AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Jonathan Papelbon on Phillies: “I was one of the few that wanted to actually win”

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Jonathan Papelbon is back in Philadelphia today for the first time since he was traded to the Nationals on July 28. According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNMA.com, Papelbon spoke with reporters for “roughly nine minutes” this afternoon before a Nationals PR official cut off the interview. Not surprisingly, he didn’t hold anything back.

Here’s Papelbon’s response when he was asked whether he has any regrets about how he handled the end of his tenure with the Phillies:

“No, if I say something, I mean it. It feels from the heart. I’m not going to take anything back that I’ve ever said or did, because I believe that it’s right. I don’t know if I got a bad rap here or whatever, but I can promise you I was by far (from) the bad guy on this team. I was one of the few that wanted to actually win, and I was one of the few that competed and posted up every day. Other than that, that’s all I view an athlete or a baseball player. I don’t have any regrets, no.”

Yes, wanting to win was the Phillies’ issue, not an abject lack of talent. Papelbon eventually backtracked a bit, saying that it was an organizational approach. In other words, they are rebuilding. Papelbon seemingly referenced some brutally honest (and realistic) comments from Phillies CEO Pat Gillick last winter.

“I think the blame goes all the way from the front office all the way down to the bat boy. When you don’t have an organization that wants to win, it’s pretty evident and they go out and publicly say: ‘We’re not going to win.’ So, what more? You know what I mean?”

Papelbon signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies in November of 2011. He posted a 2.31 ERA and 123 saves during his time in Philadelphia and made two All-Star teams.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.