BOSTON (CBS) — Jonathan Papelbon is employed by the Philadelphia Phillies to close out baseball games, but it seems from his latest comments that he aspires to be an assistant general manager.
Whether or not Ruben Amaro, the Phillies’ actual general manager, wanted to hear the closer’s suggestions didn’t prevent Papelbon from letting loose his opinions on what the Phillies can do to contend again.
“It’s going to take, in my opinion, a lot,” Papelbon said, according to MLB.com, when he was asked what it will take for the 49-56 Phillies to turn things around. “And in my opinion, I think it’s going to have to be something very similar to what the Red Sox went through a couple years ago. From top to bottom.”
With regard to what the Red Sox did, Papelbon’s own departure was part of the turnaround process.
“I left. Carl [Crawford] left. [Josh] Beckett left. Adrian [Gonzalez] left,” Papelbon said. “Now look at them.”
Papelbon’s suggestion that his leaving Boston helped the team succeed is an indication he may want out of Philadelphia, where he signed a four-year, $50 million prior to the 2012 season. He converted 38 of 42 save opportunities last year, but he’s blown five saves in 25 opportunities this year while posting the worst strikeout rate of his career.
The 32-year-old said the same pressure that is placed on the players to perform should be placed on the executives in charge of building the team.
“I definitely didn’t come here for this,” Papelbon said. “I would like to stay here, but if I’m going to have to put up with this year after year, then no, I don’t want to be here. Why would you? Why would anybody? … If I don’t do my job right, they’re going to find somebody else. How is that different than the rest of the organization?”