Exclusive: Jonathan Papelbon arrives in Philly

PHILADELPHIA - November 13, 2011

The newest Phillies closer speaks his mind on why he chose Philadelphia, how he feels about leaving Boston, and who he believes led the way for the relievers of today.

Jeff Skversky: Jonathan, how excited are you to come to Philadelphia?

Jonathan Papelbon: I'm extremely excited. I think that we're going to be able to have ballclub that's going be able to go and compete for a championship. I think, for me, that's the biggest thing and that's all you can ask for.

Jeff: Why Philadelphia? Why come here?

Papelbon: Just like I said, I think the biggest reason is our opportunity to go out and win a championship. I came here to add to my ring collection.

Jeff: Do you think you can do it here? The Phillies came up short last year, the Boston Red Sox have come up short, do you think it can happen here?

Papelbon: No question. I wouldn't be coming here if I didn't think we could do it.

Jeff: But it has to be tough to leave Boston.

Papelbon: Yeah, I mean, it's tough, but that's the nature of this business. I'm going to leave behind a lot of friends and a lot of memories, but it's a new chapter in my life.

Jeff: What does it mean to you that the Phillies are going to make you the richest reliever in all of baseball?

Papelbon: That doesn't really play a role. The biggest thing that plays a role is the ability to come here and win.

Jeff: You got a physical tomorrow?

Papelbon: Yep.

Jeff: How quickly did this all develop?

Papelbon: Pretty quick. Pretty quick.

Jeff: Are you now trying to convince guys like Jimmy Rollins to stay?

Papelbon: (laughs) No, that's not my job. My job is to go out and preserve wins for our starters.

Jeff: You only blew three saves last year, it looks like yourself and the other guys in the bullpen can really hold this down, how important is it to have a closer like yourself to be able to get the job done?

Papelbon: Well, for myself, I think the ability to go out there and preserve wins for the starters in the ballclub is what my job is and I think the one guy to really make teams in Major League Baseball realize how important that was is Mariano Rivera. He's the one that started this and I'm just following in his footsteps.

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