Papelbon reports early to spring training

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Papelbon reports early to spring training

Jonathan Papelbon's ability to move on from one appearance to the next has helped make him one of baseball's elite closers since 2006.

His unwillingness to dwell on the past extended into last offseason, not surprisingly, after he endured the worst year of his career.

During Papelbon's forgettable 2010 campaign, he recorded career highs in blown saves (8), losses (7), ERA (3.90), home runs (7) and walks (28).

He has reported to Fort Myers, Fla. early for spring training, ready to move on to 2011.

"I didn't really sit there all offseason and rewind tapes and try to figure out what I was doing wrong," Papelbon said. "My biggest thing this year was trying to figure out what's going to make me successful this year, learn from it and move forward."

This offseason, the Red Sox signed free agent reliever Bobby Jenks, and there were rumors that they were interested in signing Yankees longtime closer Mariano Rivera. With set-up man and potential closer-of-the-future Daniel Bard waiting in the wings, Papelbon knows he needs to perform well to retain his place as Boston's ninth-inning arm.

"I feel like you definitely have to earn things," he said. "In this world and in this game you're not just given things. I'm going to go out there and earn it. I don't just show up expecting things. I don't think I ever will. I'm going to go out there, put the work in and show who I am."

Papelbon has added incentive to bounce back from last year: He'll be a free agent at the end of the season.

David Ortiz 'guest edits' this week's Sports Illustrated

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David Ortiz 'guest edits' this week's Sports Illustrated

This week’s Sports Illustrated has been guest-edited by Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who is also featured on the New England regional cover with the headline “Designated Editor: Before He Retires Big Papi Takes Over SI.”

The cover shot is Ortiz stepping out of the dugout at Fenway Park, surrounded by his teammates and fans. In the issue, SI's Tim Verducci has an in-depth, candid Q&A with Ortiz on a range of topics in which Big Papi doesn’t shy away from questions about PEDs, his proudest accomplishments and biggest disappointments. 

This is the first time in the magazine's 62-year history that an athlete has guest-edited an issue. Ortiz was able to select the stories, including one on his friend, new Celtics free agent acquisition Al Horford, which explores the brotherhood of Dominican athletes beyond their major league dominance. Ortiz asked SI to look into what’s going on at Patriots headquarters, where his favorite NFL team is off to a 3–0 start. He called for an opus on Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, whose life was tragically cut short last weekend, and who will have a lasting impact on those he touched. Finally, Seth Meyers, host of NBC's Late Night, and writer Michael Schur pay their respects to Ortiz.