I don’t know how I missed this one. But part of Jonathan Papelbon’s reasoning as to why he should be paid more (than the “record for a reliever with his amount of service time” amount) is that he would somehow be doing other closers and the game of baseball a disservice by being paid so little:
“I feel a certain obligation to not only myself and my family to make the money I deserve,” Papelbon said, “but for the game of baseball. I mean, Mariano Rivera has been doing it for the past 10 years. With me coming up behind him, I feel a certain obligation to do the same.”
I’m not going to go too in-depth in critiquing this one; follow the link, John Harper does a good job. Obviously, Papelbon doesn’t even understand the pay structure of his sport, which is why Joe Nathan later in the article is quoted scoffing at him.
But perhaps the greatest issue to me personally: does Papelbon have to take the crown as my new most-despised athlete? For years that was a title that Pedro Martinez held. More recently it was claimed with gusto by blogger Curt Schilling. With Schilling on the DL and most people realizing by now he’s a fool, it may be time to make a change.
I’m not ready to make a final verdict quite yet, but comparing yourself as a baseball player to Mariano Rivera is certainly a quick way to draw my ire.