Truth be told, I just love when things happen involving Jonathan Papelbon because it affords me the opportunity to do a Google Image Search for pictures of the lad and sometimes, the things I find are just…phenomenal. Like that one up there. Just Paps, offering – nay – suggesting that you indulge in some delicious products from Barber Foods. C’mon, don’t you want a “broccoli” and “cheese” stuffed “chicken breast?” I know I do. Because one does not say no to Jonathan Papelbon. It’s simply not done.
That said, apparently Papelbon is getting his way with the whole closing thing as well. It appears, according to the Globe (and Curt Schilling who is apparently an official news source now), that Paps is returning to the bullpen in the closer extraordinaire role. Personally, I’m not sure if this was the team freaking out because the start of the season is getting closer and closer and they had no, you know, closer, or if it was Papelbon’s doing. But honestly, I don’t care what it was or why it happened. I’m glad. Ecstatic, actually. Since the thought of hiding under my coffee table in the ninth inning of close games all season when faced with the emergence of Joel Piniero/Mike Timlin/Julian Tavarez/a one-legged camel, et. al from the bullpen was not something I’d been relishing.
I think I might have realized how worried I was about this whole closer fiasco when I was at the gym the other day and NESN was showing the latest installment of “Walk-Off Sox.” I must have caught the only episode that wasn’t subtitled “The David Ortiz Show” as the heroics that evening were provided by Kevin “The Big KY” Youkilis. But what really started me panicking was the emergence of Rudy Seanez from the visiting dugout in Detroit. I told myself that I could stop running on the treadmill as soon as Seanez got out of the inning and, I swear to you, I clocked a full marathon before the side was finally retired. I had apparently blocked out the entire unfortunate Seanez Experiment from my mind. Which is probably best, considering the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder we’d all undergone. Honestly, I very nearly needed to be sedated.
This is, of course, all by way of saying that if Papelbon wants the closing job, I say we give it to him. If he wants the starting job, I say we give that to him as well. In fact, if Papelbon wants fourteen purple llamas delivered to his apartment at 4am, I see no reason why he shouldn’t have exactly that. After all, there’s a chance that someone will take a picture. And we all know how awesome that would be.