Sunday, February 19, 2012
Papelbon says Rivera is 'Godfather of Closers'
2/19/12, "Sox-Yanks in past for Phils closer," NY Post, Kernan
"This was the friendly face, not the fierce face of determination Yankees fans have come to dislike ever since he became the Red Sox closer.
This was the friendly Jonathan Papelbon. The new and extremely rich Phillies closer heaped praise on Mariano Rivera and the Yankees as camp opened yesterday at Bright House Field, referring to Rivera as “The Godfather of closers.”
“Every time I saw him last year I said, ‘Man, you’re making my job harder to catch you every year,’ ’’ Papelbon said. “He’s amazing. I may not be sitting here today if it weren’t for him.’’
He certainly would not be getting $50 million over four years....
“Mariano set the bar,’’ this Papelbon said. “I’m just trying to do my part.’’
It was Rivera who gave Papelbon (219 saves) the greatest closer advice of all time.
“When I was a rookie and I made my first All-Star Game,’’ this Papelbon said, “I had a chance to talk to Mo and I asked him, ‘What’s the biggest thing that is going to make me successful?’ He said, ‘Short-term memory. You have to be able to learn from that situation but I don’t go out there and think about it. You go over things but you have to be able to turn the page.’ ’’...
This Papelbon said he will miss facing the Yankees.
“For sure,’’ he said. “I think those games against the Yankees are series that you have to elevate your game and see how good you can be against great teams and great division rivals.’’...
He predicted the Red Sox will come back with a vengeance this year. “There are too many guys who have too much pride,’’ he said. “They are not going to lie down, they are going to work hard.’’...The Yankees are happy to see Papelbon go to the other league. Now he is the Mets’ problem. His powerful right arm and fierce determination are among the many problems the Mets will have to face this season."
Goose Gossage: “"It's an insult to me to even be compared to Mariano Rivera, it really is."
Jan. 12, 2006, “Gossage Beyond Compare,” Denver Post, Jim Armstrong