I See The Future, And His Name Is Jonathon Papelbon
I borrowed a memorable quote when, in 1975, a famous rock critic whose name wouldn't mean much to you said this after a Bruce show, an early one....1975's Born To Run Bruce Springsteen. And he said this. "I've seen the future of rock and roll, and his name is Bruce Springsteen."
And he was right! I've lamented on our complete and utter lack of a closer, and I've held firmly onto my belief that eventually, SOONER rather than later, Jonathon Papelbon will return to the ranks of best closers in baseball. In fact, he's already on that list. After last year? Of course he is! Read this, from the Herald, and then I'll be back for a few thousand words......or a few. And title click for the entire piece.................
"Since being shut down with shoulder tenderness last September, it’s been assumed the best route to ensure Papelbon’s long-term health is to switch to the regular routine of a starter, over the erratic workload of a closer.
At least, that’s what the Sox medical personnel outlined as the rationale behind his move into the starting rotation.
Yesterday, Papelbon said his arm wouldn’t be jeopardized performing either role, thanks to his strengthening program, which he’s following diligently.
“I’ve talked to a million doctors. For me, it wouldn’t matter what I do, start or close,” he said. “My shoulder is still going to stay healthy because I’m going to stay on my program and do what it takes, no matter what kind of pitching I do. I’m going to keep my arm healthy. So, (my role) is kind of irrelevant.”
Even Sox general manager Theo Epstein offered another interesting take yesterday, saying that he wouldn’t put the term “never” on the right-hander becoming a closer again."
As the MAN said himself...."Yeah, the window’s still open,” Papelbon said of his former job. “It doesn’t matter to me. We just haven't crossed that bridge yet."
Peter here, and as Sean Connery said before he signed back on to become Bond, James Bond, once again in '82...."Never say never again." And at the time, truer words had never been spoken. Right now, in March of 2007, I can and will say the same exact thing. That bridge WILL be one that our Sox will cross...troubled waters? Oh yes. As Paul Simon wrote and Art Garfunkel sang.
Theo, it's time!!! If the only chance our wonderful-looking club has of succeeding this year is by putting Paps back where he belongs, well, just do it! You have a bunch of pretenders to the throne, but they're only court jesters. Jesters who we have to hope will keep the game close in the seventh and eighth innings. Tenuous nailbiting times in store for RSN.
Faith rewarded?? NOT YET, not by a long shot.