Phillies and Papelbon make it official: Four years, $50,000,058

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Jonathan Papelbon’s four-year contract with the Phillies is now official, as the team announced the deal along with one little twist: He’ll get $50,000,058.

That extra 58 bucks matches his uniform number, which he’ll apparently be taking from new bullpen-mate Antonio Bastardo.

Papelbon’s contract also includes a $13 million option for 2016 that vests if he has 55 games finished in 2015 or a total of 100 games finished between 2014 and 2015. In other words, if he stays healthy and remains a closer it would become a five-year, $63 million deal. Wow.

Philadelphia gives up its first-round pick to sign Papelbon away from Boston, but the Phillies will likely get another team’s first-rounder (and a supplemental first-rounder) when Ryan Madson signs elsewhere.

Anthems, first pitches and other ceremonial stuff

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The World Series is not just about the baseball. It’s about the bigger-than-usual stars singing the National Anthem, the more-famous-than-usual people throwing out the first pitch and all of the assorted to-do which surrounds the ballgames. Here is that sort of stuff for Game 1 and Game 2 in Boston.

First pitches:

  • Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1. Yastrzemski also threw out the first pitch of Game 1 in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Red Sox won each of those games and each of those World Series so, yeah, go with what works, right?
  • Members of the 2004 World Series Champions will throw the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2. It doesn’t say which members, so maybe my dream of Manny Ramirez doing it will work out after all. Hey, he played for the Dodgers too, so let’s make this happen, OK?

National Anthems:

  • Singer-songwriter James Taylor will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of Game 1. This morning Peter Gammons tweeted that Taylor’s family helped build Fenway Park. Let’s file that under “interesting, but not so interesting that it’s really worth tracking down to confirm, so why not believe it?” Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.
  • For Game 2 the National Anthem will be performed by the Boston Pops, with the Tanglewood Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Chorus doing the singing. The Boston Pops are conducted by Keith Lockhart, who was a career .287/.354/.425 hitter in 37 postseason games with the Atlanta Braves. I mean, at least I’m pretty sure it’s the same Keith Lockhart. Again: not interesting enough to check so, like Gammons’ thing about James Taylor, let’s assume I’m right about this.

Play ball.