Lead singer and bassist Ken Casey told ESPN Music this week that Papelbon cannot use the song now that he pitches for the Phillies.
"That's not Pap's song," Casey said. "That's the [Red Sox] closer's song."
Casey's comment blew up on the Internet, but the band said on its Facebook page the comments were a joke and not to be taken literally.
"What's this we hear about us telling Papelbon he can't use Shipping Up To Boston as his entry song?" the band wrote. "We would never do that! It was a joke, people!"
Papelbon signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies in November. He said last month he already had a new song in mind -- something he planned to use in Boston before the Red Sox suggested the Dropkick Murphys hit. Papelbon reiterated Tuesday he is keeping the song a secret until he pitches in Philadelphia, but hinted it is a hard rock song.
"It's not 100 percent," Papelbon said. "I'm not totally set with it yet. I'm still thinking about a couple."
Casey, who is friends with Papelbon, is headed to Clearwater at some point this spring to help Papelbon decide.
Papelbon said Casey suggested changing up "Shipping Up to Boston," swapping Boston for Philly, but it didn't work for him.
The two also will talk about Papelbon's role as spokesman for the Philadelphia branch of The Claddagh Fund, a charity founded to support underfunded non-profit organizations that help vulnerable populations in the community.
-- Todd Zolecki