Rumor Central: Papelbon to Pen?

Not that we haven’t already been through this, but Rob Bradford reports:

Rumors are circulating throughout City of Palms Park that the Red Sox are ready to make Jonathan Papelbon the closer and put Julian Tavarez in the starting rotation. We should know definitively after today’s game, but until then we will continue to seek out confirmation one way or another.

It was exactly a year ago tomorrow that the Red Sox made their big bullpen move by telling Papelbon he was heading into the bullpen after spending most of the spring as a starter.

87 comments… add one

  • This is at least the second time the “Paplebon to the bullpen” rumor has circulated. For all we know, a grounds crew guy could have mentioned it a buddy, near a reporter, and off the story goes.
    Are we supposed to believe that the team now puts no stock in the opinions of the medical people who told them he was better off in the rotation?
    I guess I just don’t see the need to panic here. Even in the supposed bullpen fiasco year of 2003, the team won 95 games and wound up with a respectable 36 saves.

    VicSF March 22, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • While watching the game today, Erin Andrews of ESPN said she has talked with team officials and it will happen.
    Here is my post –
    http://mybaseballbias.com/?p=356
    Thanks
    JMM
    My Baseball Bias

    Jason McAdams March 22, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • Dan Patrick said it a little while ago today on his radio show. I’ll withhold judgment until it’s officially stated by the Sox.

    Scott SF March 22, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • Cue: cognitive dissonance on all sides.
    SFs: Those of us who like the idea of a super-deep rotation (myself included) are inclined to not like this move so much. Those of us who are petrified that a misused Papelbon equals a hurt Papelbon (and hence a useless Papelbon) are inclined not to like this move so much. Those of us who think the Sox’ bullpen is a disaster-in-waiting will likely be very relieved.
    YFs: Those who think the Sox’ bullpen is a disaster-in-waiting will likely be quite unhappy. On the other hand, this gives them a chance to guffaw at the “Kyle Snyder or Leatherface is your fifth starter” possibilities, and slam the Sox as a “house of cards with a much weakened rotation”, even as they’ve improved a position greatly that has been the focus of incessant catcalls by YFs everywhere. There are likely to be more exploding heads on the YF side than the SF side on this one.
    The big issue for me is the medical issue, and it goes beyond Papelbon. Do the doctors sincerely believe this is a safe move for JP? Do the Sox believe he can remain healthier long-term in this position? And is Jon Lester more ready than expected?
    If the answer to these questions are all an unconflicted “yes” (and I am a skeptic who doesn’t find sports team doctors 100% trustworthy), then it’s hard to question the move. On the other hand, Julian Tavarez every fifth day?! (Or at least every fifth day until he gets suspended!) Gah.

    SF March 22, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • ESPN radio is confirming these reports. i wonder if tavarez is just keeping the starting spot warm till lester is ready to go?

    sf rod March 22, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • Does Gordon Edes owe Nick an apology?

    SF March 22, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • The New Redsox rotation will look like this
    Schilling
    Beckett
    Matsuzaka
    Lester
    Wakefield

    Jb March 22, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • If this is indeed true –
    I told you so- over and over and over

    Andrews March 22, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • I make one mistake and you link to it on in the tread heading, Paul? Bunk!

    Brad March 22, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • Do you think Kyle Snyder will be fifth starter for boston?

    Jb March 22, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • And here I was going to draft Papelbon as a starter this Sunday night!

    Brad March 22, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • I do think it will be Snyder – at least till he starts giving away games, then it belongs to Lester. I’m waiting on official word though.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • Brad, it was my mistake as well. I’ll share the blame with you, Buddy.

    Nick-YF March 22, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2007/news/story?id=2808345
    Red Sox will send Papelbon back to bullpen
    Here’s the announcement by Espn

    Jb March 22, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • This is a mistake. Papelbon has been dominate this spring and has more value in the rotation for Boston.
    The Red Sox need to make a move for someone either Otsuka from Texas, Cordero from Washington or someone else if they dont have confidence in Piniero or Timlin or anyone else.
    Personally I think Kyle Snyder should be the closer on opening day, he has had a solid spring.

    Anonymous March 22, 2007, 2:26 pm
  • Not that it wouldn’t be nice to have that solid feeling in the 9th, but count me on the side of, if this is true, this is a mistake.

    Devine March 22, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • If he can do it, it’s not a mistake. You have a known thing: Papelbon’s dominant season as a closer last year, and then you have an unknown in what he can do over a larger set of innings.

    Nick-YF March 22, 2007, 2:43 pm
  • Bradford wrote this yesterday:
    Somebody also asked why the Red Sox wouldn’t view Jonathan Papelbon’s spot as the rotation’s No. 4 man as not nearly as valuable as the closer role. Normally that would be very true, but in this case Papelbon existence is viewed as a potential top-of-the-rotation guy, not currently-implanted fourth starter. And when it comes to idea of securing a future No. 1 or No. 2 – and grooming him in that world – that always overshadows a pitcher’s current lot in life.
    So who is it in the organization who thinks that Papelbon is a #1/#2 starter in the #4 slot in the rotation, and if they sincerely believe this then how can the team justify moving him to the closer position, publicly stated health issues and all? Is it Theo? Or some underling? To me the move indicates that Theo himself has zero confidence in Pineiro or Tavarez doing an even mediocre job in the closer spot, which I find hard to believe. If anything, this just shows that Epstein still can’t put together a start-of-the-season bullpen with any skill at all, absent the team signing the best closer available (like they did with Foulke), which is not exactly rocket science strategy. I am happy he’s willing to admit his mistakes and he is surely doing it here. If he were stubborn the team might be worse off, but it’s revelatory all the same.

    SF March 22, 2007, 2:45 pm
  • I’m right on with the logic mentioned in the Bradford post that SF just quoted, Nick. I’m willing to risk what Papelbon can or can’t do in a starter role, given that I believe he could be a very good starter. (PS If he sucked all through April, why not make him the closer then?)

    Devine March 22, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • “publicly stated health issues”
    Maybe “over” should be inserted before “stated”, after all???

    Andrews March 22, 2007, 2:51 pm
  • I feel conflicted.
    On the one hand, I was concerned about the closer situation. Nothing out of this spring except for Kyle Snyder really impressed me, and that made me worried for what we would be in for come the regular season ninth innings.
    On the other, I do believe the closer position is overrated, that Papelbon is far more valuable as a starter, and that it’s nerve-wracking (and nervy) to go from “his shoulder demands it!” to “his shoulder is fine!” in a period of about three weeks.
    I am both relieved and disappointed. I’m glad we don’t have to go through a regular-season trial-and-error period where first Piniero and then Tavarez fail miserably. I’m disappointed that we don’t have Papelbon’s enormous ace potential in the starting rotation, that we didn’t give Piniero, who has done well of late this spring, more of a chance, and that we now get a trial-and-error process with the fifth starter. The difference, I guess, is that if Tavarez fails, there’s Gabbard and Lester. There’s far more credible starting depth on this team than bullpen depth.
    Arguably, this move takes from an area of strength and addresses the only area of weakness, thus strengthening the team as a whole (even if those areas are of varying importance). So I guess that means I should be happy.

    Paul SF March 22, 2007, 2:55 pm
  • We should remember the history of this issue. For months SF has taken Theo at his word that the main reason they moved Papelbon out of the closer spot was the injury issue. It wasn’t (at least not stated) the opportunity cost of not having Paps in the starting rotation. I think SF was right to take Theo at his word. What was also interesting was that the Sox were not exactly aggressive on the free/trade market to get a closer. Perhaps, they had a feeling that Paps’ injury was not as a big a deal as they thought it was back in September. And once medical clearance came, it was a matter of convincing Paps to take his job back as a closer.

    Nick-YF March 22, 2007, 2:57 pm
  • In the Herald today, Papelbon is quoted as saying that the strengthening program he’s on has taken care of the concerns with his shoulder. So that seems to be a middle ground on the injury issue.
    Recently, and I forget where I read this, two AL scouts said the only pitcher on the team they saw with the ability to close was Papelbon. Perhaps that’s what the Sox saw too.

    Paul SF March 22, 2007, 3:02 pm
  • I’m up in the air here. At first I wanted him in the pen, but now after this spring, and letting the idea grow on me, I really was thinking that he would be downright dominant on the mound as a starter. Now, I’m going to stop thinking about it, because there is no way I can make myself feel better about the situation. ugh.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 3:05 pm
  • ” I think SF was right to take Theo at his word.”
    Why take the guy at his word when major issues always seem to be in a constant state of liquidity with the sox” FO?

    Andrews March 22, 2007, 3:06 pm
  • I think Timlin starting the season on the DL was the final catalyst for this move. This makes the Sox a MUCH better team, as long as Paps can handle the role health-wise (which he probably can).

    Andrew March 22, 2007, 3:07 pm
  • I agree 100 percent Andrew. Aw, hell!!!

    Anonymous March 22, 2007, 3:12 pm
  • Second, Since Astros Gm Tim Purpura said Lidge and Qualls are not available in a trade, Theo made his decision to move Papelbon back being a closer.

    Jb March 22, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • I think SF was right to take Theo at his word
    I didn’t take Theo at his word, I took the team doctors at their word. Though I have always expressed concern about the credibility of team-employed doctors, in this case the combination of the actual injury Papelbon suffered along with his perceived value as a top starter made it very, very easy to accept the logic of the move. My own logic has not changed: I don’t understand this move, particularly not with the front office attitude that Bradford cites, other than in terms of it showing Epstein to be near-inept at concocting a solid bullpen to start a season.

    SF March 22, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • I’ll believe all of this when Papelbon jogs in to save one in April. Until then, I stil think moves will be made. At least maybe, that’s what I’m hoping.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 3:17 pm
  • and papelbon just gave up a run on two hits in his first inning today.
    he’s no pavano. in 4 1/3 today, he gave up 8 hits walked 2 and had 3 earned. thanks carl.

    sf rod March 22, 2007, 3:19 pm
  • other than in terms of it showing Epstein to be near-inept at concocting a solid bullpen to start a season.
    Not to defend Theo, who hasn’t done a good job in previous years for sure, but shouldn’t we wait to see how everyone performs this year before we decide anything? Or at least wait for the reason, I guess. We knew going into this offseason that there were no available closers, and those that were available were going to be supr expensive. I’m just not sure what else Theo could have done in this particular instance.

    Paul SF March 22, 2007, 3:34 pm
  • The Yankees are looking better and better.

    Russell March 22, 2007, 3:36 pm
  • The Yankees are looking better and better.
    How so?

    Brad March 22, 2007, 3:39 pm
  • “I have always expressed concern about the credibility of team-employed doctors”
    But not, to the best of my memory, while discussing the Paplebon injury. ( Doing my taxes; alas, no time to search the archives)

    Andrews March 22, 2007, 3:40 pm
  • Maybe Russell was referring to Abreu’s three-run shot, which shows he’s more or less healthy (and can still hit homeruns), or A-Rod’s homerun, which shows…I dunno what, exactly, or Pavano continuing to be mediocre, which I guess is still better than him being unable to pitch.

    Andrew March 22, 2007, 3:45 pm
  • I think he’s saying that while he is concerned with doctor’s who are on the team payrolls real motivations, what other choice did he have but to believe them when they announced their diagnosis?
    Is a non-payroll doctor going to offer a more player-interest opinion than one on a payroll? Maybe. That’s why players get their own doctors when they’re hurt.
    But, since that wasn’t really the case here, even if you stayed at Holiday Inn last night, you have to trust what the team doctors say. Right?

    Brad March 22, 2007, 3:46 pm
  • Oh, I thought he had something with substance.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 3:47 pm
  • Or maybe he was referring to Papelbon’s blown save, which only proves that Papelbon will blow every save chance this year, or Phelps’ homerun.
    Honestly, who knows.

    Andrew March 22, 2007, 3:48 pm
  • Phelps who?
    I kid.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • ” even if you stayed at Holiday Inn last night, you have to trust what the team doctors say. Right?”
    Say what?

    Andrews March 22, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • Devine, one thing to think about. You probably only to worry about sending out your fifth starter once or twice in April. You have Wake as your fourth starter, who I think you’d agree is more than serviceable. At least in April, it seems that a bad closer can be a lot more damaging to the team than can a crappy 5th starter. Perhaps, this is a move to buy time for a month….if that makes any sense at all. Probably not.

    Nick-YF March 22, 2007, 3:55 pm
  • “this is a move to buy time for a month.”
    But wouldn’t the change in routine be even more of an injury risk?

    Andrews March 22, 2007, 3:57 pm
  • Andrews, you’re probably right on that. I thought of that just after I posted.

    Nick-YF March 22, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • even if you stayed at Holiday Inn last night, you have to trust what the team doctors say. Right?”
    You’ve never seen that commercial where the guy is operating on the patient, and the nurse calls him doctor, to which he responds “oh, I’m no doctor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night”.
    It’s Holiday Inns’ way of saying really smart people stay at their hotels, I guess.
    It’s a pretty funny line of commercials, but I guess it loses it’s bite if you didn’t see it yourself.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • This is stupid. I don’t even know if there’s another word for it. So instead of having a solid-to-dominant rotation and a mediocre-to-bad bullpen, we get an OK-to-solid rotation and one good relief pitcher who, as of a month ago, was an injury risk as a reliever. And the fifth spot in the rotation is probably going to be a parade of mediocrities ala 2006 unless Tavarez somehow reinvents himself, Lester gets much better very quickly, or Snyder proves that his spring was not a fluke. (Of the three, I like Snyder’s potential best; he was a former first-rounder derailed by injury, and if he can just keep the ball down his HR issues should be somewhat alleviated)
    If I didn’t know better I’d say the FO is giving into the constant and asinine fan/media pressure to name a closer…who gives a god damn if the job is up for grabs in early April? Why do this now, before the season starts, when it’s widely accepted that switching a starter to a relief role mid-season is a fairly simple process? And why pay Joel f*cking Pineiro $4MM if you’re not going to at least give him a shot; he’s been lights out since his first appearance so it’s not like he’s sucked his way out of contention.
    Oh, and instead of possibly seeing Papelbon start in April, I’m practically guaranteed Wake or the mystery No. 5. This has been a bad afternoon.

    desturbd1 March 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • I’m going on the record that I don’t think this is going to happen. I once had hopes, and now my hopes falter in the face of reality, but I still think a move will be made.
    Call me crazy.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 4:01 pm
  • Andrews:
    You might be correct. I expressed concern about the doctors’ independence during the first “Paps back to the ‘pen” rumor, about whether the Sox FO leaned on them to make a diagnosis favorable to his return to the closer’s role. But I did a cursory search (and I am pretty good at the Google!) and couldn’t find my skepticism earlier than that. I will look again later, but I think I might have mistakenly represented my claims.
    I do, however, have a sincere distrust of team doctors, at least when assessing the playability of important cogs on the team they work for (I have a different level of cynicism, lower, when it comes to teams doing due diligence during free agent acquisitions). In light of the NFL brouhaha over concussions and their policy about letting players go back into action despite gravely threatening injuries, and in light of the confusion over Papelbon’s situation, my cynicism holds.

    SF March 22, 2007, 4:01 pm
  • Never seen them, Brad. Thanks

    Andrews March 22, 2007, 4:02 pm
  • “a sincere distrust of team doctors”
    On this, we’re in complete agreement.
    Back to the regularly schedule(d) C

    Andrews March 22, 2007, 4:04 pm
  • Tavarez somehow reinvents himself
    D, to be fair to the man, Tavarez was more than servicable as a fifth starter last year when he was inserted into the rotation.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 4:06 pm
  • Wait, am I losing my mind, because I’m pretty sure a few months ago, or few weeks ago, there was a story quoting the medical staff that said Paps was cleared to close if he was needed too?
    As for me, this is bitter sweet, I get my wish of a proven closer, but I wanted to see what Paps could do in the rotation.

    LocklandSF March 22, 2007, 4:07 pm
  • I’m well aware that Tavarez was serviceable last year for about a month as a starter. But is that really more relevant then the rest of his career? He started years ago, too, and couldn’t do it.
    Further, in the games he started at the end of last season he posted a craptacular 13/12 K/BB, 3.82 K/9, and a 1.4 WHIP, which was only that low because he somehow gave up just 8.8 H/9. That hit-rate will increase, and when it does his days as a serviceable fifth are over. So, no, I don’t like him very much. He doesn’t have the stuff to last as an absolute GB pitcher ala Wang, not even as a No. 5. Not if he’s going to walk that many people, at least.

    desturbd1 March 22, 2007, 4:18 pm
  • There was, Lockland. As the spring went on, it was pretty clear the Sox were moving in this direction… The question is was this move driven by the increasing confidence of the MDs? Or were the MDs driven by the Sox’ feeling that they needed to do this?

    Paul SF March 22, 2007, 4:19 pm
  • Chant it with me now — GAB-BARD! GAB-BARD!

    Paul SF March 22, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • Do you think Papelbon needed convincing by management? Do you think they put a little pressure on him? I thought it was his preference to be a starter?

    Nick-YF March 22, 2007, 4:24 pm
  • Curt puts a nice cap on it over at his blog today.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 4:27 pm
  • I think starting has always been his stated preference, but he has embraced the closer’s role under the mantra of “doing what’s best for the team”

    airk March 22, 2007, 4:27 pm
  • Curt does a nice job, but I’m a little suspect of his reasoning.
    Either way, qick side comment…
    Is it just me, or are the people that comment on Curt’s blog possibly the largest collection of baseball special ed students ever?

    LocklandSF March 22, 2007, 4:46 pm
  • You know, I’m still pretty confident in our rotation even without Paps in it. Call me crazy, but a lot of teams have a much worse #5 man than Snyder/Tavarez.

    LocklandSF March 22, 2007, 4:50 pm
  • Is it just me, or are the people that comment on Curt’s blog possibly the largest collection of baseball special ed students ever?
    It really is over the top. It’s out of control the short-bus capacity of that crowd over there. They’re probably the same group of 38 year old men begging for an autograph during batting practice, but whatever. You’d think that they have some inside fact that Curt cured cancer, figured out how to inact world peas (sorry, I can’t resist when I get the chance), and has written a fully accepted exit strategy for Iraq.
    It almost makes me sick to read all the love shown there. It’s waaaayyy over the top.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 4:53 pm
  • It’s very Oprah like on that site.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 4:55 pm
  • Is Curt going to give away free SUV Hummers to his posters?

    Nick-YF March 22, 2007, 4:57 pm
  • hahah, nick. Even if I had a hummer, I wouldn’t drive it! Maybe they’re all employees of his, and he makes them post all day, every day. Oprah like. Only guys who saw the Chapelle’s show skit are going to get that.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 5:00 pm
  • >i wonder if tavarez is just keeping the starting spot warm till lester is ready to go?
    I had the same thought. This gives Lester more time to get strong/tune up his stuff.
    It gives the Sox the chance to try out their panoply of potential closers as 7th/8th inning set-up guys, gives Lester a chance to come up to speed, and gives The Orc one last chance for that big role that he’s been grousing about — in which some say he is much more likely, personality-wise, to shine.
    It gives Theo time to deal/shop for a closer.
    And since no one emerged from Spring Training as the slam-dunk successor to Paps ’06, it makes some sense to me (guess I’m in the minority on this) to go with the sure thing, if the doctors and Papelbon himself are cool with it. If they are making this move, obviously it must have been blessed by both.
    I mean, what’s not to like about a lights-out closer like Papelbon? If we’d traded for a guy with his rookie numbers, people would be ecstatic.
    Assuming the rotation is an upgrade over last year with Matsuzaka and a Beckett rebound, Papelbon shouldn’t have to come in as often anyway.
    Overall, I suspect that the Sox’s entire pitching scenario will be in flux for 2-3 months — 4th/5th starter, middle relief, set-up *and* closer. And I’m much more optimistic about someone (Donnelly, Piniero, Romero) pleasantly surprising us this year than last.

    Anonymous March 22, 2007, 5:10 pm
  • Man Chien-Ming Wang looked dreadful today.

    Brad March 22, 2007, 5:11 pm
  • >i wonder if tavarez is just keeping the starting spot warm till lester is ready to go?
    I had the same thought. This gives Lester more time to get strong/tune up his stuff.
    It gives the Sox the chance to try out their panoply of potential closers as 7th/8th inning set-up guys, gives Lester a chance to come up to speed, and gives The Orc one last chance for that big role that he’s been grousing about — in which some say he is much more likely, personality-wise, to shine.
    It gives Theo time to deal/shop for a closer.
    And since no one emerged from Spring Training as the slam-dunk successor to Paps ’06, it makes some sense to me (guess I’m in the minority on this) to go with the sure thing, if the doctors and Papelbon himself are cool with it. If they are making this move, obviously it must have been blessed by both.
    I mean, what’s not to like about a lights-out closer like Papelbon? If we’d traded for a guy with his rookie numbers, people would be ecstatic.
    Assuming the rotation is an upgrade over last year with Matsuzaka and a Beckett rebound, Papelbon shouldn’t have to come in as often anyway.
    Overall, I suspect that the Sox’s entire pitching scenario will be in flux for 2-3 months — 4th/5th starter, middle relief, set-up *and* closer. And I’m much more optimistic about someone (Donnelly, Piniero, Romero) pleasantly surprising us this year than last.

    Hudson March 22, 2007, 5:14 pm
  • dear curt-
    i totally added you to my top 8 on myspace. bff bro. you might remember me. i was that guy in the 5th row in august of ’93 yelling “beer me” all game. you might remember my phillies hard hat with two beers and silly straws attached to it. as the police where escorting me out of the stadium i yelled “you rule”. i’m sure you do. that was bitchin.

    sf rod March 22, 2007, 5:18 pm
  • Dear Curt,
    God Bless you and your family, and nobody else. I’ve loved you forever, and your wife and kids and dogs are the best. I sleep with my new Schilling jersey on every night, and just the other day, I made a doll that looks just like you. You’re the best. I love you. PS – I sent you some hommeade cookies, and I hope you like them. Oh, I’m you’re biggest fan, so do you think I can get an autograph?
    Signed,
    – insert a dude’s name here.
    ugh.

    Anonymous March 22, 2007, 5:25 pm
  • I don’t like this at all. I was really hoping it was the case of a rumor being blown way out of proportion by ESPN, but Schilling’s blog seems to put that to rest.
    You can put me firmly in the camp that thinks nasty starting rotation > nasty bullpen. Unless Lester is damn near ready (which I doubt he is,) we’re not going to have a full rotation until 2008 when Buchholz comes up.
    People are going to be dissapointed when Papelbon doesn’t have another .8 ERA (or whatever it was.) If he goes out there and throws up a 2.3 in the closer’s role (which is still excellent, by the way,) the WEEI crowd is going to be complaining every day.

    Steve March 22, 2007, 5:25 pm
  • Or, he could pick up right where he left off. No one doubts his studliness in that role. Here’s hoping for the second option.

    Anonymous March 22, 2007, 5:32 pm
  • we’re not going to have a full rotation until 2008 when Buchholz comes up.
    On the bright side, no one else has a full rotation either.

    Paul SF March 22, 2007, 5:32 pm
  • I can’t say I am overly impressed with the dialog that ensues in the comment space after Curt’s posts either. We’ll see what happens after the “newness” of his blog plays out. However, his top posts are _really_ good reading, and I particularly enjoyed this passage in a recent QA:
    > I won’t argue that players pre-integration were great, there were some great ones. But players pre-1947 didn’t compete against the best players in the world. They competed against the best white players in the world. You take every non-white player out of the big leagues right now and you’d have a MASSIVELY watered down version of Major League Baseball. No Bonds? Ramirez? Ortiz? Jeter? Guerrero? Arod? Santana? Pedro? The list goes on and on but I think the point is absolutely relevant.
    The segment was referring to Clemens, but that’s not the point. A lot of people might dismiss this is a truism/obvious, perhaps even over-simplified, and others may (flat-out wrongly) argue his assertion, but though not original, it is one of the most important observations I have read recently and deserves multiple re-tellings; I’m very glad he wrote this. I would offer the caveat that it was significantly later than 1947 where the results of baseball integration were finally realized; the non-white players of the 50’s, 60’s and arguably much later suffered signifcant obstacles compared to white players, but the core of this point, regarding this and other skeletons baseball and society holds in its closet are critical in any honest evaluation of the game. I’m glad he wrote it, and I’m glad I read it.

    attackgerbil March 22, 2007, 5:37 pm
  • \\On the bright side, no one else has a full rotation either.//
    The Dodgers, Padres, Phillies, and Angels all do. Although, two of the Angels’ guys are hurt right now…still.
    The ONLY way I like this move is if Jon Lester proves to be at 90-95% when the season starts. That way we can get through April with only two or three #5 starter starts, and Lester can hopefully pick up the role after getting up to speed in AAA.
    Ugh. After saying that, I’m still angry. I guess I should wait until we actually have a real confirmation, though.

    Steve March 22, 2007, 5:42 pm
  • Well, according to the arguments put forth so vehemently by Sox fans here on several occasions over the last few months, that they would much rather have a very good 4th starter than a very good closer, I guess this move weakens the Red Sox?

    Whatever March 22, 2007, 5:56 pm
  • WE, According to many of the arguments on this thread today, this move weakens the Red Sox. Why the snark?

    Paul SF March 22, 2007, 6:02 pm
  • Whatever: I think it does, unless the team manages to find lightning in a bottle with the replacement starter (whoever it is.)
    Right now I’m placing a lot of hope in the idea that Jon Lester is ready by mid-May.

    Steve March 22, 2007, 6:19 pm
  • Paul,
    Because I was on the other side of the debate when this issue was beaten to death previously. I happen to think this makes the Sox a better team if Papelbon stays healthy, and apparently, so do the Sox braintrust.
    Thus my snark. Snark?

    Whatever March 22, 2007, 6:22 pm
  • This is so stupid. I just got home to read about this and I’m livid. Sure, let’s go ahead and blow out Papelbon’s shoulder again–why the hell not?
    And even health issues aside, this reeks of caving to public pressure. We’re moving Pap back to the pen to make room for JULIAN TAVAREZ?!?! Are you kidding me??
    Awful, awful decision.

    mouse - SF March 22, 2007, 6:30 pm
  • One thing’s for sure: last July/August I would have rather the Sox had a very good 4th starter than a very good closer.

    airk March 22, 2007, 6:36 pm
  • One thing’s for sure: last July/August I would have rather the Sox had a very good 4th starter than a very good closer.

    airk March 22, 2007, 6:37 pm
  • Well…I wonder how true this is, and how big a role it played in the decision:
    “Papelbon, despite his public declarations of embracing the role of starter, said he hasn’t been able to sleep this spring because he wanted to close and finally told Francona of his desire on the field prior to Tuesday night’s exhibition game.
    “I walked into Tito’s office and said, ‘If you want to give me the ball in the ninth, I want it,'” Papelbon said today.”
    “Papelbon was insistent that he would not do something that would jeopardize his health just because the team didn’t have a clear-cut alternative as closer.”
    “”To make a decision solely based on one year is kind of retarded, in my opinion,” [Papelbon] said. “This is something I’d like to do the rest of my career. Forget about starting. Go out (as a closer), chase records and hopefully do for the Red Sox what Mariano Rivera does for the Yankees.””

    desturbd1 March 22, 2007, 6:45 pm
  • I can’t help but be happy, then, if that’s really what Papelbon wants to do and he said that. That’s awesome, that he wants that responsibility and feels that confidence.
    Okay, let’s do this, sure. But I reserve the right to scream if a couple of the SPs really stink or something. Thanks for that quote desturbd1.

    Devine March 22, 2007, 8:05 pm
  • Red Sox will win the division with Pap’s as their closer!
    Sorry Yankee’s, but c’mon and admit it, the Sox look better now.
    Schilling
    Beckett
    Matsuzaka
    Wake
    Tavazaz (Lester in June)
    Set Up = Timlin,Donolly,JC,
    Ok-J,Delcarman,Hanson
    Closer = Papelbon

    Anonymous March 22, 2007, 11:06 pm
  • I love that people spell his name Hanson. Hehehehe.

    Andrew March 23, 2007, 12:47 am
  • I like “Tavazaz”, myself.

    Devine March 23, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • My guess is the wise ass spelling comments are Yankee fans that are unhappy with the prediction listed above.
    Let me guess, you are both english majors or just nothing relevant to share on the matter…..
    S C R E W !!!!!! is that spelled well enoughh ?

    Anonymous March 23, 2007, 3:47 pm

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