Jonathan Papelbon is awesome

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Papelbon 2.jpgJonathan Papelbon sat down for an interview with ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes and the subject of his soon-to-arrive son came up.  And I gotta tell ya, I’m really starting to take a shine to Jonathan Papelbon:

Papelbon’s wife, Ashley, is
pregnant with the couple’s second child, a brother for toddler daughter
Parker. The child is due in April.
“Got a name picked out,”
Papelbon says. “Gunner Roberts.” The significance? “Nothing, man. Just a
badass name, so we went with it.’

Jay from Fack Youk, who shot me the link, has a list of rejected Junior Papelbon names.  I’m going to talk to the wife about changing my boy’s name to “Rambo Rocky Calcaterra” as soon as she comes home from work.

In other news, Papelbon had no idea that the Red Sox had signed John Lackey until the team trainer told him the other day. He didn’t know about the Cameron, Beltre or Kotchman deals until he sat down for the interview.  There’s some interesting byplay about young Daniel Bard maybe taking his job someday. From what I can gather, the Sox could probably just tell Papelbon that the eighth inning is the ninth inning and vice-versa and he wouldn’t know the difference, thereby averting any controversy.

Anyway, like the lady said, the world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.  Or any sort of awareness, really.

Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war

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You may have heard that Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a door in frustration after Monday night’s subpar performance. He’ll miss six to eight weeks as a result. Strickland came in to protect a 4-2 lead but ended up giving up three runs. The tying run was knocked in by Lewis Brinson on a single to right field. Brinson moved to third base on a go-ahead single by Miguel Rojas, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to take Strickland out of the game.

On his way to the dugout, Strickland started chirping at Brinson. Much like Bryce Harper and Strickland, Brinson and Strickland have a bit of a history. Last Thursday, Brinson handed Strickland a blown save with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Brinson was happy to help his team tie the game, pumping his fast and saying, “Let’s go” at no one in particular. That rubbed Strickland the wrong way. Everything seems to rub Strickland the wrong way.

During Tuesday night’s game, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez threw at Brinson with the first pitch, a 92 MPH fastball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher issued warnings to both benches. Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue, suggesting that his team hadn’t done anything wrong so it was unfair to essentially take the inside part of the plate away from his pitchers. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly could be seen saying, “You’re next” to catcher Buster Posey.

The Giants scored twice in the bottom of the second against Dan Straily to extend their lead to 3-0. Posey came to the plate with a runner on first base and one out. Straily hit Posey with a 91 MPH fastball on the first pitch, prompting ejections of both Straily and Mattingly. Posey was hit on the arm. If the pitch had come in a bit lower and hit Posey on the wrist or hand, Posey might have had to go on the disabled list for a couple months. Or if the pitch had hit Posey a couple of inches higher, in the head, then who knows what would have happened.

Things calmed down from there, thankfully. The two clubs have one more game against each other in San Francisco on Wednesday and that will be the final time they meet this season. If anything further is going to happen — and hopefully, nothing happens — then it will come tomorrow.

Straily will almost certainly be facing a suspension and a fine, as will Mattingly. It’s less clear if Rodriguez and/or Bochy will be reprimanded for throwing at Brinson, even though it was fairly obvious the pitch was intentional. Regardless, the punishments amount to just one missed start for the pitchers, which isn’t nearly enough of a detriment to deter beanball wars.