Jul 30, 2015, 10:23 AM EDT
Jonathan Papelbon met with reporters before yesterday’s game at Marlins Park on his first day with his new team, the Washington Nationals. The veteran closer addressed several subjects, including why he waived his no-trade clause to join the Nats and what his presence now means for Drew Storen.
You can watch the video below to hear from Papelbon himself, but here are a few of the best quotes from his discussion…
On why he waived the no-trade clause under the condition he would close for the Nats:
“Well, for me, I’m getting up there on the all-time closing list and that’s important to me. When Theo [Epstein] had me as a young kid in Boston and he wanted to start me, I said ‘no, I’m a closer, that’s what I want to be. That’s who I am.’ This is what I envisioned, this is what I envisioned. I envisioned chasing Mariano [Rivera]. I’ve told Mariano at many All-Star games that ‘I’m coming after you.’ That’s part of it. Ego, maybe you want to call it, whatever you want to say. For me, it’s a path that I started a long time ago, 11 years ago, and now I’m trying to do everything that I can to continue that and win championships as a closer… This is what I’m best at. When I feel like I’m best in a certain situation, I don’t necessarily want to be taken out of it.”
[Papelbon, by the way, has 342 career saves compared to Rivera’s 652]
On Storen and what Papelbon hopes they can create in the back of the bullpen:
“Well, obviously I’ve spoken to Drew and I told Drew ‘listen, I don’t want to come here unless you talk to Mike [Rizzo] and everyone’s okay with it.’ I don’t want to upset anyone. I just want to come here and win. I think that Drew realized that… I imagine that we’ll be able to create a good repertoire together and be able to go out there and be a one-two punch in baseball that is feared and that can help us hoist a trophy at the end with champagne all over it.”
There is much more from Papelbon in this video:
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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