Jonathan Pabelbon’s last memory as a Boston Red Sox will forever the blown save he suffered that fateful September night in Baltimore, cementing one of the worst collapses in sports history.
His tenure came to an end last week when he signed a four year $50 million deal with the Phillies.
As I wrote shortly after Boston’s final game, Pabelbon’s departure is by no means a surprise. Even though he was a central figure to the Red Sox’s 2007 World Series championship, there was no way he was ever going to be welcomed back to Fenway. Boston is very much a ‘what have you done for me lately’ city and lately Pabelbon hasn’t been the shut down closer he once was. He had a fairly decent 2011 (aside from two blown saves against Baltimore in the final week) and finished 4-1 with 31 saves and a 2.94 ERA.
In 2010 he was 5-7 with eight blown saves and a 3.90 ERA. Quite the jump from the previous four years when his ERA never went surpassed 2.35.
As has been well documented, unless your name is Rivera or Hoffman, once you lose your edge as a closer it’s nearly impossible to regain it. Think of other once dominant closers that have flamed out in the past few seasons: Joakim Soria, Matt Capps, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Broxton, Brad Lidge to name a few.
So that being said, I think Phillie fans can count on maybe one good year from Paps but certainly not $50 million worth over four years. And any signs of struggles will only be amplified as Philly fans aren’t known for their patience.
And on the lighter side, we now have our first official look at the new Marlin alternates. I have to say, I don’t mind the orange. The black is redundant but every MLB feels the need for a black jersey these days so no real surprise there. Not all that thrilled with the ‘M’ logo on the hats, but overall I like ’em.