Former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon took a shot at the Fenway faithful Thursday, telling a Philadelphia radio station that Phillies fans "tend to know the game a little better" than fans in Boston, who he said were "a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game of baseball."
Papelbon, who signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent after spending six seasons as the best closer in Boston history, made the comments to a CBS radio station in Philadelphia when asked to compare the fans in the two cities.
"It's a religion [in Boston]. It's a way of life," Papelbon said on 94WIP's "Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team." "[Fans] come to the field and they expect certain things out of players. ... It's an environment where you put up or shut up. I enjoyed that. That's what got my motor running every day. ... I've had a guy take off his prosthetic leg and throw it in the bullpen in Boston and want me to sign it."
Papelbon continued: "The Philly fans tend to know the game a little better, being in the National League, you know, the way the game is played."
Papelbon also said he had expected the Red Sox to be more aggressive in pursuing him in the offseason. The Phillies signed him early in free agency, locking him up with a four-year, $50 million deal.
"It was a situation where the Red Sox didn't really come at me the way I was expecting them to come at me in the offseason," Papelbon said during the radio interview. "And I told my agent that the first team that shows me interest and shows me loyalty, I'm going to show that right back to them, and that was Philadelphia."
Dropkick Murphys front man Ken Casey caused a bit of a stir earlier in the week when he said Papelbon, whom he calls a friend, couldn't come out of the Phillies' bullpen to "Shipping Up To Boston," the popular Dropkick tune Papelbon used for years with the Red Sox.
Papelbon on Thursday would not reveal his new entrance song, but did say it wasn't by the Dropkick Murphys.