Papelbon vs. Wagner; Who Ya Got?

Jonathan Papelbon had some strong words last night for home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn.

They reminded me quite a bit of a blow up Billy Wagner had at Dana DeMuth a few years back.

Papelbon was so upset Reyburn missed the pitch before Dee Gordon tripled in a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers that after the inning he approached Reyburn to ask him a question.

“You know you messed that call up,” Papelbon shouted.

Papelbon told Reyburn he wanted to ask him a question, except Reyburn wouldn’t let him. He motioned for Phillies manager Charlie Manuel as crew chief Derryl Cousins headed toward home plate to intervene. Papelbon never got to ask Reyburn his question, but he told reporters afterward what he would have asked. And I’ve got to say it would have been one of the most brilliant questions ever asked an umpire during a game.

“I wanted to know if he could throw me out for what I was thinking,” he said.


And what was Papelbon thinking?

“I thought he was terrible – all day,” he said. “It wasn’t just that pitch. All I wanted to know was if he could throw me out for what I was thinking, and if he could, I thought he sucked. It’s that simple. … All night long. From (Clayton) Kershaw to Vance (Worley), all the way through the ninth inning. And it really affected the game. It affected the outcome of the game.”

Told Reyburn is an umpire from Triple-A, Papelbon wasn’t surprised.

“[He] probably needs to go back to Triple-A,” he said. “That’s not a knock on him. That’s not a knock on the umpires. You’re up in the big leagues for a reason: to do a good job. … If I don’t do my job, I go down to Triple-A, you know? There’s no room for that up here. And like I said, it’s not a knock on the umpires, it’s the integrity of the game. You want to be able to go out there and play the game the way it should be played.”

That’s a pretty good rant — you’ve got to think it will earn Papelbon a fine — but I’m wondering how it compared to a rant Wagner had Sept. 12, 2004 at Shea Stadium? It’s the most memorable postgame rant against an umpire I’ve seen since I’ve been covering the Phillies. DeMuth ejected Wagner for throwing inside a couple times to Cliff Floyd. It was Wagner’s first career ejection, but Wagner got upset because when he asked DeMuth why he got tossed he simply said, “Because.”

“You put it down,” Wagner instructed reporters afterward. “Dana DeMuth told me, ‘Because.’ Son of a [bleep] ain’t got a better excuse than that? He don’t deserve to be behind that son of a [bleep].”

Wagner continued.

“Let me tell you something. If I’m throwing at Cliff Floyd, I’m going to throw where that [bleep] hurts and breaks, because I don’t want that son of a [bleep] coming out to kick my [bleep]. I know Cliff and he knows damn well I wasn’t throwing at him. ‘Because.’ I’ll give you ‘because.’ I couldn’t throw strikes. I was horrible today. That son of a [bleep] was [bleep] worse than I was. And that’s hard to do.”

Asked if he was worried about a fine or suspension, Wagner said, “I could care less. Because he’s full of [bleep] if he thinks I’m going to serve one day of that [bleep]. Because you know what? He should have a [bleep] suspension for being a [bleep] idiot. If they let him stand behind the plate and call balls and strikes as [bleep] as he is. You know what? It’s one thing to be thrown out of a game for intent, but when stupidity is involved? Why can’t I throw that [bleep] out of the game? He was horrible all game long. He had a four-hour game. [Mets starter Steve] Trachsel was throwing strikes, [Phillies starter Eric] Milton was throwing strikes, and he couldn’t pull his hand out of a [bleep] right now.”

So who’s was better? Papelbon showed some creativity, while Wagner really let loose.


The Phillies said Shane Watson, who they selected with the 40th overall pick, reminds them a lot of Brett Myers. After speaking to him last night, I agree.


Papelbon certainly didn’t use the word “messed” at all.

Wagner’s a certified idiot. Papelbon is creative.

Wags was much better.

Better? Maybe. Still a fool.

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