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Papelbon's free speech and on-the-field intensity can aggravate fans.
Jonathan Papelbon signed the largest contract for an MLB closer last offseason, a four-year, $50 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Some would argue his output, and now his wallet, gives him the right to speak his mind.
To a certain extent, yes.
However, Papelbon has never been shy to share his thoughts.
During the 2008 season, the Boston Red Sox traded Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Later that offseason, the closer shared his thoughts on Ramirez in an interview with Esquire:
It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening. Once we saw that, we weren’t afraid to get rid of him. It’s like cancer. That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go. It sucked, but that was the only scenario that was going to work.
More recently, after his departure from Boston, Papelbon admitted his true feelings when comparing Red Sox and Phillies fans, saying those in Philadelphia "tend to know the game a little better", while the ones in Boston "are a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game of baseball" (via CBS Philadelphia).
Needless to say, Papelbon's relationship with the Fenway Faithful is on bad terms.