Jonathan Papelbon: I Want To Go Into Hall Of Fame As Member Of Red Sox

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PHILADELPHIA — Jonathan Papelbon’s life, career and reputation changed forever after the 2011 season.

Papelbon left the Boston Red Sox to sign a four-year, $50 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s been a bumpy ride ever since despite the veteran closer still getting the job done between the foul lines.

Papelbon made noise before Wednesday’s game at Citizens Bank Park, telling The Boston Globe that the Red Sox still are a part of him and that he still doesn’t feel like a Phillie four years into his Philadelphia tenure.

The 34-year-old responded to questions regarding his pregame comments after earning a save in Wednesday’s contest against his former team, but he did so in rather bizarre fashion, creating even more doubt over whether he’ll ever be accepted by the Phillies’ fan base.

“No. I think that time has come and gone,” Papelbon told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford on Wednesday on whether he thinks Phillies fans will ever embrace him. “Do you think I can do anything? I don’t. It’s just part of what’s happened here.”

Clearly, things have changed for Papelbon, who was a fan favorite during his seven seasons with Boston from 2005 through 2011. It’s like his whole world has been turned upside down.

“It’s different organizations. Different philosophies. Different front office. Different coaches. Different everything,” Papelbon told Bradford. “There’s two separate entities. I intend on going to the Hall of Fame. If I go to the Hall, I want to go as a Red Sox. That’s what I feel like I feel like I am. I have a world championship ring with them.

“It’s like when you ask somebody where they’re from. Where are you from? I’m from Baton Rouge. I moved when I was 12, but I still feel like that’s where I’m from. That’s where my roots are. The same deal with the Red Sox.”

For Papelbon, the ship seemingly has sailed in Philly. The pitcher’s shtick, which once seemed funny and entertaining in Boston, simply hasn’t meshed with Philadelphia’s losing ways.

“We were winning in Boston, I said exactly what I thought and people loved me,” Papelbon told Bradford. “Here (it’s) the exact opposite. I’m honest and if somebody interviews me, I’m going to give an honest answer. I’m never going to shy away from that.

“I could be the other way very easily, but then I would feel like I wasn’t true to myself. I wasn’t being who I am.”

Papelbon has been forced to do a lot of explaining over the last three-plus seasons because of his actions and his words. But backing down from comments doesn’t appear to be in his DNA.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images

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