Monday, September 15, 2014

Jonathan Papelbon Does The Impossible


Reach and Teach
After delivering a napalm gift to the Miami Marlins in the form of a blown bunny save, the least-loved closer in Phillies history (no, seriously) decided to show his appreciation of the paying public with a prostrate exam. Unfortunately for the troll, umpire and bigger troll Cowboy Joe West happened to be around when all of this was going on, and decided to run him for it. This made the arsonist run out of the dugout and get manhandled a bit by West, who clearly wasn't interested in anything that was being discussed.

Now, a few points to this.

1) Why is Papelbon employed? The best thing that has happened to the Phillies in the second half of the season has been the emergence of dominant set up Ken Giles, who throws in the triple digits, makes peanuts as a Young Guy, and actually isn't, well, you know, an utter and complete waste of sperm and dignity. Giles' numbers: 1.18 ERA, 0.83 WHIP. Even in the current dead ball era, that's awesome.

2) Pap is 33, hasn't been to the playoffs since he was 28, and appears utterly immovable due to his $13mm a year deal, which runs through the next *two* seasons. If you ever wanted the Ruben Amaro Jr. in microcosm, it's this: an overpaid closer who is genuinely disruptive, and you can't move him. Just the best, Rube is.

3) Do you know how hard you have to work to get people in town to pay attention to a Phillies game these days? Paps picked his shot (NFL Sunday, but one without an Eagles game) to do what he could, and while Derek Lowe clearly did it better, you have to admire his ability to own up to his shortcomings. It's no wonder he got so upset at West, really -- otherwise, this might have gone unnoticed.

4) Honestly, I have no idea why the team hadn't shut him down before this point in the season. It would be far, far better to find out if Giles can take the ninth now. If you are under the delusion that he could have any trade value at all, you are putting him at risk of injury for the joy of winning a handful more games, and making Amaro's future farm system boners even less ignorable.

5) Not that baseball players are really capable of doing this, but I have to wonder... do players behind this piece of trash try as hard to catch the ball? Even on a sub-conscious level, I don't think I'm running into walls to save Pap's numbers.

Which means that, well, he's really never going to see the postseason again, right?

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