Jonathan Papelbon gets three-game suspension for ump bump

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A rather severe penalty for an incident that was actually incited by the ump.

Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon was suspended three games and fined for bumping home plate umpire Tony Randazzo after being ejected from Saturday’s game against the Athletics.

Papelbon is appealing the penalty and will be available to pitch tonight.

Papelbon has maintained that he was talking to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and not Randazzo during the exchange that led to Saturday’s incident.  After Papelbon turned around, Randazzo stepped out from behind home plate and took a couple of steps towards the mound, shouting back to Papelbon.

As soon as Randazzo made that move, it was a given that Papelbon would be ejected.  There was no other way it could have played out.  Papelbon, of course, took the invitation and went chest-to-chest with Randazzo.  He didn’t appear to intentionally bump Randazzo at any time, but there was definitely some contact.

Given the circumstances, Papelbon would seem to have a pretty good chance of getting the penalty reduced.  Randazzo was just as much of a hot-head as he was, and there was no obvious intent to bump (or grind) on Papelbon’s part.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”