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Most Hated Athlete in Philly Sports Today
No, it's not DeSean Jackson.
He's not in Philly anymore so he's not eligible. That punk will get his butt kicked by Karma in Washington. Just think about all of the failed free agent signings by Daniel Snider over the years and you'll realize that won't end well.
Anyway, in my opinion the most hated athlete in Philadelphia sports today has to be Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Not only is he horrible at what he does, or attempts to do, but he is also a world-class jerk who blames everybody but himself when things go wrong.
I bring this up because Papelbon blew his first save opportunity of the 2014 baseball season, during the Phillies third game. And instead of taking the blame for losing the game, Papelbon blamed his coaches, teammates and bad luck. Hey Johnny boy, Karma might just be coming after you next.
Papelbon came into a game with a 3-1 lead on Wednesday night and proceeded to blow the save opportunity in spectacular fashion. He faced eight batters and seven of them reached base. He threw 21 pitches and almost all of them were terrible. He allowed three of the first four batters to reach base, which scored one run. Then Papelbon turned into the DeSean Jackson of baseball players and became a total diva.
Should the Phillies just release Jonathan Papelbon
With runners on first and third with one out and the Phillies clinging to a one-run lead on the road against the Texas Rangers, the meltdown was well under way. The Phillies decided to bring the infielders in to cut down the tying run at the plate. You can debate whether or not that was the right strategy, but it's what manager Ryne Sandberg chose to do in that situation.
As you probably could have guessed, Leonys Martin hit a ball between first and second that Chase Utley couldn't reach and the tying run scored. If the Phillies were playing back in double play depth, they most likely would have gotten the 4-6-3 double play and walked out of Arlington, Texas with a win. Since it didn't go that way, Jonathan Papelbon did what any petulant brat would do. He threw his arms up in disgust.
Papelbon's sophomoric display of immaturity in the middle of the field showed up not only his teammates, but also his coaches. It's what losers do when things don't go their way. And make no mistake about it, Jonathan Papelbon is a loser.
Of course, the score was still tied 3-3, so if Papelbon could just get the final two outs, the Phillies would have had a chance to still win two out of three games in their season opening series. He failed miserably.
Because Papelbon is such a jerk, he let what he perceived to be an injustice get into his head. He proceeded to walk the next two batters, forcing home the game-winning run.
But Papelbon wasn't done yet. He still had to make sure he threw his teammates and coaches under the bus with his words in the clubhouse, just as he had done with his actions on the field.
"Obviously I don't know whether that's called from the bench or by the middle infielders," Papelbon said of the decision to play the infield in during the decisive play of the ninth inning. "But less than two outs, I'm thinking ground ball and I'm thinking let's get this double play and go home."
Yeah. No mention of him having absolutely no control of his pitches. Nothing about being imminently hittable. Nothing about basically quitting on the mound while pouting and walking in the winning run. What a jerk.
The sad part is that we all knew this was coming. Papelbon's velocity has been trending in the wrong direction for a few years now. It's too bad Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr, was the only baseball executive on the planet who didn't know that when he signed him to a five-year, $50 million deal, making Papelbon the highest paid closer in history. Amaro finally came to that realization when it was too late and he couldn't give Papelbon away at last year's July trade deadline or during the offseason.
Papelbon is still owed $13 million this year and next. Last season, he blew seven saves and had a career-worst 81 percent save percentage, while striking out a career-low 8.3 batters per nine innings. His 2.92 ERA last season was a mirage, since he now relies on pitching to contact more often than not in order to get outs. His fastball tops out at 91 or 92 these days, after reaching 95 during his glory days in Boston. Now the only glory Papelbon has is when he cashes those fat paychecks.
Jonathan Papelbon is a bad pitcher and a worse human being. He came to Philly, not to win, but because they were dumb enough to offer the most money. The Red Sox were more than happy to let Papelbon take his petulant toddler act out of town in order to let that whole "Fired chicken and beer in the clubhouse" fiasco fade into the rear-view mirror.
Now the only thing in the Phillies rear-view mirror is the image of a once-great closer, who no longer has what it takes to get outs, yet continues to blame everybody else but himself.
Jonathan Papelbon is a Jerk
The Philadelphia Eagles rid themselves of a me-first, diva player in DeSean Jackson. Now maybe it's time for the Philadelphia Phillies to do the same. I doubt his teammates or the fans would shed a single teardrop if Papelbon was shown the door and told never to come back.
I wonder if the Washington Nationals are interested in a closer? Maybe we could tell them it's a two-for-one special and, since the Redskins took Jackson, they get Papelbon for free. Oh, if only Dan Snider owned the Nats too.
Hey, I can dream, can't I?