If you've read here more than once, it's obvious I have great man love for Jonathan Papelbon. Anybody who can look like an ax murderer while on the mound and act like the 4th Stooge off it has a special place in my demented heart.
Without a doubt he's one of the best closers in the game; problem is, he REALIZES this and has thrown a monkey wrench into my fantasy that being a member of the Red Sox is baseball Nirvana.
Turns out, Pap wants to get paid. And while I'm in full agreement of this and would do it in a heartbeat, sadly, I'm not John Henry. I'm just some crazed fan in need of shock therapy.
Nobody would deny that our closer, who has been known to go pantsless, wear a beer box on his head, and use something you'd find in the womens section at the local Belks for a top is one of the best closers in the game. And I'm fairly certain we'd all agree he should be paid as such.
Problem is, due to the rules of the game, he doesn't HAVE to be. Not yet, anyway. Because he doesn't have enough Major League time put in, the Red Sox can basically tell him what he's getting paid, and he's got no say in the matter. Next season he's arbitration eliglible, but he'll still be a long way from setting his price.
Don't get me wrong; I'm a firm believer in these guys making as much as they can as fast as they can. There aren't people lining up to watch me sell furniture, or buy one of my t-shirts. Fact is, these athletes are one breaking ball or one freaky slide into 2nd away from being yesterday's news. Pap is just caught in between right now.
I hope management does the right thing, but knowing how they've addressed stuff in the past, I'm not gonna hold my breath. All I know for sure is this: Pap WILL be on the mound this season, throwing gas and acting a fool.
And right now? That's good enough for me.
I had a great night tonight; played miniature golf, Madagascar style, with Rakes on the PS2, and we spent an hour laughing like idiots at the fact we couldn't get the ball up this one hill. I'm pretty sure it took us 47 strokes to get it in, but we had a ball doing it.
Not a bad way to end the day.