Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/22/13
Jonathan Papelbon is again raising some eyebrows. Papelbon, who is generally outspoken when asked his opinion, may have just ruffled a few feathers in the Philadelphia locker room, as he called the Phillies’ leadership into question while discussing the state of the team. “Since I’ve been here I haven’t seen any leadership,” Papelbon said, according to the Allentown Morning Call. That’s a bold statement by Papelbon, especially given the veteran-laden roster in Philadelphia. The All-Star closer seems to also understand, though, that his team underachieved big time last season, and that there needs to be some changes before the Phillies can once again compete in the NL East — something that’s even more difficult now with the emergence of the Nationals and the talent in place down in Atlanta. “I think we’re capable of greatness,” Papelbon reportedly said. “I think we’re capable of a world championship. I really, truly believe that. But the biggest key for us is that we’re going to have to find our identity, and we’re going to have to find our identity quick.” The Phillies certainly lacked an identity last season, when they finished 81-81 and in third place in the NL East. A big reason for the struggles was the injury bug, as Ryan Howard and Chase Utley were among those who missed a significant amount of time. Papelbon understands the expectations are still high in Philly, though, and he therefore wants to make sure the club starts off on the right foot in 2013. “Every good team that I’ve been a part of has had a good core group of veterans and an influx of a good group of young guys and I think that’s a recipe for success,” Papelbon reportedly said. “But at the same time, that doesn’t mean we’re going to have success. In my opinion, this team has way more to lose than to prove. I think a lot of guys on this team have proved a lot. But I think this year if we don’t go out and do what we’re capable [of] and supposed to do, then we have a lot more to lose.” Papelbon saved 38 games and had a 2.44 ERA in 2012, but he feels he could have approached his first season in Philadelphia a little bit differently despite the All-Star credentials. “I felt like I could have been a little bit better leader than what I was, and I held back at some times,” Papelbon reportedly said. “Hindsight’s 20-20.” Hindsight is 20-20, which makes one wonder if Papelbon could end up regretting questioning his teammates’ leadership. Given how opinionated he has always been, however, it’s more likely that he’ll stick to his guns going forward. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rob Gronkowski’s younger brother, Glenn, trying to make NFL as fullback

Michael Bennett fined over $17K for nasty hit on Alex Smith

Cam Cameron battling prostate cancer

RG3 to be held out 1-2 weeks after doctor changes mind

LA Kings offer Peter Budaj a professional tryout

Carlos Boozer hoping roster spot opens on playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Starting EJ Manuel not a bad idea for Bills’ third preseason game

Tim Beckman fired by Illinois amid mistreatment allegations

Chip Kelly reveals thought process behind Bradford trade

Charles Barkley on ex-agent: ‘I’d blow his damn brains out’

Bryce Harper doesn’t seem to care if Nationals make playoffs

Could the Spurs backups make playoffs in the east?

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

Jonathan Kraft: Patriots haven’t apologized to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen

Ballmer declines $60M/yr TV deal, could start streaming service

Nationals forced to re-issue massive bobblehead order

Jay Gruden would like the media to stop calling him fat

Spieth: Could new irons be reason for missed cut at Barclays?

The Opening Drive: Where have all the great UM tailbacks gone?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Andy Reid perfect play: 'That’s like a good cheeseburger'

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Boston Red Sox

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker