ShashiBellamkonda/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Washington Nationals’ Jonathan Papelbon tries to choke Bryce Harper in dugout brawl

This might be an understatement, but Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper don't seem to get along.


Josh Katzowitz


Published Sep 27, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 9:57 pm CDT

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.  

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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.

Say what?

Here’s what Harper had to say after the game.


Or, as Washington Post scribe Thomas Boswell tweeted: “Final: Phils 12-5. Chaos 1M, Nats 0.”

Photo via ShashiBellamkonda/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) 

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*First Published: Sep 27, 2015, 8:02 pm CDT