Scarlet Fever

A teenage girl's perspective on the Red Sox and everything else.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon has been one of my favorites since he was in the minors. Before everyone else knew about him, I was a huge fan. And even I didn't quite see this coming. I knew he had great stuff. I knew he had the focus to be huge. I was thinking he would have an ERA in the 2's, maybe high 1's if I was really, really lucky.
The kid is mindbogglingly good. His ERA is 0.54. I mean, are you kidding me? That's freaking impossible. That's impossible for a veteran. And this guy is no older than 25 years. And he will be all season. An ERA of 0.54 means he gives up approximately one run every eighteen innings. Which means, if he were a starter, with that ERA he would give up one run about every three starts. One run every three starts. I can't even grasp the concept. That's too good. Far too good. He would win basically every game he pitched.
He leads the majors in saves with 29. Twenty-nine saves and the All-Star Break only just ended. We've barely started the second half. He's projected to have 47 saves, 82 strikeouts and 82 innings pitched by the end of the season. The batting average against him is .154. That means that only 3 out of every 20 batters he faces will get a hit off him. As a closer, that means that in only one out of 7 appearances he makes will a batter get a hit off him. That's phenominal.
Plus, Papelbon is marketable. Especially to a teenage girl like myself. He's cute. Really cute. Even though he's married, what girl wouldn't want to see him pitch? And he's hilarious too. When the games are on Fox and they show the sounds of the game, it's always Papelbon in the dugout, singing away or threatening to bring out his Scrabble board and kick butt. How many Papelbon shirts do you see at games? They're everywhere. That doesn't happen a lot for a rookie. How many Youkilis shirts do you see? A scattered one or two. Youk's great, and he has been having such a good first year as an everyday player. But Papelbon is something even more special. He's a phenomenon. Guys like him only come along once in a great while.
And what's his paycheck again? Ten mill? Not exactly. He's only making $335,400. How much is Rivera making? Try $10,500,000.

And an update on the Papelbon twins: Josh, the one in the Red Sox system, has pitched 11.1 scoreless. Jeremy, in the Cincinatti system, has an ERA of 1.00 in 18 innings.

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