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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When Jonathan Papelbon signed with the Phillies, he was joining a veteran-filled team with a strong clubhouse. A team that made the playoffs every year, and won a World Series in 2008. It doesn’t seem like leadership would be an issue.
Surprisingly, that’s not what Papelbon said on Wednesday.
“Since I’ve been here I haven’t seen any leadership,” Papelpon told the Allentown Morning Call. “Every good team that I’ve been a part of has had a good core group of veterans and an influx of a good group of young guys and I think that’s a recipe for success,” he said. “But at the same time, that doesn’t mean we’re going to have success. In my opinion, this team has way more to lose than to prove. I think a lot of guys on this team have proved a lot. But I think this year if we don’t go out and do what we’re capable [of] and supposed to do, then we have a lot more to lose.”
Papelbon is no stranger to what it’s like to be part of a winning clubhouse, spending the first seven years of his career with the Boston Red Sox, and winning the World Series in 2007. He’s also no stranger to headlines. Before pitching one game for the Phillies last year, he made waves by saying Phillies fans know baseball better than Red Sox fans.
Despite the lack of leadership so far, Papelbon believes in this year’s team.
“I think we’re capable of greatness,” Papelbon said. “I think we’re capable of a world championship. I really, truly believe that. But the biggest key for us is that we’re going to have to find our identity, and we’re going to have to find our identity quick.”
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