Numero Seis for Cinco Ocho
Many were saying that the Phillies hit rock bottom when they lost eight in a row. Tonight may actually have been rock bottom. I was actually at tonight’s game to witness the carnage that is the Phillies right now. The game actually hit on three themes of the season: 1) the offense was horrible, again. The Phillie had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the ninth and it looked like the Giants had thrown the game the way the inning was playing out. But, in the end, no one scored. 2) Cole Hamels pitched very well but did not get the win because….3) Jonathan “I didn’t come here for this” Papelbon blew his 6th save of the year, and then gave the Giants the lead. The fans were justifiably upset at Papelbon, complete with boos and witty one-liners about his inspiring quotes the other day.
Papelbon is now seeing what can happen when you don’t show accountability as an athlete in Philadelphia. The fans will turn on you and quickly. The irony of the night was that the Phillies were honoring Brad Lidge as he retired as a Phillies this evening. Ironic because of Lidge’s perfect 2008 season, but also ironic because when Lidge was bad (and boy, was he bad in 2009) he was always a stand-up guy, always took responsibility for his blown saves. He never threw his teammates under the bus (like Papelbon), and never blasted the team he was on (Papelbon). I’m interested in what Papelbon has to say tonight, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he just left and didn’t talk to the media. It would certainly be in character.
Papelbon has now become the smelly car in that Seinfeld episode. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If not, let me explain. Jerry had a very nice car, but a valet with bad body odor stunk up the car so badly, no one would buy it from him. At the end of the episode, he drives the car to a seemingly bad neighborhood, gets out, and with a guy on the sidewalk watching, purposely leaves the key in the car and the door open. Jerry walks away and the guy jumps in the car, but then spelling the BO, jumps out. That is Jonathan Papelbon right now. No team in their right mind would trade for him, and maybe not even if he was given to them. He can’t save games right now, his velocity is in decline, he makes WAY too much, and he has a bad attitude. If I was Amaro I would try very, very hard to get rid of Papelbon for free, even if I had to pay a portion of his contract. I can’t see his attitude getting any better because the Phillies probably won’t be any better next year. I can’t see him performing much better, either. It’s a bad situation.