Sure.

Opinionated? Yup.

Dumb as a Styrofoam cup? You bet.

"The difference between Boston and Philadelphia, the Boston fans are a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game of baseball," Papelbon told a Philadelphia radio station yesterday. "The Philly fans tend to know the game a little better, being in the National League, you know, the way the game is played."

Oh?

Look, Jon (Oh, that's right, as a wet-behind-the-ears rookie you made it clear you didn't like being called 'Jon,' right?) we're awfully sorry that this dumb town had to help you deliver a World Series ring, despite not having to pull a double switch and all, but hey, that's the way they play the game, you know.

But that's beside the point, Jon. How you manage to stay in the Boston headlines is a wonder. This week only we have had Ken Casey's proclamation that you can't use a song not even nearly suited to your new team, and now this. Your admittance last month that you never even thought about your final pitch in a Red Sox uniform somehow flew under the radar, yet was possibly the most egregious thing you could have delivered to your former fan base.

You won a World Series here. How is your legacy on par with Calvin Schiraldi?

Here's the thing, Jon. Boston fans know when they are getting played, (a matter you might want to bring up to your former employers). We're not gumdroppy like St. Louis, and we're not apathetic like anywhere in the panhandle. The fans here, admittedly much like your new kids in Philadelphia, care.

What a concept.

For years, as you were blowing ALDS games and season-ending collapses that you can't bring yourself to remember, you reiterated that your No. 1 goal was to set the market for closers. 

Yippee! 

Forgive the fan base if it didn't sit around all that time calculating what you were worth on the open market. We do, however, understand the long shelf-life of closers. Just ask Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, and...uh, little help?

Nobody ever claimed you were the sharpest needle in the hay, but good grief, Jon. This fan base wasn't as jaded or dumb when you got here. Even you have to know that.

Some good things have even happened since you left. Chuck Steinberg is back, Fenway Park is a National Landmark, and Carl Crawford may be ready by June. And did we mention Bobby Valentine isn't just the best thing since sliced bread, he helped eliminate it its presence with the wrap.

Roy Oswalt may even come here once his kids finish math class. Take that, Geno.

Then again, we're too dumb to understand what any of that means. See, baseball in Boston only made you a millionaire without ever having to worry about one financial issue. We can't understand that if it weren't for your arm, you'd be raking in cash as a Harvard professor or working for some Fortune 500 company. I'm sure that by now you would have invested cash in some can't-miss venture, and already penned your autobiography, "Jonathan Papelbon: Raising Chickens." 

So. Yeah. Sorry, dude. Hope it all works out. We'd follow your progress, but darn tootin' remote and sumthin' dash garnit....

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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