FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon sat down with the media this morning to discuss this year's bullpen, his contract situation, his goals for the new season, his workload at the end of 2008, and becoming a father. Check out some of the highlights below or watch the full video above.
(On workload at end of 2008 season)
"At the end of the ALCS (versus Tampa Bay), I was starting to break down, starting to feel the effects of the season. I'm not going to sit here and deny that I didn't. It's that fine line that you have to teeter-totter on. I'm going to push the gas pedal here or let up here. For me, I think our season, with the way it went, we had injuries with our starters, and when your starters go down, it has a domino effect on the bullpen. The bullpen had to pick up extra work and I don't think anyone in our bullpen wasn't willing and able to do that, but that's the effect of it. When you start picking up extra innings you're not used to, you have to use that throttle."
(On the potential 2009 bullpen)
"I think that our bullpen is very similar to the way it was structured in 07. The strength that we have, the new faces that are coming in to help us out, our righty and lefty matchups with Javy (Lopez) and the addition of Wes (Littleton). That's going to be one of the stronger points of the team this year... As a bullpen staff, we're looking forward to it."
(On not signing a long-term deal)
"No, I'm not disappointed. I think this offseason, we discussed a long-term deal, it never really transpired into anything that made both sides happy. Nothing really came of it. The big thing is we were able to come to an agreement with a one-year deal and I think that the Red Sox stepped up big for me. No question.... Breaking records on the field is nice, but when you can do that off the field, help the game out and move the game in a more positive direction for the players, that always helps. If you were to ask to me, of course i would like a long-term deal, no question about it. But I'm not one of those guys that are willing to give up what I feel like I'm worth to get security."
(On if being a starter could have earned him a long-term contract)
"I've taken this role and kinda said, 'This is what makes me happy. This what makes me want to show up every day for work.' Going out and signing a long-term deal as a starter, knowing that, hey, it's not what I want to do, that's not going to make me happy in my life. Money or security doesn't make me happy, going to work knowing this is what I love to do, that's what makes me happy. I'm just going to run with it, go out there and play the game, love the game."
(On becoming a father)
"Fatherhood is going great. Yeah, my wife and i just had a little baby girl. I feel like I got that old man strength now. I don't know, man, it's a beautiful thing. I know this sounds so cliche, but when I have a bad game or something like that, going home to her, it makes all the difference in world. You don't tend to beat yourself up as much. But she looks just like me, it's pretty neat."