Monday, February 14, 2011

Bulletproof Swagger

It was the playoffs—2009. Jonathan Papelbon was entrusted with a 2-run lead in the 9th inning of Game 3 of the ALDS at Fenway. My son, standing next to me and cheering the home town nine, was 13 years old at the time.The Red Sox needed the win to stay alive in the series. The closer gave up 3 earned runs to cough up the lead that was never re-gained. My son turned to me and stated, coldly, "Papelbon is dead to me now". He still harbors that mistrust for the once invincible one—so I guess he is now officially a Red Sox fan.

So, given all of this, it is heartening that Papelbon—a bit more subdued by his recent performance—is talking about regaining what the late George Frazier called "duende". Papelbon calls it "bulletproof swagger". I'll take it.