In an interview with Esquire magazine, Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon ripped former teammate Manny Ramirez by labeling him a cancer in the clubhouse. The following is taken directly from that interview...
"... So Manny was tough for us. You have somebody like him, you know at any point in the ball game, he can dictate the outcome of the game," Papelbon is quoted as saying in the interview with Esquire's Chris Jones that took place in mid-January. "And for him not to be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man! It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening.
"Once we saw that, we weren’t afraid to get rid of him. It’s like cancer. That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go. It sucked, but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us. And after, you could feel it in the air in the clubhouse. We got Jason Bay — Johnny Ballgame, plays the game right, plays through broken knees, runs out every ground ball — and it was like a breath of fresh air, man! Awesome! No question.”
When informed of Papelbon's comments, Manny Ramirez didn't seem bothered. "I'm here, not there anymore," Ramirez said. "I moved on."
Let's get this straight, I like Jonathan Papelbon. I think that he is going to go down as one of the greatest closers of all time. He's got a closer's mentality; a killer instinct mixed in with a little dash of crazy.
However, I've got to take Manny's side on this one. Honestly, what good did it do to rip Manny in the media? I'll answer that, not one bit of good. We all know what Manny was doing last year. We all saw him not hustle down the first base line to try and beat out a throw. Manny dogged it so that he could get out of Boston. We know it, the Red Sox knew it, and Manny most certainly knew it.
The time has come to move on. Manny is in LA. The Red Sox are going into this year with a better team than they had last year.
I admire Papelbon's willingness to "shoot from the hip", but it's time to concentrate on this year. Let's keep the comments towards the 2009 Red Sox Jonathan.