Jonathan Papelbon Not Always Comfortable Playing in Front of Large Crowds

Jonathan Papelbon Not Always Comfortable Playing in Front of Large Crowds

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Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was one of the Philadelphia athletes shocked by the awful events at the Boston Marathon this week who spoke out. He told beat writers on Monday that at one point when pitching for the Red Sox he lived right above the location where one of the bombs went off.

Papelbon spoke on the matter again on Tuesday, this time with the Boston media prior to the Phils game against the Reds in Cincinnati. He was asked if he feels safe as a professional athlete performing in front of large crowds.

His answer may surprise.

The guy who looks like he isn't scared of anything when he's on the pitcher's mound brought up the Phillies' Opening Day pregame festivities where the entire team, led by Charlie Manuel and the Phillie Phanatic, walk into Citizens Bank Park through Ashburn Alley and down the outfield stands amid crowds of fans before reaching the field.

"I don't feel comfortable doing that," Papelbon said. "I really, truly don't. In today's day and age, it's gotten so crazy… everything. All this stuff going on. Shoot, man, Obama wants to take our guns from us and everything. You got this kind of stuff going on. It's a little bit insane for me. I don't really know how to take it."

The Obama line seems a bit unrelated and curious. Would he feel more comfortable if fans had guns inside ball parks? Not sure what he was going for there.

Regardless, safety in all sorts of public environments is once again going to come to the forefront of many conversations. Ball parks never entered my mind as somewhere to worry about, but I've also never had 40,000 eyeballs all directed on my every movement.

Jonathan Papelbon clearly doesn't feel as comfortable at work as the rest of us.

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Here's Papelbon on the disbelief that went through his head when first hearing about the tragedy on Monday.

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Tim Tebow shows power in baseball tryout but clearly still needs work

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The Associated Press

Tim Tebow shows power in baseball tryout but clearly still needs work

LOS ANGELES -- Tim Tebow has taken his first big swing at a baseball career, showing off a powerful bat and a few areas of needed improvement in a workout for dozens of major league scouts.

The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback worked out at the University of Southern California's Dedeaux Field on Tuesday. Scouts and reporters tracked, timed and recorded his every move.

Tebow's 255-pound muscled physique and 6.70-ish time in the 60-yard dash were impressive. So was a series of long homers into the trees and off the scoreboard.

The 29-year-old outfield hopeful also showed he still needs baseball seasoning. Former big-leaguers David Aardsma and Chad Smith repeatedly fooled him with off-speed pitches later in the hitting drills.

Tebow's representative would like to see him in instructional league play starting in September.

Eagles claim DT Bruce Gaston off waivers

Eagles claim DT Bruce Gaston off waivers

The Eagles' roster now stands at the max of 75, as the team claimed defensive tackle Bruce Gaston off waivers on Tuesday from Chargers. 

The roster, which had to be cut to 75 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, must be at 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Gaston has played for the Dolphins, Cardinals, Packers and Bears since entering the NFL in 2014. He's also spent time with the Patriots, Vikings and most recently the Chargers.

The 6-foot-2, 310-pounder had eight total tackles and a sack in seven games for the Bears last season, his last NFL game action.

Gaston, 24, played collegiately at Purdue.

The Eagles take on the Jets at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday (7 p.m./NBC10) in their preseason finale before opening the regular season on Sept. 11 at home against the Browns.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks protesting anthem, Myke Tavarres doesn't

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks protesting anthem, Myke Tavarres doesn't

A day after flip-flopping on whether or not he planned to stand or sit during the national anthem, Myke Tavarres had nothing to say about this complex issue.

Tavarres, a rookie undrafted linebacker with the Eagles, told ESPN on Monday he planned to emulate 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and sit during the playing of the national anthem Thursday night prior to the Eagles’ preseason game against the Jets at the Linc.

Tavarres said he wanted to draw attention to racial inequality and social injustice with the demonstration.

"We’ve got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up,” Tavarres told ESPN.

But within a couple hours, Tavarres had changed his mind.

“Myke plans on standing for the national anthem,” his agent said in a statement. “Myke does not want to be a distraction to the Philadelphia Eagles organization. Myke's goal is and will always be to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster and help the team win a Super Bowl.”

Kaepernick, who four years ago led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, spoke for 18½ minutes about his decision to sit during the Star-Spangled Banner.

Tavarres said at his locker after practice Tuesday he had nothing more to say.

“I made a statement through my agent last night,” he said. “If you have any other questions, please talk to him.”

Head coach Doug Pederson said he did not talk individually to Tavarres, a fringe prospect who is unlikely to survive this weekend’s roster cuts.

But he did discuss the broader issue in a meeting with the full team and said he believes his players should stand during the anthem.

“Listen, I can appreciate everybody's opinions and I respect everybody's opinions,” Pederson said.

“But at the same time, I feel that [the national anthem] is important and it's obviously out of respect for the men and women of our country that sacrifice in order for us to coach and play this great game.

“So I get it. I understand it. But at the same time, I encourage everybody to stand.”