Delivering bad news is never easy. Many people choose the explosive, erratic tirade to reveal the worst truths, at least when it comes to romantic relationships. “I have never really loved you; I just felt sorry for you!!!” (For example.) Maybe because it’s easier to get through it faster. But even in that, would one believe those words, erupting from a foaming, red face?
That’s why I think Lou Merloni is good source for insights about the Sox. Not the kind that are revealed from a sports radio call-in segment, where guys are sitting in traffic and hungry and not fully aware of what pours forth. The antithesis is Lou Merloni, he knows how make to a point, in a measured, thoughtful way. Last week, he told Red Sox Nation that he is concerned about Papelbon. That means all of us should have concern. It is just spring training, as he notes, but our concerns go back to all last season, when Pap and Dice-K competed for inconsistent player of the year award. Professor Sean McAdam followed this discussion by asking if Papelbon is in denial? Using psychological terms, even informally, when talking about Pap is easy to do. We can think of many other possible diagnoses. That is also what I love about closers. With Papelbon, the erratic intensity, the goggle-drunken Irish -dancing nut is what I hope for in a closer. But Pap, maybe Lou has a point, and maybe you ought to think about his delivery. After all, Merloni is never full of baloney.