Sportress of Blogitude

Jonathan Papelbon Probably Needed A Ride In The Waaahmbulance After Sunday’s Game

Get this: if it isn’t bad enough for Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon that he and his teammates have been reduced to spending the last several weeks of the season playing out the string with no hopes of making the playoffs, he also had to suffer the ultimate indignity of pitching in a game where the umpire behind the plate had an inconsistent strike zone. Holy crap! Alert the media!

Papelbon was incredibly annoyed about what he believes was a crappy game behind home plate for veteran umpire Phil Cuzzi after he blew his 8th save of the season (1.0 IP, 3H, 1 BB, 1ER)  in Boston’s 4-3, extra-inning loss to the Yankees Sunday.

“It was really tough tonight. Considering I’m not only pitching against the hitter, I’m pitching against the umpire,” Papelbon said. “I mean, when you’ve got to do that against this lineup, you’ll never be successful. It just won’t happen.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the first pitcher in major league history to have to deal with such an affront to his pitching magnificence!

Papelbon stressed that he was forced to alter his pitching strategy in light of Cuzzi’s calls. Via ESPN Boston:

“Yeah. No question. No question about it,” he said. “When you’ve got to do that, you’re in a lose-lose situation. Just call the game. There are 27 outs, call the game. Don’t let the crowd influence you, don’t let the hitter influence you, don’t call the pitch where the catcher catches it; stay focused for 27 outs. Call the game.

Sounds to me like Papelbon would like to be a future Tom Emanski and in angling to one day release “Jonathan Papelboner’s Instructional Videos: Umpiring Fundamentals.” All he needs is to convince Fred McGriff to endorse the videos and he’s golden.

Papelbon continues with his own personal pity party:

“I’m not blaming the umpire. I could have definitely battled a little bit more out of that situation. I’m not one to complain about pitches, no. I’m not one to do that at all, but when you’re pitching against the umpire and that lineup, nobody can win that situation. It’s impossible.

But you see, here’s the thing, Jonny Boy, you are blaming the umpire. Just by saying that you’re not blaming him does not take away the fact that you are laying it all at Cuzzi’s feet why you stunk up the joint.

“I mean, I made big pitches when I had to, and when you don’t get those, it changes an entire at-bat to now where you have to pitch on the plate and give in to them, instead of them giving into you,” he said. “It is what it is. I don’t know what else to say, man.”

Nothing. He shouldn’t say anything else. Maybe Cuzzi’s strike zone was inconsistent but complaining about it afterward doesn’t fly by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, any additional thoughts from Papelbon will make him sound ever more like a whiny bitch that he already does.

Papelbon: ‘Call the game’ [ESPN Boston]