Thought all the talk around Manny Ramirez was over? You were mistaken. Red Sox Closer Jonathan Papelbon went back in time for an interview with Esquire Magazine to speak about Manny Ramirez’s final days playing in Boston.
“It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening,” Papelbon told Esquire, possibly doing a Theo Epstein impression. “Once we saw that, we weren’t afraid to get rid of him,” again, Papelbon spoke like he was the main brain in the decision to let the slugger go. “It’s like cancer,” Papelbon continued, unafraid to exaggerate, “That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go. It (stunk), but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us.”
Pssst, Papelbon, your teammate Jon Lester actually had cancer. Perhaps you shouldn’t throw that disease name around like it’s herpes (which is probably a more accurate description). No one takes you seriously when you grossly exaggerate like that.
Papelbon is better known for his constipated-looking faces on the mound than his words. He continued by saying that “if David Ortiz gets a little, you know – I’ll tell him what’s up! I’m not afraid to do that. I’m not afraid to put him in his place,” Papelbon continued, even though Ortiz would chew him up and spilt him out easier than a handful of sunflower seeds, “because I think everybody needs that.” Apparently, Papelbon is the ego police of the team. He is confusing his role as “closer” with the duty of the “manager.”
This is not the first, and won’t be the last time Papelbon will offer up questionable comments. The Mississippi State graduate knows more about the War of Northern Aggression than he knows about public relations.
It is a public relations curve ball (pun!) that this interview was not in a sports publication, but in the metro-sexual supported Esquire magazine. Esquire is a magazine lost between wanting to be Playboy or Maxim, but is neither. The men’s magazine competes in a competitive market with Maxim, Details, and GQ, all at a time when magazines are on the general downturn.
The Papelbon interview may be a good advertisement for Esquire, especially in New England. Too bad half of the interview has been quoted on ESPN’s Sportscenter or can be read online already. That takes the draw away from actually feeling a need to buy the magazine.
The ironic part of the attention-seeking interview is that Papelbon said he has no problem calling out any of his teammates once they’ve crossed the line. Well then, someone better call out Papelbon because trashing a player seven months after-the-fact for the sake of shameless self-promotion for a struggling magazine is pretty far over the line.