Matt Williams didn’t know about the severity of the Harper-Papelbon altercation

AP Photo

Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon and outfielder Bryce Harper were in an altercation during the bottom of the eighth inning during Sunday’s loss to the Phillies. It involved Papelbon lunging at Harper and wrapping a hand around his throat.

Despite the incident, Papelbon took the hill in the top of the ninth inning in a 4-4 game. He proceeded to fork up five of the eight runs the Nationals would allow to the Phillies in the inning.

Williams seemed unfazed by the incident when he spoke to reporters and defended using Papelbon despite the serious incident. Williams has since clarified, saying he didn’t know about the severity of the issue. Via James Wagner of the Washington Post:

There’s still some unanswered questions here. Williams removed Harper from the game* in the top of the ninth inning, either because of the fight or because of an injury. He was willing to remove his MVP from the ninth inning of a tie game — a game he was managing as if it mattered — as punishment for his participation in the dust-up, or because he was shaken up from it. Reporters at the post-game press conference also described Papelbon as having “his hands on [Harper’s] throat” which didn’t seem to faze Williams at all. Did no one talk to Williams about the issue between the bottom of the eighth inning and the press conference?

Williams’ handling of this situation, much like his in-game decision-making, leaves a lot to be desired and has left many of us more confused than before.

* or Harper removed himself. At any rate, the point still stands.

Nevada Senate vote on proposed A’s stadium in Las Vegas extended until next week

MLB: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Senate adjourned Thursday without voting on a financing bill for a proposed $1.5 billion Las Vegas Strip stadium for the Oakland Athletics, extending the special legislative session into the next week amid negotiations over whether to contribute $380 million in public funding to the project.

The measure can still be amended by lawmakers, and if it passes the Senate it would still need approval from the Assembly before going to the desk of Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, who has expressed support for it. Both the state Senate and Assembly are adjourned until Monday.

In a hearing that began Wednesday and stretched into the early morning hours Thursday, lawmakers peppered tourism officials and a representative from a firm partnering with the ball club with questions about the feasibility and benefits of financing such a deal.

Public funds for the stadium would mainly come from $180 million in transferable tax credits and $120 million in county bonds. Backers have pledged that the creation of a special tax district around the proposed stadium would generate enough money to pay off those bonds and interest. The plan would not directly raise taxes.

The A’s would not owe property taxes for the publicly owned stadium. Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, would also contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

A’s representatives and some tourism officials say a deal would further grow Las Vegas’ developing sports scene and act as an economic engine, but a growing chorus of economists and some lawmakers warn that the project would bring minimal benefits for the hefty public price tag.