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Report: Papelbon questions Phillies' leadership

The SportsXchange

Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon said the team lacks leadership, the Allentown Morning Call reported.

"Since I've been here I haven't seen any leadership," Papelbon said, according to the Call. "Every good team that I've been a part of has had a good core group of veterans and an influx of a good group of young guys and I think that's a recipe for success. But at the same time, that doesn't mean we're going to have success. In my opinion, this team has way more to lose than to prove. I think a lot of guys on this team have proved a lot. But I think this year if we don't go out and do what we're capable of and supposed to do, then we have a lot more to lose.

"I felt like I could have been a little bit better leader than what I was, and I held back at some times."

Relief pitchers seldom act as clubhouse leaders, so Papelbon's comments seem to be directed at veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins and manager Charlie Manuel.

Rollins told CSNPhilly.com that he was not offended by Papelbon's comments, but characterized the situation differently.

"Identity might be the word," Rollins said. "We had a lot of moving parts last year. Parts coming in, a lot of new parts coming in. Regulars not being around, not being together, you know that bond that forms from being together. The bond was broken. We're back together now. The glue is back together. You can have a lead singer, but without the man playing the guitar and drums it's a different band."

Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence were traded away during the season, and Ryan Howard and Chase Utley missed most of last season. The Phillies finished in third place in the National League East with an 81-81 record, ending a run of five straight division titles.
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