Ever since the Nationals acquired closer Jonathan Papelbon in a trade from the Phillies in July, things have not gone well for Washington. The team slowly sunk its way out of the playoff picture, as Papelbon reportedly has not made many friends among his teammates.
Meanwhile, Bryce Harper is a potential MVP candidate and one of the best young players in the league.
But when Harper didn’t run out a fly ball during Sunday’s game, Papelbon had words for him as he strolled back to the dugout. Harper responded in kind before Papelbon put his hand around Harper’s throat, pushed him against the dugout wall, and started a brawl.
It’s not often you see baseball teammates take swings at each other in this way, and it’s not often you see a manager who just witnessed two of his players brawl send one of them back onto the field the next inning. But that was the decision made by Matt Williams, who is in massive danger of being fired for his team’s performance in the second half of this season.
Here’s what Harper had to say after the game.
Papelbon on Bryce: "We're on the same page now, which is good."— Post Sports (@PostSports) September 27, 2015
Or, as Washington Post scribe Thomas Boswell tweeted: “Final: Phils 12-5. Chaos 1M, Nats 0.”
Photo via ShashiBellamkonda/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)