By Sam Bush
Has there ever been a bigger asshole in Philly sports history than Jonathan Papelbon?
The Eagles’ Ricky (For Who, For What) Watters comes to mind.
And maybe Phillies’ third baseman Scott Rolen, who parlayed great talent into a fan hatred so fast that he had to be traded.
But Papelbon has risen to the top of a small group of players who never wanted to be here and can’t wait to leave.
Hey, Papelbon, the feeling’s mutual!
Last night Papelbon was in a bad mood (he’s always in a bad mood) after pitching a one-run, two-hit ninth in which Phillies fans sounded their displeasure for his latest media outburst.
While representing the Phillies at the All-Star Game this week in Cincinnati, Papelbon again sounded off about how unhappy he is playing for baseball’s worst team and how badly he wants moved before the July 31 trade deadline.
That led to the latest boos for Papelbon when he made his walk from the bullpen to the mound. More came after he allowed a ninth-inning solo homer to J.T. Realmuto that made it a three-run game and there again were more when Ichiro Suzuki followed with a bloop single.
Then came Papelbon’s very short post-game interview, one that was filled with agitation in his voice.
Seeing a few reporters headed his way, Papelbon snapped, “You guys wanna talk to me? You got two questions. That’s about it.”
The first question: What did you think about your reaction tonight?
“Reaction to what?” the closer responded.
“Nothing’s new,” he said in the same agitated voice. “Next question. Somebody else want one? You got five seconds.”
“How good it feels” was asked after the 30-62 Phillies won their first game back from the break.
“It was a great win by the ballclub,” he said, still sounding angry. “Everyone went out there and did good and played hard and solid win tonight. Thanks.”
Papelbon then turned around and walked out a back door.
Earlier, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin was asked if he understands why fans are on Papelbon, who has been a lightning rod for controversy during his four seasons with the club due to his repeated comments about “not coming here for this” losing and of course his infamous crotch grab last September.
“Without a doubt,” Mackanin said. “He says a few things he shouldn’t say. He comes across poorly sometimes, but this guy is a true competit