Jonathan Papelbon Brags That He Has ‘Ice in His Veins’ Closing Against Former Team

Jonathan Papelbon Brags That He Has 'Ice in His Veins' Closing Against Former TeamPHILADELPHIA –– Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" started blaring over the loudspeakers at Citizens Bank Ballpark.

As the chorus grew louder, Jonathan Papelbon trotted out of the bullpen. It was an unfamiliar setting for the closer, considering it was Papelbon's first career save opportunity against the Red Sox.

Just hours earlier, he expressed his desire to earn a save against his former teammates. And although it was against newer faces –– Kelly Shoppach, Daniel Nava, Marlon Byrd and Nick Punto –– Papelbon was thrilled to receive his wish in Friday's 6-4 win.

"We've got to win the series, take care of the task at hand," Papelbon said. "I've got a lot of guys over there I consider brothers. I grew up with these guys in the big leagues. I've got more respect for a lot of guys over there than many people out there. It's like backyard baseball with your brother."

Baby brother took the upper hand in Round One. By striking out Punto in the ninth, Papelbon backed up the cocky chatter and ensured that Cinco Ocho –– his alter ego –– would get another day to chirp.

It's not much of a surprise. There's a reason why Papelbon is the all-time saves leader for the Red Sox and the highest-paid closer in baseball.

With 10 pitches on Friday, Papelbon has now converted each of his 12 save opportunities to lead the National League. From the opposing dugout, Red Sox starter Daniel Bard was still getting adjusted to watching Papelbon in Philadelphia red.

"Little weird," Bard said of Papelbon closing against them. "I obviously wanted us to try to put together a comeback and see his first blown save as much as I love the guy. Would've been a great time to do it. Definitely a little weird."

The electricity of the moment still didn't reach its max potential. Had Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz or Adrian Gonzalez been up for Boston, Papelbon would have certainly sensed an added adrenaline rush.

But Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine's argument with first base umpire Gary Darling still raised the tension an octane higher. Even after Valentine's theatrics, Papelbon still continued with his brash banter.

"Valentine can't distract Cinco man, come on," Papelbon said. "You should know that. [Cinco's] got ice in his veins. It ain't no thing, man."

The Red Sox may have another crack at Papelbon sometime this weekend. But Friday's affair was the ultimate reminder that the Dropkick Murphys' anthem "Shipping Up to Boston" is officially an afterthought.

Like he has with his closer's music, Papelbon has moved on from the Red Sox.

Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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