CLEARWATER, Fla. As the most prolific closer in Red Sox history, Jonathan Papelbon had a unique perspective on the job. What advice does he have for Andrew Bailey, the man who is set to replace him?
Just to stay on a one-track mind, said Papelbon, who went to the Phillies as a free agent on a four-year, 50 million contract in November
Go day to day. Have short-term memory. Its just the life of a closer. The best advice I can give him. And thats the advice I got from (Mariano Rivera) my first All-Star Game. So when people ask me what advice, thats what I say.
Papelbon will no longer be part of the Red Sox rivalry with the Yankees and Rivera. Hell miss it. But thats OK with him.
You know what? Its a new chapter, he said. Im going to go to the Phillies-Mets rival, Phillies-Braves. Itll be fun too.
Asked if he could root for Rivera now that they are in separate leagues, Papelbon replied:
"I admire him. I dont root for him. Big difference. No, Im not going to root for him. Hes making it harder for me to catch up to him. Why would I root for him? But do I admire him. Oh, yeah.