The Washington Nationals suspended relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon for four games without pay for his dugout fight with outfielder Bryce Harper during Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Jonathan Papelbon, who played his high school ball in Jacksonville, lost more than his cool on Sunday when he confronted Washington Nationals teammate Bryce Harper for failing to hustle down the first-base line after popping up in his fourth fruitless at-bat.
The verbal spat quickly became heated and then Papelbon went for Harper’s throat with his left hand and slammed him against the wall.
While playing for the Phillies and Nationals this season, Papelbon recorded a 2.13 ERA with a record of 4-3, having pitched in 63.1 innings throughout a total of 59 games played. After that punishment ends, Papelbon serves the Nationals’ suspension announced Monday.
It’s hard to argue against general manager Mike Rizzo’s comments on Papelbon or the team’s suspension.
Papelbon promptly gave up a go-ahead two-run home run to Phillies second baseman Andres Blanco and Philadelphia went on to score eight runs in the top of the ninth inning.
He’s clearly going to be a hot commodity around the league entering his age-35 season with a guaranteed million coming his way.
When asked why he put Papelbon in considering what happened in the dugout Williams had an odd response.
Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but Papelbon suggested after the game the Nationals could benefit down the road from the dugout brawl and the pair’s ensuing clubhouse conversation.
Considering the notoriety he brought to town, Papelbon should’ve been his best behavior at least until spring training. Papelbon said he considers Harper a brother.
“He apologized. Whatever. It is like brothers fighting”, said Harper.
The point is, Headley said, these things happen on teams, but in most cases behind closed doors. They have gone from pre-season World Series favorites to now sitting 9.5 games out of first place and eliminated from playoff contention.
Harper seemed to criticize Papelbon for throwing at Machado earlier in the week, saying that he expected to be hit in retaliation.
The 2015 Washington Nationals season has been spiraling out of control for a while now.
On Monday, Williams spoke with the media where he said that he didn’t have a full grasp of what had transpired in the dugout until he watched a video of it following the game.