The man of a million mixed metaphors has spoken, which means we have listened. This time, he chatted with ESPN's Gordon Edes (at times in Pig Latin) to discuss his future son, his unawareness of the Red Sox offseason moves, his contract situation and more:
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.''
Gunner Roberts Papelbon. Other "badass" names that just missed the cut:
"I had no idea we got [John] Lackey until [trainer Mike] Reinold came down to see me, just a few days ago,'' he said. "I swear to you. I don't know anything about the ballclub, but I know the words to the 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse' song.''
Adrian Beltre deal? He hadn't heard. Casey Kotchman about to be traded to the Mariners? Nope. Mike Cameron? "Cameron, Mike Cameron?'' he said. "We got him? I swear to you, I didn't know.''
The skeptic might recall how Papelbon insisted that his dog ate the ball with which the Red Sox clinched the 2007 World Series -- a story that smacked of urban legend -- but Papelbon pleads that his ignorance is real.
Only a true intellectual pleads for others to acknowledge his true ignorance.
It was not for a lack of trying. The Red Sox last winter offered their closer a two-year deal for about $14.75 million, within a couple hundred thousand dollars of what Papelbon was seeking, according to a source close to the negotiations. "I ixnayed their offer,'' Papelbon said.If his defense, Pig Latin is a Romance Language to people from Mississippi.
"Heck yeah, as far as what me and my brain are thinking,'' Papelbon said, "but I haven't even sat down with my agents [Seth and Sam Levinson] yet. We don't even have a number in place. There haven't been any discussions between me and the Red Sox and my agents at all.''
Jonathan Papelbon and his brain. Quite the image, isn't it?