AP Photo

Jonathan Papelbon on attacking Bryce Harper: “I’m in the wrong there.”

39 Comments

Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon took blame for his part in an altercation with outfielder Bryce Harper during Sunday’s eventual loss to the Phillies. Per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, Papelbon said, “I’m in the wrong there.”

However, as Janes adds, Papelbon also said that it’s important to “play the game the right way”. Papelbon was ostensibly irritated at Harper for failing to fully run out a fly ball in the bottom of the eighth inning, when the two teams were tied at 4-4.

Insinuating that the team’s best player —  the runaway MVP of the National League who’s putting up an historically-great season — doesn’t know how to “play the game the right way” is questionable at best. It’s even more questionable considering that Papelbon has only been a part of the Nationals’ culture for two months.

Manager Matt Williams didn’t have much to say about the incident. As John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reported, Williams said, “Certainly there’s a lot of testosterone flowing…This was a family issue, and we’ll deal with it that way.”

On sending Papelbon out to the mound in a 4-4 game immediately after fighting with Harper, Williams said, “It was a tied game. He’s our closer,” via Buzzfeed’s Lindsey Adler.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
3 Comments

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.