"Papelbon not medically cleared to close games"
This the headline from a story on ESPN. I think we can file the "he’s starting for the long-term cash-upside" idea away for good. It was a silly accusation, and I think this piece seals it. The story indicates there is room for Papelbon to return to last year’s role, pending physical clearance, and Terry Francona makes it certain that JP shutting the door is his first desire, even if it appears that a move to the bullpen would be a last resort. We hope it doesn’t come to that; it would indicate some serious in-season problems for our squad.