Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon feels his team lacked leadership last season, and made it known to reporters on Friday.
On the day that the Phillies began exhibition play with an intrasquad scrimmage here, Papelbon, who left the Boston Red Sox for Philadelphia in time for last season, reiterated his stance from earlier in the week that says: "Since I've been here, I haven't seen any leadership."
Contact information ( * required )
Papelbon says he didn't say anything that's not accurate, especially considering the 2012 Phillies were coming off a 102-win season in 2011.
"It was an all-around leadership void from A to Z," Papelbon said. "From being a vocal leader to being an off-the-field leader to being an on-the-field leader to everything. You can't just point your finger at what type of leadership was missing. It was the whole part of the equation. Our team identity is formed by that leadership."
Last season, after a decorated career in Boston, Papelbon saved 38 games for the Phillies, and finished 5-6 with a 2.44 ERA and 92 strikeouts. Philadelphia, though, finished 81-81, 17 games behind the Washington Nationals in the National League East.
Papelbon's words were somewhat surprising given the abundance of veterans and All-Stars in the Phillies clubhouse.
A former All-Star himself, who signed a four-year, $50 million deal with Philadelphia, he joined a team that included the likes of Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay, among others.
"(There were) a lot of moving parts," Rollins said. "A lot of new parts coming in. Regulars not being around together -- those bonds that forms when everybody's together."