Jonathan Papelbon wore a shirt that said “Obama Can’t Ban These Guns”

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
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Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon earned a small amount of good will back when he recently took responsibility for last September’s altercation with teammate Bryce Harper. Perhaps the veteran closer, now 35 years old, finally turned over a new leaf. Maybe not.

In Thomas Boswell’s column for the Washington Post on Sunday, he notes that Papelbon walked around the Nationals’ complex in Viera, Florida on Saturday with an… interesting cut-off muscle t-shirt. It had arrows pointing to his biceps with the caption “Obama Can’t Ban These Guns.” The shirt is in bad taste on multiple levels, for obvious reasons. And it really just shows that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Papelbon is who he is, and the Nationals are hoping that still includes him being one of baseball’s most dominant closers.

Last season, in 39 2/3 innings with the Phillies and 23 2/3 with the Nationals, Papelbon got the save in 24 of 26 opportunities while compiling an aggregate 2.13 ERA and a 56/12 K/BB ratio. That marked his fifth consecutive season with a sub-3.00 ERA.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).