The Phillies major offseason acquisition was closer Jonathan Papelbon, who they lured away from the Red Sox with a whopping four-year, $50 million deal. The new ninth inning man says he's looking forward to all the newness this season.
"Getting into a new clubhouse, meeting new guys, new teammates, putting my years in Boston behind me and starting a new chapter in my career are [some] of the more exciting things I've been able to do to this point," he said. "I think this year more than any other year, I've been more excited to get into the clubhouse than any Spring Training."
Papelbon says he expects the atmosphere to be similar to the one he knew in Boston.
"From what I can gather so far, it's very similar. It's very similar in that you look around the clubhouse and it seems like every other locker, there's a superstar in it. I'm not going to really try to compare from one clubhouse to another. I'm going to come to this clubhouse and try to do my job and jump on board and follow everybody else and learn the ways of Philadelphia Phillies baseball."
He says he's looking forward to seeing some fresh faces in the National League after years pitching in the AL East.
"To be honest, there really were some days when it got kind of old, sitting there saying, 'OK, I got to face Jeter again and he's seen everything I got and I've seen everything he's got.' That's why I say this brings a little bit of life to me this year by being in a new clubhouse and being able to face new guys. Playing the game of baseball the National League way ... I think you're playing baseball. I think it's a little more of a strategy game than it was in the American League. I don't know yet, but I'm assuming that it will be and I'm excited to do that."
Phillies pitchers and catchers hold their first workout today.