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Francona takes stand on Papelbon

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08:16 AM ET 09.23 | Though 98th in ERA among relievers who have thrown at least 40 innings, Jonathan Papelbon has the public support of his manager. Terry Francona readily admits that Papelbon has had a worrisome season. He is walking too many hitters, his secondary pitches are inconsistent, and his fastball command, once among the best in the game, has been spotty at times. But that doesn't mean Francona wants a new closer. "We talk about setting the bar higher. He's not there right now statistically," Francona said before last night's 6-1 victory against Baltimore. "But that doesn't mean he can't really be good."

The Boston Globe

Jonathan Papelbon , AP Jonathan Papelbon , AP
September 23, 2010  08:31 AM ET

this season stats wont really help when he goes to the arbitrator for next years contract....

Comment #3 has been removed
September 23, 2010  08:53 AM ET

You stubborn mule Tito. It's time to move on. Give the closer's role to Bard.

September 23, 2010  08:57 AM ET

Stop living in the past Francona... He's done.

September 23, 2010  09:04 AM ET

A man has one bad year and he's done? Closers have bad years all the time. Brad Lidge usually has several bad years in between good ones. His ERA of around 3.90 is not great this year but look at his lifetime numbers

2.19 ERA, 1.017WHIP, 416K's in 361 innings and 101 walks.

Playoffs
27 innings, 1 ERA, 0.815WHIP, and has given up 14 hits.

September 23, 2010  09:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

You stubborn mule Tito. It's time to move on. Give the closer's role to Bard.

No need to put that much pressure on Bard right now (next season). He's only in his first year and letting him mature a bit more could never hurt. I think Papelbon has the tools to bounce back next year in a big way.

Of course, what do I know?

September 23, 2010  09:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Stop living in the past Francona... He's done.

He has been to good to just write off for one bad season.

September 23, 2010  09:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Good point....I'm actually curious to see how much he will demand from the Red Sox.

He will certainly look for an increase...

... just because he can.

September 23, 2010  09:31 AM ET

Without taking sides in the Papelbon debate, Phil Hughes had better numbers (bullpen only) last year than Mariano Rivera should Hughes have replaced Rivera?

September 23, 2010  09:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

A man has one bad year and he's done? Closers have bad years all the time. Brad Lidge usually has several bad years in between good ones. His ERA of around 3.90 is not great this year but look at his lifetime numbers2.19 ERA, 1.017WHIP, 416K's in 361 innings and 101 walks.Playoffs27 innings, 1 ERA, 0.815WHIP, and has given up 14 hits.

Everyone is not Mariano Rivera, who's NEVER had a bad year...

... even the years he's not AS dominant, he still dominates.

Papelbon is showing he's not Rivera either, just another in a long line of closers who've had some good moments, but, can be hammered at any time.

September 23, 2010  09:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Without taking sides in the Papelbon debate, Phil Hughes had better numbers (bullpen only) last year than Mariano Rivera should Hughes have replaced Rivera?

I'm sure Mariano's numbers were still good though...

... has Rivera ever had a "bad" season?

September 23, 2010  09:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Everyone is not Mariano Rivera, who's NEVER had a bad year...... even the years he's not AS dominant, he still dominates.Papelbon is showing he's not Rivera either, just another in a long line of closers who've had some good moments, but, can be hammered at any time.

No one is Rivera, he is the only one who never has a bad year so comparing Papelbon or anyone else to him is wrong. Papelbon has had 5 great seasons before this one and over that span is probably the best closer other then Mo

September 23, 2010  09:37 AM ET

I think Paps has had enough good years to warrant resigning him. Not Mo, but who is?
He gets a pay increase, but not Mo money. Sox don't let him walk.

September 23, 2010  09:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

I'm sure Mariano's numbers were still good though...... has Rivera ever had a "bad" season?

Mariano's numbers were outstanding last year and no, he has never had a bad season. Hughes did however do great out of the pen last year as the set up guy but setting up is not closing. We've all seen really good set up guys get moved to the 9th inning and not be able to handle it. And Hughes didn't do well out of the pen in the playoffs

September 23, 2010  09:39 AM ET

anyone who says "can't write him off because of one bad year" clearly has no reason commenting on this article. he's had two well below par years in back-to-back seasons. he only has one pitch and he can only throw that for a strike occasionally. if you've watched him over the past couple years (and i don't mean just on nationally televised games) you'd have no doubt that he is not as good as his numbers suggest. as a Sox fan, i kind of hope he goes to the yanks. i'd love for him to be loading the bases full of Sox in the 9th inning of a 2 run game

September 23, 2010  09:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

A man has one bad year and he's done? Closers have bad years all the time. Brad Lidge usually has several bad years in between good ones. His ERA of around 3.90 is not great this year but look at his lifetime numbers2.19 ERA, 1.017WHIP, 416K's in 361 innings and 101 walks.Playoffs27 innings, 1 ERA, 0.815WHIP, and has given up 14 hits.

Sure, with the Lidge comparison, Papelbon would be scheduled for another great season in 2012.

September 23, 2010  09:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

No one is Rivera, he is the only one who never has a bad year so comparing Papelbon or anyone else to him is wrong. Papelbon has had 5 great seasons before this one and over that span is probably the best closer other then Mo

If you watched Raphael Soriano with the Braves, you saw glimpses, but there were plenty of blown saves on balls hammered 400 feet. I know everyone is thinking that he moved from the NL East to the AL East, and so pitching is easier, but I'm not sure that's all of it.

September 23, 2010  09:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

anyone who says "can't write him off because of one bad year" clearly has no reason commenting on this article. he's had two well below par years in back-to-back seasons. he only has one pitch and he can only throw that for a strike occasionally. if you've watched him over the past couple years (and i don't mean just on nationally televised games) you'd have no doubt that he is not as good as his numbers suggest. as a Sox fan, i kind of hope he goes to the yanks. i'd love for him to be loading the bases full of Sox in the 9th inning of a 2 run game

Go back to watching Oprah, Chet. You obviously don't know what you are talking about.

Paps was 38 for 41 in save opportunities last year with an ERA of 1.85 and a WHIP of 1.19

That my friend is elite closer land.

September 23, 2010  09:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Everyone is not Mariano Rivera, who's NEVER had a bad year...... even the years he's not AS dominant, he still dominates.Papelbon is showing he's not Rivera either, just another in a long line of closers who've had some good moments, but, can be hammered at any time.

Look at Billy Wagner. Over 400 Saves. Probably the best left handed closer ever. However, he blew lots of saves for the Braves this year and blew plenty for the Phillies and Mets before that. Riviera is the only one I can think of that hasn't blown a lot of saves.

 
September 23, 2010  09:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Go back to watching Oprah, Chet. You obviously don't know what you are talking about.Paps was 38 for 41 in save opportunities last year with an ERA of 1.85 and a WHIP of 1.19That my friend is elite closer land.

Excuse Chet. The thought of returning of the Red Sox to "also-ran" status has Sox fans in panic mode. Expect lots of calls to clean house and fire Francona between now and next March.

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