Papelbon looks for leadership from himself, mates

Papelbon looks for leadership from himself, mates

February 22, 2013, 12:30 pm
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CLEARWATER, Fla. – Jonathan Papelbon stands by his comments that the Phillies lacked leadership in 2012, and he believes he was one of the people who came up short in that area.
 
“It was an all-around leadership void, from A to Z,” Papelbon said Friday at Phillies camp. “As far as the bullpen goes, I lacked a lot of leadership last year. I could have stepped up and done some things different to help lead them and maybe the bumps and bruises wouldn’t have been so bad for our bullpen.
 
“I intend to make that change this year and I hope that other guys on this team feel the same way I do.”
 
Papelbon’s first comments about a lack of leadership were reported by the Allentown Morning Call.
 
“Since I’ve been here I haven’t seen any leadership,” Papelbon told the paper.
 
On Friday, Papelbon said: “I don’t say anything that’s not accurate.”
 
Papelbon, who signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies before last season, indicated that injuries and clubhouse turnover were part of the reason for the void in leadership and team identity. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard missed most of the first three months of the season and Roy Halladay spent seven weeks on the disabled list. The Phillies got off to a bad start – they were 37-50 at the all-star break – and never recovered in missing the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
 
The Phillies made a late run and finished .500. Papelbon said he liked what he saw late in the season.
 
“I was really, really happy with what we saw late in the season, the leadership that started to emerge and the identity that started to emerge,” Papelbon said. “I believe if we take that same team identity we had at the end of the season and carry it into the spring and season, along with guys taking charge, that leadership can still carry into this year.”
 
Papelbon said the Phillies had a good clubhouse, but it lacked identity for much of last season.
 
“It was just a clubhouse that didn’t have an identity and didn’t have leadership, I felt,” he said. “That’s not to put the blame on any one person or any one coach. That’s just the way it was. The ways things unfolded.
 
“I’m not saying it was one particular person,” Papelbon said. “Granted we did have a lot of injuries and that does affect how leadership plays a part on teams. Hopefully this year that will change. I think it will.

“Our team identity is formed by that leadership, you know. Everyone takes a little part of the equation and makes that equation a success.”
 
Papelbon said he was very happy with his decision to join the Phillies, and he believes the team can be a success this season.
 
“I liked this clubhouse when I was in Boston,” Papelbon said. “I admired what I saw on the field. That was the big reason I came here. I don’t think I’m speaking anything that’s a big surprise. We were missing a few things and injuries got in the way. It’s amazing how injuries create a domino effect. When you don’t have your 25 guys, it can domino effect into so many different things, and I think that’s what happened last year.
 
“I’m extremely happy about my decision to play here. I love this group of guys. The way we came together the last month of the season was an awesome sight to see. I think if we can take that into the season we’ll be great.
 
“We have a special group here and we have special leaders here. If we can get the most out of our team, our bullpen and our starting staff, I think we have a chance to do special things. I think we have a chance to be the best bullpen. I think we have a chance to be the best starting staff and lineup. I think we have a chance to win the World Series. I truly do. I’m not just saying that. We have a really good shot at doing that.”