The Washington Nationals season hit a new low Sunday afternoon.
During an afternoon game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Nationals star Bryce Harper and closer Jonathan Papelbon got into an ugly brawl in the dugout after an argument.
It started when Harper hit a fly-out to left field and jogged to first base as the ball was caught and he was ruled out. Harper didn’t exactly show a lot of hustle:
As he walked back to the dugout, Papelbon was clearly irked by Harper’s lack of effort, yelling to Harper that he should have run the ball out.
Harper snapped back when he got into the dugout. Papelbon then reached for Harper’s throat, and the two scuffled while the team rushed to break them up:
Here’s another angle:
Amazingly, Papelbon was then sent out to get the save, which he blew. Nationals manager Matt Williams had no reaction to the fight when asked about Papelbon, simply saying, “He’s our closer.”
Both Papelbon and Harper downplayed the incident after the game. Papelbon told reporters, “I grew up with brothers, he grew up with brothers, I view him as a brother. And sometimes in this game, there’s a lot of testosterone and things spill over.”
Harper agreed, saying, “He apologised, so whatever. I really don’t care. … It’s like brothers fighting. That’s what happens.”
Nonetheless, it seems that the Nationals would punish Papelbon for grabbing Harper’s throat like that, regardless of what Harper could have said back.
The Nationals have been one of baseball’s biggest disappointments this season. After widely being picked to make the World Series, the Nationals will miss the playoffs, while the Mets rallied to win the division over the weekend.
Watch the full incident below:
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