Watching and reading interviews with Papelbon this year, I'm convinced that the guys from The Dugout weren't too far off: he really is the Manny Ramirez of pitching. When he's not talking about pitching, he comes off as either really wacky or a little stupid, but when he's talking his profession, the tumblers seem to fall into place and the knowledge just unlocks. And it's a little scary when it does:
"It's just making adjustments," Papelbon said. "For the past month, I've thrown 20 scoreless innings basically just going out there and throwing my heater and locating it. Well now, the same teams I did that against, they're making their adjustments on me. I've got to get back and do the same. So I've got to be able to throw my secondary pitches and locate my split and locate my slider.
As far as I can tell, Papelbon's treated the past month like some sort of extended side session, going out and fine tuning his best pitch in a live fire environment. As far as I can tell, there's only one reason for him to do so: he's getting ready for the post season. He's so confident that his team will get him to the playoffs that he's moved beyond the day to day of the regular season and he's preparing for the rigors of October baseball. This level of confidence is awesome beyond words.