Craig Calcaterra

Papelbon Harper

Bryce Harper called Jonathan Papelbon to patch things up


Late in the season Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper got into a dugout dustup which resulted in Papelbon putting his hands around Harper’s neck. It got everyone talking, Papelbon suspended and was one of the many reasons Matt Williams was fired.

But as a feud it will not, apparently, extend into next season. Here’s Tom Boswell, writing about the State of the Nats:

Since the end of the season, Bryce Harper has reached out to Jonathan Papelbon to make sure their relationship as teammates is functional next season.

“Papelbon and Harper are fine together,” one person inside the Nationals said, referring to Harper’s phone call. “Harp just wants to win. All he cares about is that we have a 45-save relief pitcher who’s going to help us.”

For all of the controversy, it’s probably worth remembering that Papelbon was highly effective for the Phillies last season and, though less effective once he came to the Nats, still stands as one of the top closers in the game. Maybe the Nats try to trade him away, but given his contract and his history it wouldn’t likely be a great deal for them. The best bet may simply be trying to reboot. If that was the point of Harper’s call to him, all the better for the Nats.

Reminder: Lorenzo Cain got you free breakfast today

Cain Steals

It’s just after 7AM Eastern, so now is a good time to remind you that, if you’re of the “eat breakfast at Taco Bell” persuasion, you can go get a free breakfast crunch wrap there between now and 11AM thanks to Lorenzo Cain stealing a base in Game 1 of the World Series.

Oh what a wonderful time to be alive.

Remember, like all such contests, there are rules. They’re written in great detail, including the part of what defines a stolen base. Sadly we do not have a controversy involving, say, a questionable call on a defensive indifference play and/or a payola scandal to an official scorer. That would make this even more delicious than it already is.

Reds name a new GM, Walt Jocketty remains head of baseball operations

Walt Jocketty Getty

In yet another move resulting from title inflation in major league front offices, the Cincinnati Reds have named Dick Williams their new general manager. Former GM Walk Jocketty retains his title of president of baseball operations and will continue to oversee baseball ops for the Reds.

Jocketty described this as part of a “succession plan,” and the 64-year-old Jocketty is expected to step down and into an advisory role after one more year at the helm. Williams, 44, the son of one of the Reds’ owners, could very well ascend once Jocketty steps down.