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Jonathan Papelbon: Philadelphia fans will never embrace me

04.09.15 at 1:22 am ET
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Jonathan Papelbon picked up his 326th career save Wednesday night. (Getty Images)

Jonathan Papelbon picked up his 326th career save Wednesday night. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA — He had just finished his somewhat bizarre post-game press conference when Jonathan Papelbon sat down in front of his locker, took a deep breath and attempted to soak in what could be classified as a microcosm of his entire tenure as a Phillie.

There was a solid four-out save (bringing him within five of tying the Phillies’ franchise record), the trademark celebration after securing the final out and then another uneasy session with the media.

This time the conversation with those asking the questions involved both the pitcher’s thoughts on the Phillies’ 4-2 win over the Red Sox, and pre-game comments made to the Boston Globe saying he still didn’t feel like a Phillie. (To read a transcript of that entire press conference, click here.)

Then, talking for a few more minutes with WEEI.com, he tried to clarify some of the clarification.

“It’€™s different organizations. Different philosophies. Different front office. Different coaches. Different everything,” said Papelbon of the Red Sox and Phillies. “There’€™s two separate entities. I intend on going to the Hall of Fame. If I go to the Hall, I want to go as a Red Sox. That’€™s what I feel like I feel like I am. I have a world championship ring with them.

“It’€™s like when you ask somebody where they’€™re from. Where are you from? I’€™m from Baton Rouge. I moved when I was 12, but I still feel like that’€™s where I’€™m from. That’€™s where my roots are. The same deal with the Red Sox.”

But beyond comparing the only two franchises he has ever known, there is a deeper rooted issue that would seem problematic considering the fact Papelbon likely has two more years committed to the Phillies.

“No. I think that time has come and gone,” said the closer when asked if he believed he would ever be embraced by the Philadelphia baseball fan base. “Do you think I can do anything? I don’t. It’s just part of what’s happened here.”

For some that would be unsettling. This is Papelbon’s fourth season with the Phillies, he is coming off one of the best season’s in his career, and the franchise save record might be just a month or so away after totaling his 107th in 122 tries with the Phils.

Papelbon, however, has seemingly come to grips with his lot in life.

“No because I don’€™t care about being embraced,” he said when asked if the lack of love bothered him. “I care about winning. Winning is the all-mighty cure. I think if we would have won when I first got here I think it would have been different.

“We were winning in Boston, I said exactly what I thought and people loved me. Here ‘€¦ the exact opposite. I’€™m honest and if somebody interviews me I’€™m going to give an honest answer. I’€™m never going to shy away from that. I could be the other way very easily, but then I would feel like I wasn’€™t true to myself. I wasn’€™t being who I am.”

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