Between Brett Favre, Jeremy Shockey, Roger Clemens, and countless others, I have to admit that I'm getting pretty tired and annoyed by the diva attitude among these athletes sometimes. It has reared it's ugly head in the form of Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon.
In his own infinite wisdom, Jonathan Papelbon decided to open mouth, insert foot and suggest that he should have been the pitcher to finish the All-Star Game on Tuesday. Yes, a RED SOX closer suggests that HE should have closed the final All-Star Game in the sacred ground of their archrival, the New York Yankees. Not to mention that it would he would have been in spite of their Hall of Fame closer, Mariano Rivera. There is no question that he should be commended for being the competitior that he is and for wanting to be THE GUY to close the show. Yet, I cannot help but laugh at the fact that he would be OUTRAGED over the fact that his suggestion would spark outrage among the New York media and faithful in the midst of a special weekend for the Yankees.
Is it possible for someone even at the age of 27 to be this naive and gullible?
This Yankees/Red Sox rivalry has intensified to enormous levels over the past decade. It has even gone downright nasty. There's the construction worker and huge Red Sox fan who buried a David Ortiz jersey deep in the grounds of the new Yankee Stadium. And then there's the drunken woman who ran over two Red Sox fans outside a local bar because they were taunting her for having a Yankee logo in their car. This rivalry has even gone too far for me at times. So how could Jonathan Papelbon NOT think that this could cause some sort of outrage? Especially considering that Mariano Rivera is having a stellar year in what is supposed to be the downside of his career?
Papelbon and his pregnant wife were roundly booed and heckled by Yankee fans during the parade down 6th Ave. This soured his whole weekend and reportedly he didn't even care to pitch in the All-Star game anymore. Yes, there should be a "Shame on You" sticker posted to anyone who decided to boo his wife who is innocent in all of this, but being in Boston, Papelbon HAS to have enough media savvy to know that these statements weren't going to fly in New York on such an unbelieveably special occasion.
What makes this even more strange is that it seemed like Papelbon has the personality to brush controversy off his shoulders and to keep moving forward. His carefree personality has endeared himself anong Red Sox fans and baseball fans alike. He's won a World Series ring at the age of 27 and has definitely gotten the better end of the deal in this rivalry. If I were him, I wouldn't give a good kitty what fans of my archrivals thought at this point. Yet, he develops SHOCK and AWE that this caused controversy? This is diva-type behavior.
So here's to hoping Papelbon relaxes, takes a chill pill and lays off the coffee. He has a great career ahead of him. Being a diva doesn't help.
It's not helping Brett Favre.