Jonathan Papelbon made his last appearance of the spring yesterday against the Rays. He hung around for a third of the ninth inning, in which he managed to give up four hits, four earned runs, and a walk, before being replaced by someone named Cody Forsythe.
But the part that really stuck out about Papelbon's preseason finale was not the meltdown.
For whatever reason, he entered the game wearing his catcher's jersey. Papelbon hadn't had an insanely poor spring, so he couldn't have been trying to reverse any bad mojo. Maybe it was an attempt to stay loose. Or maybe he genuinely grabbed the wrong jersey. In any case, everyone had a weary chuckle and watched the wacky closer do his thing.
Only his "thing" yesterday was to surrender an entire cycle to the Rays, including a home run on the first pitch he offered them. Papelbon contributed to the Phillies' recent run allowance of 40 over their last four games in Clearwater (they were outscored 40-20 in that span). Afterward, Ryne Sandberg gave the explanation with his trademark raucous flamboyance.