Jonathan Papelbon to Phillies fans: Bring on the boos

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After blowing a save on Monday and taking a loss on Tuesday, Jonathan Papelbon was greeted with boos from Phillies fans before he took the mound in the ninth inning this afternoon against the Giants. He threw a perfect inning to lock down his 24th save of the season and told reporters after the game that the boos didn’t bother him. In fact, he says bring it on.

Here’s a sampling of Papelbon’s comments courtesy of Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com:

“I enjoy it,” he said. “I just think that it’s fun. It just brings a little bit of energy and life to the park and gives me a little bit of something to look forward to do every day.”

Papelbon regretted that only half the ballpark booed him.

“I heard some of them,” he said. “But that’s it? Maybe we can get the whole park going here soon.”

Is that a threat? In all seriousness, I appreciate Papelbon embracing his heel persona and having fun with it. 16-time World Champion Ric Flair would be proud.

Here’s video of Papelbon’s comments:

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons, willing the Manager of the Year Award in 2015. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however and, after an offseason that neither helped the Rangers rebuild OR reload, this season the descent has continued.

Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a full rebuild is in the club’s future. Even if that was not the case, however, recently there have been some reports about Banister having trouble communicating with his players, suggesting that, perhaps, the Rangers would move on from him even if the results on the field had been better.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.