Pap leaves Boston in the rear-view mirror

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Pap leaves Boston in the rear-view mirror

Jonathan Papelbon made it very clear he's happy to be in Philadelphia.

Sorry to be leaving Boston? That wasn't nearly as evident.

The Phillies' new closer said virtually nothing about the Red Sox -- good, bad or indifferent -- despite being given multiple opportunities to do so in his introductory press conference Monday as a member of the Phils. If he was at all affected at no longer being with the only team he's ever played for, he hid it perfectly.

But he sure dropped some hints.

"I'm loyal to those who are loyal to me," he said in explaining why he signed so quickly with the Phillies, adding it was "evident to me how classy this organization is."

"The Phillies showed that they were interested in me and you know I wanted to make this decision quick and get it over with," he said. "I didn't want to sit there and debate whether I should go back to Boston. The Phillies showed they wanted me and showed me the respect, and I showed them the respect back."

Loyalty. Respect. Class. All words Papelbon used to describe the Phillies. All words he failed to use to describe the Red Sox.

"It didn't really boil down to going back to the Red Sox," he said. "I knew that these guys wanted me and I made my decision right then and there."

New Sox general manager Ben Cherington said last week that the team hadn't made an offer to Papelbon, which he confirmed Monday.

"There were no talks with the Red Sox as far as getting something done and both of us agreeing on," he said. "There were talks, but I don't think that anything evolved."

Stunning by its absence was any reference, of any kind, to the Sox. No goodbyes to anyone. (When asked if the departures of general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona had any effect on his decision, he dismissed it by saying: "That's part of the nature of this game. Players come and go every year, coaches come and go every year.") No perfunctory, "I had a great seven years there". Nothing about the fans . . . except to obliquely compare Phillies fans to Red Sox fans when talking about how much he'll enjoy the atmosphere in Philadelphia. It's as if he's arriving in Philly from nowhere, with no past to reference and no memories he'll cherish.

He's gone. And it doesn't sound like he'll miss anything he left behind . . . including the song ('I'm Shipping Up To Boston' by the Dropkick Murphys) that greeted him whenever he entered a game at Fenway Park.

"Yes," he said with a smile, "I will change my entrance song for sure."

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”