A lot of people have been quick to jump on the "Keith Foulke is out, Jonathan Papelbon is in" bandwagon. Me? I'm not so sure. Now, I definitely wouldn't be surprised if Papelbon (or Craig Hansen) is the closer by the end of the year, but I think it's a little early to think that the youngster is close to assuming the full-time role just yet.
Found this nugget from the Boston Herald while reading Rotisserie Baseball Musings (added emphasis mine):
"(Sox manager Terry Francona) said that I could be throwing the ball better and that Papelbon's throwing the ball great and do what you're told," Foulke said. "The team comes first. You have to do what's important for the team, not for yourself."
Foulke has frequently said that closing is not his life's dream and he repeated the sentiment last night.
"You guys are always talking about me being the closer - I tell you what, I don't wake up in the morning and go to the grocery store and say, `I'm the closer,' " said Foulke, who was shaky in Monday's opener when he allowed two hits and one run in one inning. "He's the manager of the Boston Red Sox, he's not Keith Foulke's dad. (Papelbon's) been throwing the ball great."
The real value to that snippet above was in the first paragraph, but I provided the rest just to include that grocery store part. Don't know why, but that part cracks me up. It also suggests that even Foulke knows his days as the closer are numbered -- I just think that he has a few more left than some people are giving him credit for right now. Just something to consider before you completely give up on Foulke or start over-valuing Papelbon.
Foulke puts team ahead of himself [Boston Herald]