October 23, 2009

I just learned a little too much about Jonathan Papelbon's locker room rituals

Found this little nugget about Jonathan Papelbon this morning, from a Red Sox beat reporter...

The Yankees were in town and players were scarce, save for a few pitchers sitting on the black leather couches assembled in the middle of the room. Manny Delcarmen was one, Clay Buchholz was another. Jonathan Papelbon, in practice gear, was around too, fiddling with the DVD player hooked up to a nearby flat-screen television.

He was up to something, I could tell. When he popped in a disc he made a Bill Murray face. (If you've seen Papelbon's mound stare downs, you know it probably isn't easy for him to be deadpan.)

... it shouldn't have surprised me when I noticed the Hustler Video logo pop up on the TV. It did, though. I figured I was seeing things. The title screen appeared. It looked like an SI swimsuit edition video, with lettering similar to the magazine's masthead. Oh, I though. Bikinis. This won't be too weird. Then the actresses came on screen.


What I saw that day defied physics. It was fantastically filthy. From where I was standing, about 10 feet away, it looked like an open fire hydrant. In retrospect, I should've known. There's a reason they named the movie Squirts Illustrated.

(Can you imagine Papelbon asking a clubbie to make a porno run? Yeah, I need three tins of Skoal mint and the widescreen edition of Squirts Illustrated. Here's 100 bucks.)


And where else on earth would you have grown men looking over the shoulder of a man watching porn? A baseball locker room. That's where.

Now that being said... here's what you should know about Papelbon...

Curt Schilling once said of Papelbon in Sports Illustrated, "He's not exactly a charter member of Mensa," and many baseball fans would probably agree with the assessment. I prefer the characterization provided by Esquire's Chris Jones, who recently wrote, "Papelbon's not stupid. He just hasn't acquired professional mechanisms, an understanding of consequence: He says all the dumb things most of us probably think but keep back."

Well I mean, at least he isn't fat like Carlos Silva.

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