Jonathan Papelbon Reacts to Being Booed by Red Sox Fans

Jonathan Papelbon Reacts to Being Booed by Red Sox Fans

Perhaps it was against Charlie Manuel’s better judgment to remove Cliff Lee from a game where the 2008 Cy Young Award winner had retired 23 consecutive batters and only thrown 95 pitches.

Regardless, Jonathan Papelbon got his storybook ending at Fenway Park on Wednesday – or part of it at least – mowing down the Red Sox 1-2-3 in the ninth inning to earn a save against his former team of seven seasons. We say only “part of it” because the homecoming might not have been received quite as Pap imagined it.

The Phillies closer was mostly booed as he took the mound, this despite reports that the Sox organization did not offer him a contract following the 2011 season, a point the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo raised again after the contest.

If it bothered Papelbon, it didn’t show before or after his outing. The 32 year old continued to look untouchable in ‘13, finishing out a 3-1 victory to convert his 10th save in as many opportunities, and thin-slicing that ERA to 0.92 in the process – you can almost see through that number.

Later on in the locker room he did his best to downplay the mixed crowd reaction, more or less admitting it only gave the alter-ego “Cinco” more fuel. Per Cafardo:

Papelbon said he didn’t mind the boos. He felt it was a sign of respect.

“Felt like the first time I got booed at Yankee stadium I felt like I had made it. I’ve always enjoyed this city and pitching off the mound here. It felt like old times with all the visuals you get. Old times but in a different uniform,” Papelbon said.

Jim Salisbury also indicated Papelbon more or less brushed the response off, the nine-year veteran offering a resigned, “That’s how they love you in this town.”

Papelbon was a four-time All Star in Boston and helped the franchise win its last World Series in 2007. The team apparently didn't even make an offer. Tough crowd.

Sounds familiar.

The fans’ tunes would undoubtedly change were Papelbon sent back to Boston. If the Phils are sellers at the trade deadline, an elite closer like Pap could fetch a fair price on the market. And while his no-trade clause covers the Red Sox, something tells us he could make an exception.

>> Papelbon gets the best of his ‘brothers’ [Globe]

More from Jonathan Papelbon on his 105th save at Fenway:

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Nerlens Noel is standing his ground.

After saying that the Sixers' entering the season with three starting-caliber centers (himself, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid) "doesn't make sense," Noel didn't back down from his stance during the team's annual media day.  

"I don't see a way it can work," Noel said Monday. "It's just a logjam. You have three young, talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night." 

The Sixers attempted to play with two bigs in Noel and Okafor last season but had little success. Now that Embiid is finally healthy, the fit to the puzzle doesn't figure to get any better.

Reports swirled during the offseason that the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor to add backcourt help to the woeful franchise, but nothing came to fruition.

"Things need to get situated," Noel said. "I think things obviously need to be moved around, someone needs to be moved around. It's just a tough situation. I can't really say too much because I have no say in the matter, so obviously that's for who can handle the situation in the right manner.

"I've gone through a whole lot. Probably the most, arguably, that any player has gone through in the NBA in losing. It's a tough situation to still be in. Year by year, to see things get more difficult to show your value. Year by year, it's always been something. It's really at a point where it's just a lot."

Bryan Colangelo said he understands Noel's viewpoint. However, the Sixers' president said he is in no rush to trade any of the centers and will wait the situation out.

"It’s not disappointing. It’s understandable," Colangelo said. "I think Nerlens actually did a pretty good job sizing up what we have, which is a lot of depth and a lot of talent at that position."

Despite each of the three centers being early in their career, Noel, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't want to hold off to see if the trio can actually mesh on the floor.

"I can't say I do really understand that (wait-and-see approach)," Noel said. "If you have a group of players, I just don't think it makes too much sense to just still come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position. I don't know what there is to wait and see."

Noel made sure to express that he has no issues with Okafor and Embiid and said they are some of his closest friends on the team. But when asked whether he was happy to be a Sixer, Noel deflected.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm all right, I'm in a good place right now."

Sure sounds like it.

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

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Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

You may fondly remember the time Darren Sproles took a punt return to the house last season and a wonderful Twitter user set the video to the Super Mario Bros.' star music, yes?

It was great.

Now that Sproles' put on the jets again yesterday in the Eagles win over the Steelers, the same @pacdude on Twitter has done it again.

This time it's the theme music from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Please enjoy.