After Sunday’s brawl between Nationals’ closer Jonathan Papelbon and outfielder Bryce Harper, Papelbon will be suspended for three games by MLB and for another four by the Nationals, who claim that Papelbon’s actions cannot be accepted. MLB claims that he has behaved in a way that players aren’t expected to behave.
But what was the reason behind this fight between the two?
Well, Harper publicly criticized Papelbon for beaning Manny Machado after “admiring” the homerun that he hit too long.
Harper said: “I mean, Manny freaking hit a homer,” Harper told the media after that game Wednesday night. “Walked it off, and somebody drilled him. I mean, it’s pretty tired. It’s one of those situations where it happens, and, I don’t know, I’ll probably get drilled tomorrow.” Without mentioning Papelbon’s name, it was clear that Harper meant the closer.
Probably, Papelbon has waited for the right moment to pay Harper back. And that moment came yesterday after Harper hit a fly out in the eighth inning, on which he didn’t run. When he came back in the dugout, Papelbon said something that eventually ignited the fight.
According to Papelbon, Harper let the team down by only trotting to first base on the fly out. Don’t we all learn to run after you have hit the ball. The fielders still can make a fielding or throwing error. Harper didn’t and Papelbon was willing to let him know.
The fight that followed eventually lead to Papelbon’s season ending suspension. It appears that most players agreed with Papelbon’s action, though many also said that the feud had to be kept indoors. According to several players, it was time that someone told Harper to behave and made him clear that he, with his superstar status, isn’t above the game.
Most players agreed that Harper should have run it out. Last season Harper was suspended by manager Matt Williams for the same reason.
Apparently Harper hasn’t learned a thing.