Every so often the issue come up in pro sports- how committed should a player be when it comes playing through an injury or being prepared to play their best at all times.
The Phillies, who are going through a slump on all levels this season, had this issue rear it's ugly head on Sunday May 11th when they lost a game to the Mets.
Papelbon the Phillies highly paid closer didn't play and numerous fans felt it cost them the game. Papelbon stated in an article on Philly.com:
It's just basically a soreness that I wasn't comfortable with throwing; I felt like it could create more injury," he said. "Instead of missing 30 or 40 or 50 games, I decided it would be best for my team and my career to maybe sit one out.
GM Reuben Amaro Jr. stood by his $50 million dollar man stating, "If we risk having him not pitch one game so he can pitch 30 more, that's what we're going to do."
The fans however were not so sympathetic. In their minds Papelbon held back just because he wanted a day off. Visions of Ricky Waters, "For who, for what," statement danced in their minds. Philly fans, being some of the most rabid sports fans around voiced their displeasure at Papelbon's lack of effort on the airwaves, in the local watering holes, and in conversations around water-coolers throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
The nature of all the conversation-pro athletes and their seemingly lack of commitment or effort to the game once they get the big $ contracts.
Whether this is true of Papelbon or not, in the past Philly fans have been burned by players who received big money to play in Philly, but fell far short of being a player worthy of the money they received - most recently Andrew Bynum and Nnamdi Asomugha.
Only time will tell whether Papelbon;' name is permanently added to the list of Philly's Biggest Sports Busts or whether he will become a hero to the fans.