Almost every expectation and prediction for the Washington National's 2015 season was proven wrong after teammates Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon were involved in a brawl in the dugout. The time will be on top of a three-game suspension already handed down by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Baltimore Orioles' third-baseman Manny Machado last Wednesday.
"The behavior exhibited by Papelbon yesterday is not acceptable", Nationals president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement.
Manager Matt Williams sent Papelbon out with the score tied in the ninth, he gave up five runs and took the loss. Next man up. It's a team game and all of the other clichés you hear about sports would have probably been said if they allowed Williams to continue talking.
Papelbon made headlines after he got into a verbal altercation and reached for the neck of Harper in a dugout fight on Sunday. "The bottom line is when you don't hustle... bad things happen". In fact, a few are siding with him, justifying Papelbon's actions and decrying Harper for not running out that fly ball. "I really don't care...."
Today, the Nationals management chose to intervene in the altercation by suspending Jonathan Papelbon without pay for the remainder of the season. Possibly because your Nationals were projected to contend for a World Series and are now eliminated from making the playoffs? Players and coaches quickly raced over to break up the fight. Harper had been reportedly scheduled for a day off Monday before the fight happened.
For that, the Nationals have given Papelbon a four game suspension, according to the team's official Twitter account. It would be a shock to everyone if he remained as manager of the Nationals next season, which would be the past year on his contract.
Williams added that he believes the incident was an isolated one, not a reflection of the Nationals' clubhouse atmosphere after a particularly disappointing season. After controlling the National League East for a short time, the team slowly loses its grip on the division to the rising New York Mets.
-St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will miss the rest of the regular season because of a partially torn thumb ligament, and his availability for the postseason has yet to be determined. Seeing that he attacked the team's best player, it does not seem likely that the Nats will re-sign him.
"It all goes back to the other day", one scout said, "Papelbon hit Machado and Harper basically called out Papelbon for hitting someone". The Phillies won 12-5.
Harper, a leading NL MVP contender, also indicated he would be OK with Papelbon returning to the Nationals in 2016.