The Philadelphia Phillies ended a four-game losing streak Thursday, with closer Jonathan Papelbon pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn the save in a 2-1 victory against the San Francisco Giants. Cheers all around at Citizens Bank Park, right? Not at the start of the inning. Some boo birds flew about the ballpark when Papelbon made his entrance. It seems some where unhappy that he blew a save Monday and took the loss Tuesday leading up to the save.
That's OK, Papelbon said. Via CSN Philly, he said it doesn't bother him in the least when fans boo:
“No, I enjoy it,” he said. “I just think that it’s fun. It just brings a little bit of energy and life to the park and gives me a little bit of something to look forward to every day.”
Wouldn't he rather the park chant his name like in "Gladiator," or something? Apparently not. Papelbon is just a different kind of cat.
Papelbon regretted that only half the ballpark booed him.
“I heard some of them,” he said. “But that’s it? Maybe we can get the whole park going here soon.”
He also likened getting booed in Philly to a big brother/little brother relationship. You've got to be able to take it, if you want to dish it out, Papelbon says, in the City of Brotherly Love. (Oh, and he's the big brother, by the way.)
Papelbon has 24 saves in 27 opportunities, to go along with a sub-2.00 ERA. Despite throwing with diminished velocity these days, he's still getting the opponent out in the ninth inning. But, because of his sometimes abrasive personality and an overall lousy season by the Phillies, he's going to hear about it when he fails. Or even before he's expected to fail.
Which means Philly fans are likely to start cheering the next time they see him, because it's the opposite of what Papelbon wants.
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