WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Josh Papelbon’s last name carries a specific connotation in baseball, fastballs and fist pumps and ferocity. People watch him jog toward the mound, they see “Papelbon’’ across the back of his shoulders, and they expect.
And then he takes the mound, his glove and right hand set low, at his belt buckle. Then he starts his windup by – what’s this? – taking his right hand past his backside and leaning forward. Papelbon’s knuckles nearly scrape the ground. The ball darts and dives. Anything above 80 miles per hour on a radar gun is foreign to him.