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.