Papelbon takes center stage in spoof
Closer's past dancing moves unveiled via high school video
BOSTON -- When a team has been playing as well as the Red Sox have been of late, there tends to be some time for levity.
Enter David Ortiz, who announced to a clubhouse full of players and reporters that for the first time, the media was invited to a team meeting.
A few hours before Tuesday's game against the Rays, reporters and players congregated behind the couch in the clubhouse. Ortiz then instructed a clubhouse attendant to play a DVD.
Just then, it became clear that last October was not the first time Jonathan Papelbon had showcased his dancing skills in a public forum.
While the closer did an Irish jig on numerous occasions during clinching celebrations last season, this video showed Papelbon as a high school senior doing a spoof of a talent show that his female classmates were involved in.
The clubhouse erupted with laughter amid images of Papelbon -- decked out with a wig and a dress -- dancing with confidence.
But the video truly got comical when Papelbon -- now dressed in men's clothing -- did his best Patrick Swayze "Dirty Dancing" imitation dancing to the song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life."
As it turns out, the friend he was dancing with was a man dressed in drag.
The video will make its televised premiere on Wednesday night's Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight program on New England Comcast SportsNet at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The cable television station acquired the video from Papelbon's mother and father -- Sheila and John Papelbon -- and then did some editing. The fact that Papelbon's parents had released the video was unbeknownst to the right-hander, until Tuesday's group viewing.
The good-natured Papelbon clearly had no problem with his parents taking part in a team prank.
The video will also be available online at www.newengland.comcastsportsnet.com.
Is "Dancing with the Stars" next for Papelbon?
"Nah, maybe after my career is over," said Papelbon. "When my career is over, I might use a couple of those moves on 'Dancing with the Stars.' That right there might make me money."
Papelbon was actually approached by the widely popular television program last winter, but he turned them down.
What prompted the humorous production?
"The senior girls had a talent show and we were making fun of them," Papelbon said. "Probably the first time I've seen it since high school. Actually, I think that's got a lot of talent. You see those moves?"
Undoubtedly, those moves will live on in infamy via archived footage.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.