New Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon tried to win the hearts of Phillies fans by throwing a couple of shots at the fans of his former team earlier this week. I am sure this made most Phillies fans feel as though he is now one of us, but I don’t exactly see it that way. I hate fakeness. I don’t fall for the spring training mind-screws that occur, and I surely don’t appreciate bad mouthing anyone who treated you good for many years.
Papelbon, in an interview with Philly sports radio station WIP, stated he believes Phillies fans are more educated than Boston fans. He said Boston fans are more hysterical and the baseball culture around Beantown is more of a religion, where Red Sox fans naturally love it but don’t understand it. In my experience this is completely untrue. Not that Papelbon shouldn’t feel this way, but how can he so soon? He has only been a Phillie for a small period of time and surely can’t compare the atmosphere he has won championships in to that of a spring training in Clearwater, Fla. He spent years being praised by these same fans he says aren’t as knowledgeable because “they don’t know the National League game.” How could they? They don’t play in the National League.
I am sure his comments patronized Red Sox fans as much as they thrilled Phillies fans, but let’s be honest, nothing he says in the media really makes a difference. Sure, if the Phillies meet the Red Sox in the World Series, then his words may have a little more meaning. For now, there is nothing for Red Sox or Phillies fans to take from this. Papelbon is Pabelbon and that will not change. He is eccentric. Red Sox fans know this already, but Phillies fans are just starting to learn. I am sure when we play New York, he will make some comments, and then he may even help juice up this Nationals rivalry that Washington is promoting.
For now, let’s hope his comments become relevant in the future. A Boston vs. Philly World Series would be awesome! What more would an educated fan want?