The Washington Nationals have suspended pitcher Jonathan Papelbon four games.
Papelbon has been suspended without pay for his altercation with outfielder Bryce Harper during Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Papelbon fought with Harper in the dugout during the eighth inning, with cameras catching the closer putting his hands around Harper’s neck.
The suspension begins Thursday and will last the remainder of the season. Because the suspension was imposed by the team, Papelbon will not be allowed to appeal.
“The behavior exhibited by Papelbon yesterday is not acceptable,” said Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo in a statement. “That is not at all in line with the way our players are expected to conduct themselves, and the Nationals organization will not tolerate it in any way.”
Harper was held out of the lineup Monday for the part he played in the incident, manager Matt Williams said in press conference Monday. Video captured Harper saying, “Let’s f------ go,” before the altercation began. Harper had been reportedly scheduled for a day off Monday before the fight happened.
The team also announced Monday that Papelbon has dropped his appeal of the three-game suspension he received for throwing at Orioles shortstop Manny Machado last week. That suspension will begin on Monday, putting Papelbon out for the remainder of the season.
Papelbon likely will not travel with the Nationals for their final series of the season against the Mets in New York, Williams said.
- Rohan Nadkarni