Jonathan Papelbon blows save, gets ejected for making rude gesture at booing crowd


Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon and the home crowd in Philadelphia haven’t always gotten along, which is why the right-hander wasn’t spared boos when he blew a three-run lead in the top of the ninth in Sunday afternoon’s 5-4 loss to the Marlins. Papelbon allowed four runs on four hits and a walk. It’s only the fifth time in his career, spanning 591 games, in which Papelbon has allowed four runs or more, and the first such occurrence as a Phillie.

When Papelbon walked off of the mound after finally ending the ninth inning, the fans at Citizens Bank Park rained boos down on him, even though he has had another dynamite season. Papelbon then appeared to make a rude gesture involving his groin, for which second base umpire Joe West ejected him. You can see video here and make your own call. Papelbon maintains he was simply adjusting himself, per Jason Wolf of Delaware Online.

It will be interesting to see if Papelbon is fined, as it’s tough to infer his intentions through video. Papelbon may have plausible deniability on his side.

Papelbon now has a 2.10 ERA with 37 saves in 41 chances and a 61/15 K/BB ratio in 63 1/3 innings.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.