CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jonathan Papelbon has moved on, leaving the Red Sox for a four-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies last November.
But as Papelbon arrived in Phillies' camp, he admitted he would miss the intensity of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.
"Oh yeah, for sure,'' he said. "Those series against the Yankees, those are series where you elevate your game and you see how great you can be against great teams and great division rivalries.
At the same time, Papelbon acknowledged, he won't miss the familiarity that came with playing rivals 18 or 19 times each season, so much so that the opposition knows too much about you.
"To be honest there were some days it got kind of old,'' he said. "'I gotta face (Derek) Jeter again.' Hes seen everything I got. It brings a little bit of life being in a new clubhouse and facing new guys and playing the game of baseball the National league way.''
Like Boston, Philadelphia is a big market with rabid fans and plenty of intensity. Those were essential as Papelbon looked for a new baseball home.
"That was big for me, definitely,'' said Papelbon. "Definitely a big decision for me was to go to a spot where I felt like I could thrive. These are the types of situations I like.
"From what I can gather so far, it's very similar (being in Philadelphia as it was in Boston). You look around the clubhouse and it seems like every other locker has a superstar in it.''