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VIDEO: Papelbon on joining the Nats, playing with Storen

Jul 30, 2015, 10:23 AM EST

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:

  1. unterp - Jul 30, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    good stuff…

  2. Section 222 - Jul 30, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    Don’t much like the first quote, but the second is great. If Drew pitches like he did last night, and Pap pitches like he has so far this year, they are going to be feared for sure.

  3. Doc - Jul 30, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    I’m just a fan that likes the Nats to win games. Rizzo is just a GM that likes to win games. Not much else to say.

  4. greg - Jul 30, 2015 at 11:02 AM

    If there is in fact a serious rift such that Drew is in discussions with his agent about getting traded or leaving the Nats, I have to say I don’t understand it. Everyone can see there’s no such thing as an 8th inning guy in the league. Just guys that happen to pitch the 8th. Every bullpen guy should be a closer. If there is a money separation between pitch 8th and 9th there shouldn’t be. If Drew really has a problem with this I have lost some respect for him. This move is not comparable to the Soriano situation at all. His bad performance in 2013 was carry over from his own failure not the signing. I hope winning is the priority here.

    • deelizzle - Jul 30, 2015 at 11:38 AM

      “Every bullpen guy should be a closer.”

      +1

      “If there is a money separation between pitch 8th and 9th there shouldn’t be.”

      +10

      “If Drew really has a problem with this I have lost some respect for him.”

      -11.

      The problem is, there IS a money separation between saves and not-saves. On the free agent market, “closers” (i.e., players that rack up saves) get paid more money than otherwise remarkable relief pitchers that do not happen to throw the last pitch in the game. It shouldn’t be, but it is, and bringing Papelbon in will cost Drew money. I can’t lose respect for a guy who is complaining about a situation where although he performed mightily, he will get less money through no fault of his own. Baseball or otherwise.

      (Also, bringing in Papelbon will save the Nats money, for basically the same reason.)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 30, 2015 at 11:59 AM

        Many times the toughest inning is the 7th and 8th.

        I remember O’FLaherty to Venters to Kimbrel made it a 6 inning game for the Barves and of course until they burned 2/3rds of them out

      • cwjmonk - Jul 30, 2015 at 12:39 PM

        I always wondered what happened to Venters…is he out of baseball entirely?

      • greg - Jul 30, 2015 at 12:54 PM

        If Drew makes a big enough deal out of this to implode an otherwise very dominate back end of the bullpen then I do lose respect for him. He can have a problem with it but as long as he keeps getting 1-2-3s when he goes out there more power to him. I hope he gets paid! I hope for this year at least everyone is all about winning, and not their future contracts because that can’t be helped right now.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jul 30, 2015 at 2:25 PM

        The Nats can pay Storen next year like a closer. Issue resolved.

      • deelizzle - Jul 30, 2015 at 2:36 PM

        masterfishkeeper, you took the words out of my mouth. Pay him like a closer.

  5. cwjmonk - Jul 30, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    Go Drew, Go Paps, Go Nats!

  6. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 30, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    I’d like to say Welcome to the Nats and Save games!!!

    • cwjmonk - Jul 30, 2015 at 12:15 PM

      I second that 🙂
      Welcome Papelbon! Don’t change a thing, just keep doing what you do so well…closing out the 9th inning and ticking off opposing teams.

      I haven’t posted in a while, but I completely back the acquisition of Papelbon. The bullpen has been significantly improved.
      Go Nats.

  7. natsnatsnatswoo - Jul 30, 2015 at 1:03 PM

    [Papelbon, by the way, has 342 career saves compared to Rivera’s 652]

    Storen, by the way, has only 95.

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Jul 30, 2015 at 1:05 PM

      And Janssen, by the way, has only 90. So lining them up Janssen (7th), Storen (8th) and Papelbon (9th) makes sense!

      • BatBoy - Jul 30, 2015 at 7:23 PM

        Thank Baseball Gods for Paps!!! Can’t imagine game 7 with Drew closing! Sorry to say, can’t imagine Drew closing any game in the Post Season! Really??? GYFNG! GRIND ON!!!

  8. xbonat - Jul 30, 2015 at 4:57 PM

    With this trade We’ve gone from having a mediocre bull pen to having a real good pen with Janssen (finally) shining and the repositioning of Storen. We now have two closers that take the bats away from the opposition in the 8th & 9th…I’m happy!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 30, 2015 at 5:29 PM

      It’s getting the pitchers in roles where they can do their thing and especially in the postseason.

  9. Sonny G 10 - Jul 30, 2015 at 11:33 PM

    I have disliked Papelbon in the past and considered him to be an A**hole. He is a Nat now and I will change my attitude and embrace him as a Nat. Go Papelbon, go #Nats.

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