Pap: Why does everyone think I'll leave?

Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon had a sitdown with members of the media on Sunday, largely echoing comments made to our Gordon Edes last week.

Asked about the possibility that this could be his last year with Boston, as he's entering the final year of his contract, Papelbon said, "I'm really not even thinking about it. Yeah, there's a possibility I could stay and a possibility I could go, but at the same time I'm thinking about the possibility of winning a championship and I think that kind of throws everything out the door."

On the assumption that he'll be leaving after this season, Papelbon said, "Why does everybody think that? That's an assumption. I'll just leave it at that. Honestly, I'm not going to be thinking about that."

Papelbon went on to laud the offseason work of GM Theo Epstein, saying he filled all the holes of last season's team that failed to make the playoffs. "I think Theo did a hell of a job. We're in a position where it's put up or shut up. Theo's given us all the tools to go out there and succeed."

Papelbon added that if he or anyone else is worrying about his contract "we won't be the team we're supposed to be."