Jonathan Papelbon came to the Phillies last offseason with expectations of winning a championship in Philadelphia while cashing those fat checks. The Phils fell way short of expectations in 2012 and Papelbon reflected a bit on last season while down in Clearwater yesterday. Specifically, he said they lacked leadership.
Now, this is a team with the likes of Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, Jimmy Rollins, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, etc. etc., so for Papelbon to speak out, he's either trying to play mind games to get guys to really step up in 2013 or none of the guys I just mentioned seem to have what it takes to be a great leader. I find the latter a bit surprising.
Speaking to the Morning Call, Papelbon let his thoughts be known:
"Since I've been here I haven't seen any leadership," he said.
good team that I've been a part of has had a good core group of
veterans and an influx of a good group of young guys and I think that's a
recipe for success," he said. "But at the same time, that doesn't mean
we're going to have success. In my opinion, this team has way more to
lose than to prove. I think a lot of guys on this team have proved a
lot. But I think this year if we don't go out and do what we're capable
[of] and supposed to do, then we have a lot more to lose."
I'm curious what some of the longer tenured guys on the team would say about Papelbon pointing out he hasn't seen any leadership.
Like I said above, I'm not entirely sure if this is some sort of mind game or if Pap really believes there was no leadership last season. How do you interpret his words?
What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?
In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."
It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.
And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.
"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?
The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.
Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.
If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.
"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."
That makes one of us.
The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.
Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.
He later made the announcement on Twitter.
Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.
Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.
"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."
Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.