The Red Sox of old were a lot like Papelbon. They were loud, they were unabashedly outspoken and there was never any shortage of drama. This was a team that had to wildly refute rumors that its players were under the influence during their infamous ALCS comeback over the Yankees, after a certain first baseman?s appearance on late night TV.
These days, the Red Sox are all about diplomacy. They are focused, they are driven and they don?t have time for the fun-filled shenanigans of the "Cowboy Up" days. Actually, they?re kind of a lot like the Yankees.
And that?s why Papelbon is such a breath of fresh air. He?s still goofy and (unintentionally) funny and would?ve fit right in the with likes of Kevin Millar, Johnny Damon and Pedro Martinez. As the player arbitration deadline looms on the horizon, Papelbon emerged from his offseason undercover lair to shed some light on what he really expects Boston to pay him in 2010.
And let me tell you: When Papelbon and his brain team up to do some damage in the thinking department, the Red Sox don?t stand a chance.
After all, he?s only seeking a big payday for the good of all the other young up-and-coming closers out there. He?s paving the way, just like the closing forefathers did for him all those years ago. He?s just doing his part in the game of evolution.
In other news, Stan Van Gundy and JJ Redick try to make light of a horrendous week for Magic fans, and Rex Ryan thinks the Jets should be favored to win the Super Bowl. No, really.
"Heck yeah, as far as what me and my brain are thinking.?
–Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, on ESPN.com, on whether he expects a pay raise from the Red Sox for the 2010 season
"I'd love to have that sense of security of being with a team and knowing, 'Hey, they want me, and I want them, let's have a happy marriage.' But what do I have to give up to be in that marriage? Understand, I'm in the prime of my career. Why would I give up something? I'd give up something if it's fair to both sides, but I want to do things for my fellow closers, just like Mo paved the way for me. I want every closer out there, man, to get every penny they deserve.''
–Papelbon, on ESPN.com, on seeking the salary he deserves
"I'm glad they don't because I'm sure I'd be the one they'd be bringing it in for.?
–Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy, in the Associated Press, on whether his players would ever bring weapons into the locker room, a la Gilbert Arenas
"I think that the problem is everybody."
–Orlando guard JJ Redick, in the AP, on the problem with the reeling Magic
"To me, we should be favorites, so [the official line is] fine. I mean [we should be favored to win] whole tournament. You know the way that I feel."
–New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, in the AP, on his squad?s postseason odds
?When we?re not playing them, we can be on good terms and be friendly. But right now, we got a job to do.?
–Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, in a weekly news conference, on Ravens head coach John Harbaugh
"Punting is all about opportunity. My worst year punting, we went to the Super Bowl. Our offense has been so bad it's given me a lot of chances for big punts.''
–Raiders punter Shane Lechler, on SI.com
"Payback for what the Cowboys did to my Eagles."
–Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, on ESPN.com, when L.A. routed the Mavericks after his hometown Eagles were beaten 24-0 by Dallas
"I have a chance to come here and prove that I'm healthy. And the chance to go to the World Series makes everything else secondary. I have a chance here for a ring on my finger. Nothing is as tough as that.''
–New Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre, on ESPN.com
"Maybe I oversold [optimism before the season started]. It was harder than we thought."
–Recently fired Seahawks coach Jim Mora, on SI.com, after leading Seattle to a 5-11 record in his only season at the helm
?I think the Mets wanted me more. That?s how it felt. And [New York] just kind of felt like it fit.?
–Mets left-fielder Jason Bay, in the Boston Herald, on why he chose New York over Boston