Papelbon: Phillies fans smarter than Red Sox fans

Jonathan Papelbon of the Philadelphia Phillies smiles as he discusses his four-year, $50,000,058 contract, at Citizens Bank Park on November 14, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images

Jonathan Papelbon of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images

(CBS News) Phillies fans have a reputation for being many things: Mean-spirited. Fiercely loyal. Criminally drunk. And now Jonathan Papelbon, the team's new closer, has offered a new label: baseball-savvy -- at least compared to Red Sox fans.

Papelbon praised Philly fans while taking a jab at his former team's faithful on Thursday, calling his new hometown faithful more knowledgeable than Boston's, who he deemed "a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game of baseball."

"The difference between Boston and Philadelphia, the Boston fans are a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game of baseball," Papelbon told a CBS radio station in Philadelphia. "The Philly fans tend to know the game a little better, being in the National League, you know, the way the game is played."

Papelbon left the Red Sox during the offseason as a free agent, signing a four-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies. His comments are sure to inflame the "hysterical" faithful at Fenway Park. But before Red Sox nation gets too up in arms, Papelbon went on to say that while the fanatical Boston fans may have been extreme, he fed off the energy.

"I've had a guy take of his prosthetic leg and throw it in the bullpen in Boston," Papelbon said. "It's a religion. It's a way of life. They come to the field and they expect certain things out of players. It's an environment where you put up or shut up. I enjoyed that. It got my motor running every day."

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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