While last night’s 13-5 throttling of the Rays would ordinarily be cause for celebration in the visitors’ clubhouse, Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon addressed his recent struggles (ie. opponents hitting .414 against him over the past two weeks) with the Globe’s Adam Kilgore. “For the past month, I’ve thrown 20 scoreless innings basically just going out there and throwing my heater and locating it. Well now, the same teams I did that against, they’re making their adjustments on me” explained the reliever, shortly before signing a petition to make Bob Stanley NESN’s new postgame analyst.
“I’m very happy,” Papelbon said before last night’s game. “I’m not worried at all. That’s like I said yesterday – I’ll let [NESN broadcasters] Tom Caron and Dennis Eckersley (above) worry about it. I’m not worried about it. They seem to be more worried about it than I even am.
“Here’s the deal. Here’s what everybody – including Tom and all the reporters – [expletive], I’m a human. You know? I’m not a machine. And, [expletive], a machine breaks down sometimes, too.
“So I mean, there’s that human factor for error. You’re going to be faced with that. I’m going to be faced with that throughout my career and throughout the year.”
Papelbon’s indifference toward critics, he said, stems from his self-analysis. He found a small measure of solace in his recent struggles, he said, because he improves more after a poor performance than a strong one.
“I’m going to be my hardest critic,” Papelbon said. “What you guys write in the paper, and what Dennis Eckersley and Tom Caron want to say, I’m not doing this, I’m not doing that, well, that don’t mean [expletive] to me. I’m going to be a lot harder on myself than anybody ever will. I’m going to critique my outings harder than anybody.
“It’s all a learning experience for me. There are outings that I’m not so successful, and there are outings when I am successful. The ones that I’m not successful at, that’s usually when I learn a lot more. I always take more out of an outing that I’m not going out there, punching 1-2-3. I always learn more from outings that I’m not as dominant than the ones that I am.”