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Jonathan Papelbon was a thorn in the New York Yankees’ side during his time with the Boston Red Sox in the mid-2000s and stoked the fire of the rivalry on Tuesday.
Following the release of the first episode of ESPN’s Derek Jeter documentary, Papelbon tweeted the company should do a series on “the real captain” who defeated Alex Rodriguez.
“Hey ESPN when y’all are ready to do a documentary on the real captain who whipped A Rods A– let me know!” Papelbon wrote.
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The former MLB closer was referring to the epic brawl between Rodriguez and then-Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek in 2004. Varitek shoved his glove into the face of Rodriguez, which proved to be a part of Boston’s rallying cry on their way to their first World Series title since 1918 breaking the supposed “Curse of the Bambino.”
Papelbon and Varitek were teammates from 2005 to 2011.
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Papelbon was a four-time All-Star who appeared in 396 games and recorded a 2.33 ERA with 509 strikeouts. He was in the Red Sox minor league system when the Varitek and Rodriguez fight happened. He would help Boston win the World Series in 2007.
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Varitek spent his entire 15-year career with Boston. He hit 193 home runs and batted .256 with a .776 OPS. He won two World Series titles, was a three-time All-Star and won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger one-time each.