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Monday, February 21, 2011
Papelbon's back in camp

By Joe McDonald

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After an excused absence on Sunday, Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon is back at camp this morning. The flu bug is running rampant through his family and he was exhausted when he arrived today.

He’s already talked this spring about expectations for himself and the rest of the team, but even in a normal conversation, he’ll elaborate how motivated he is heading into the 2011 season.

“I’m probably more motivated than I have ever been,” he said. “My situation speaks for itself, so I’m more motivated than any other year.”

Papelbon will be a free agent at the end of this season, and no doubt he’ll be looking for a major payday from either the Red Sox or another organization.

As far as the rest of the bullpen, the Sox closer is pumped for the upcoming season.

“We have to find our identity and that’ll be our key. If we can do that, we can come out of the gates strong,” he said.