71 Comment

  • Those are the Natinals that we’ve grown to know and love.

  • Intentionally hitting a player and now this? Papelbon should have left his Philadelphia BS when he got traded. I don’t want attitude like this on this team.

    • ledroittiger

      He wants to win. Harper didn’t run the bases like he should have because he was frustrated. Just because the season is over doesn’t mean you can just stop playing baseball. It’s something maybe he will grow to understand when he gets a few years under his belt.

      • Really? He made it to first (or very close) by the time the ball was caught. Had it been dropped, he would have had no problem getting to first safely.

      • Are you kidding me? You’re actually siding with the guy that tried to choke out another person? Papelbon is a goon, a thug, poison. He needs to be shipped out immediately. Matt Williams can get out of town too putting papelbon back in the game after he attacked a teammate is inexplicable.

        Also, has put his heart and soul into this season. He is a legitimate MVP candidate. How dare you criticize him for not trying hard enough.

        • ledroittiger

          Never said he didn’t try the rest of the season, and I agree he should win the MVP, although that may not happen now that the Nats didn’t clinch.

        • Yeah, I don’t understand how Williams could let Papelbon stay in the game after that! Ugh.

        • Yeah, I can’t even. Harper would have been safe at first on a drop in shallow center-left, and never would have made it to second either way. It’s an absolutely appropriate effort. You’re talking about “lack of hustle” from the guy leading the team in runs (by 44!), hits, doubles (by 11!) home runs (by 22!), and oh also leading the National League in batting average, on-base, slugging, and wins above replacement. He is personally responsible for 17% of the entire team’s offense — one guy! There were serious and not unreasonable columns in the past month about whether this was the off-season to lock him up for his career. Papelbon is a known problem and should have been sent to locker room immediately and suspended, if not waived, this morning. His $11M or whatever next year is literally meaningless next to losing Harper’s buy-in with this team.

          • Tsar of Truxton

            I didn’t see the play in question, so I don’t have a specific comment on it, but I don’t see how all those stats you cited are at all relevant to whether he was hustling on one particular play. Manny Ramirez used to put up all sorts of crazy numbers, but he was not always hustling. I am not saying Harper is Manny or vice versa, but who really cares about the type of season he is having with regard to that one play?

          • This isn’t about hustling as much as it is about one person choking another.

          • Seriously, I’ve watched 130+ games this season and anyone who thinks Bryce Harper hasn’t hustled or ‘played the right way’ is out of their mind. Playing like a maniac got him injured multiple times over the past two years and cost something like 100 games played. If he wants to jog to first (which he did) on a meaningless play (which it was), when there is no chance of making it second no matter what (which there wasn’t), that’s honestly a pretty good decision under the circumstances. And Papelbon, of all people, has about zero standing to give Harper any feedback at all on it. If Harper had been on first after that play, he would taken home on short double, as he has probably 10+ times this season — that’s good hustle.

          • Tsar of Truxton

            Again, I don’t really care, but he has a history of issues with his manager for not running out fly balls, including an incident this year, so…

          • ledroittiger

            For 1300blk – Papelbon does have “standing.” It’s called a 2007 World Series ring. That’s at least one more than Bryce Harper has. He’s also played for a decade in the majors.

    • Yes…let’s blame Philly. Last time I checked the Phillies didn’t pull this, the Nats did. Even more, he is from Florida, went to school in Mississippi, and was drafted by Boston. But of course, none of those locations are to be blamed.

      • Accountering

        End of the day it is the Nationals who made a stupid trade, picking up a clubhouse cancer, and ruining the rest of Storen (who was playing extremely well) season, and likely his career. Not sure if he will ever come back from the debacle against the Mets.

        • palisades

          OK let’s be real here. Storen is an adult. He ruined his own career

          • Accountering

            Totally fair, and true…. All he had to do was be a professional, and get people out, and our season looks completely different right now.

          • Storen consistently chokes.

          • palisades

            You’re right, all he had to do was be a professional and get people out. He threw away numerous games for us (along with the rest of our horrid bullpen).
            But baseball is an individual sport as much as it’s a team sport. Everyone is playing for something. He was playing for a contract. No one grabbed his thumb and broke it. He did that himself. No one grabbed his arm and threw meatballs down the middle of the plate. He did that.
            Do I think we make the playoffs if he kept up his pre-ASB play? No. This team was not designed to play 162 games. They looked old and tired. Matt Williams is stubborn and incapable of change. And finally, the bullpen sucked, including Storen.

        • Ashy Oldlady

          Storen will be fine. A change of scenery will likely do wonders. He’s been constantly mismanaged (and mistreated) by the Nats.

          • While I do think that Storen may be fine elsewhere, let’s not forget that he has a long and well-documented history of coming up short in big moments. While he may be lights-out in June, in critical games he’s a mess. While the Nats may not have handled everything with him perfectly, he made his bed. You can’t complain about “mistreatment” when he’s choked as much as he has.

          • Truth! I argue this all the time. In 2013, he wasn’t yet ready to be back into the closer role (lack of rehab) and was thrown into a bad situation. Then to have the rug yanked for Soriano, come back and have a great season, and then have it yanked for Papelbon? Jeez, just trade the guy and let him go somewhere he’s appreciated and can thrive.

      • +1

        What the heck does Philly have to do with this? Ben, if you knew anything about baseball you’d know how hard Philly had been trying to get rid of him for the last year+.

      • I believe he is from Louisiana. He is a douche, always has been. Can be a great pitcher, but his attitude sucks

    • “Intentionally hitting a player and now this?”

      This sums up exactly why the fans at Nats Park are so weak. They don’t know the game, and it shows, as so much of the experience there is more about the sideshow (running presidents, instragrams, etc) than it is about baseball.

      Pitchers have been throwing at batters since the beginning of the game. There’s a place for it in the game and any real fan knows that.

      Dugout fights are also part of the game. Frankly, if tempers were this hot weeks ago, before the season was ruined, maybe they would have the fight they needed to not choke.

      • Well sure, I can see your argument about a time & a place for intentional hits. However, I’d disagree that hitting Machado was the right time & place for it. Why nail him? Because he hit a home run? Really?

      • Nah, dude. Even if it was ever OK to throw a 90 mph fastball at someone’s head for momentarily admiring a home run or violating baseball’s hallowed unwritten rules, that kind of stupid, potentially life altering move is best left in the stone ages like a lot of other stupid things that society used to think was OK. As far as dugout fights helping this team not choke, how is attacking Harper make sense? He’s the guy who’s been fighting the most to get this team to the playoffs. If that’s the case, Paps should go choke some of his fellow relief pitchers…..

      • +1000, plus after he threw at Machado the first time, he followed up with a curveball down and away to get Machado to lean back over plate, only to hit him. Disgraceful.

      • The Nats season ended a few weeks ago when they lost the second game of the series to the Mets. There was absolutely NO NEED to hit Machado given that the season, for all intents and purposes, was over.

      • Ashy Oldlady

        What a dumb overgeneralization. Sure, you’ll find more than our fair share of bros, wonks, etc., at the games who care more about the beer or what’s happening on their phones, but there are plenty of “real” fans who are paying attention to the game.

      • jim_ed

        Nope, your point is entirely incorrect, full stop. You never, EVER throw at someone’s head intentionally. If you want to plunk someone, you put it in their back or their thighs. And Machado barely pimped his home run, far less than Wilson Ramos does on every home run he’s ever hit. Papelbon is lucky Machado didn’t charge the mound and re-arrange his stupid wiener face. Notice the total lack of support for Papelbon in post game comments from any of his teammates? Papelbon is a tool, that’s the beginning and the end of it. But thanks for playing the condescending know-nothing about how baseball operates.

        • I’d rather see bigger and better bat flips. Just like in the KBO where there are practically style points are awarded for creative flips. Baseball’s ‘no fun’ code is stupid. Let players celebrate big plays and pitchers pump fists after big outs. The day I stop watching is when every team feels compelled to look and act like the f’ing Cardinals.

          And Machado was right. Totally unnecessary. The pitch in then away and then up and in looked like he was set up for the worst.

        • “You never, EVER throw at someone’s head intentionally.”

          Lose the sanctimony. One guy, Chapman, has died of a beanball to the head and that was in the pre-batting helmet Dead Ball era.

          How many NFLers have died because of issues related to repeated trauma to the head?

          Full Stop. (Whatever that means).

          • jim_ed

            What in God’s name are you talking about? Setting aside the NFL non-sequitur, are you trying to claim that getting beaned in the head is no big deal? It’s part of Baseball’s code that you don’t throw at someone’s head, because it can end someone’s career, let alone kill them. Go google ‘Tony Conigliaro’ and then maybe sit the next few posts out.

          • So it’s okay when compared to football? That can’t be sound logic.

          • if we’re talking “the code” — you NEVER throw at or above shoulder and neck area. Always out of bounds. You can really tell when someone is deliberately drilled because it’s usually aimed at their ass or legs.

            Even if you agree with the neatherdal precepts of the code, it was incorrectly applied here. Nats usually play the game the right way which is why this stood out. Look at how pissed Nats fans were about Jose Tabata getting a cheap HBP to break up perfect game, and it’s not like he was drilled when he played the following day.

      • “Pitchers have been throwing at batters since the beginning of the game. There’s a place for it in the game and any real fan knows that.”

        Doing something because it’s always been done that way is a lame argument regardless what point you’re trying to make. Throwing at batters is childishness and “tiresome” as Bryce put it. It needs to end and I discount any player who tries to keep that stupid tradition alive.

      • You are so wrong it boggles my mind.

    • In all fairness, at least he didn’t grab Bryce’s crotch . . . and yet, this still falls in the less than gray area of “bad touching”

  • I Dont Get It

    If I put my hands on another employee (and oh how that has been tempting some times) I would be instantly fired AND arrested.

    • Accountering

      Well, there is a difference between working in an office, and playing professional sports. Fights amongst teammates are mostly just frowned upon in professional sports – especially when both participants are strong grown men, able to defend themselves, and playing a very competitive game where emotions boil over.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I think there is a legit point here in the above, though. Sure, players don’t typically get fired for fighting with players of the opposing team, but physically attacking a *teammate* is extraordinarily rare. There isn’t any real analogy to office work, as most do not have formal opponents per se, but its sort of similar to the distinction between getting physical with a stranger on the street during your lunch break vs. getting physical with co-worker at the workplace (the employment consequences of the former may vary, the latter will almost certainly get you fired). I’m not sure I can even think of another time in recent memory that a player attacked a teammate on the field during a game. The last player-attacking-teammate instance I can think of did result in one of the players being fired, though the context was admittedly very different (NFL, locker room fight over money, not an on-field fight about something that happened during a game).

        • west_egg

          I think there is a comparison between baseball players and office workers, though, in that both are being paid to do a job. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a basic level of professionalism from “pro” baseball players, instead of letting them act like a bunch of boys amped up on testosterone.

          • HaileUnlikely

            In case my post above was not clear, I agree with you. I think it is also worth distinguishing between attacking an opponent (still not cool) vs. attacking a teammate. Granted the dynamics of the Nats were already sub-optimal, attacking a teammate messes up the team dynamic in a way that is altogether different from getting into a fight with an opponent. And the consequences often bear this out: team management is usually pretty blase about fights with opponents, though sometimes the league will impose a trivial suspension. Teams are typically less tolerant of players attacking their teammates.

    • Weak comparison.

      • Casey,
        Are you some kind of caveman? If you want a sport where people hit each other, watch boxing or UFC or something. The idea that hitting a player with a pitch is “the way its meant to be played” is absolutely retarded, let alone attacking another player

        If you genuinely believe there’s a place for violence in baseball then that’s just pathetic

        • I think cavemen still say “retarded.”

        • Accountering

          First, lets leave the R word where it belongs, in the garbage. Second, it was a weak comparison. There is a difference between super competitive professional sports, and then being a contract administrator.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Is throat grabbing ok in other super competitive jobs that aren’t sports? Why are sports getting a pass, it’s his freaking teammate!

          • Only in DC would fans compare the happenings of a major league baseball clubhouse to that of a federal office.

          • It’s got nothing to do with “super-competitive.” If I’m heatedly arguing a motion that’s potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, I don’t get to assault the opposing counsel. (And I would have enjoyed doing that a few times. Most recently last Thursday.) That said, sports, for better or worse, has developed an ethos where incidents like this are just part of the game. These are people who need a certain aggressiveness to properly do their jobs, and that sometimes boils over. I personally think they should be able to control that aggressiveness, but many (most?) others disagree and give them a pass. And FWIW, I don’t get the impression that Papelbon is an intellectual or emotional giant – more like John Rocker with better PR.

          • west_egg

            There are contract administrators at all kinds of offices, casey, but thanks for proving the point that you know very little about what it means to be a professional.

  • justinbc

    Damn I didn’t realize how big Papelbon is, he looks jacked next to Harper.

  • Good to see Papelbon chokes in the dugout just like he does on the mound. A+ for consistency

  • Really Papelbon? You’re going to bark at the most productive player in the National league for not hustling to some arbitrary standard? And then try to choke him out when he blows you off for being a punk.

    Harper plays almost every day and almost every inning of every game. You pitch about 60 innings a year. Harper has played 1262 innings this year. And let’s not forgot the team started going in the toilet AFTER we acquired your sorry butt.

    If anyone is to challenge Harper for hustling it would be the manager. And Matt Williams tried that last year and Bryce subsequently injured himself with the more aggressive approach…

    • Harper really seems to care about fans and kids in particular. Sure he’s probably playing in a meaningless Sun. game at least partially to help his MVP numbers, but some of his motivation comes from being the prime attraction for a now disappointing team. Fans want to see him play and if the team hasn’t delivered on expectations at least he can give back something by staying on the field and performing like few others can. Not running out an obvious out is just not a big deal in that context (even if it’s dropped he still gets to 2nd, and if it goes to the wall he still gets home). The Nats didn’t miss the post season because of anything Harper has done.

      Vesting Papelbon’s 2016 $11 mil option to acquire him looked terrible at the time and even worse in hindsight. He’s been declining for years even if you overlook his extracurricular BS. Good luck unloading that contract now Rizzo even for pennies on the dollar.

  • palisades

    Plenty of heresay to go around in this situation. One thing is clear: Williams has lost control of his clubhouse. His response to this nonsense? He didn’t even realize the fight happened. He will be fired in roughly 7 days.
    I’m a fan of both Harper and Papelbon, but this is not how you let out frustration after a disappointing year. The Nats aren’t the Redskins, they’re a better organization that that. The offseason can’t come soon enough…

    • what a strange response. even if he didn’t see it (it was a brief scuffle), you’d think SOMEONE would bring it to his attention, maybe one of the dozen other players and coaches who did. That’s the real sign that he’s lost this team — no one bothered to clue him in that it happened let alone when he bizarrely left Papelbon in to pitch the 9th.

      • Supposedly he has a rule that no one is to talk to him during games unless he initiates the conversation. But still. No one broke that rule to tell him that his closer started a fight & went after the throat of a teammate?

      • I don’t know how he could’ve possibly missed it. I saw it clearly from my seat in the upper deck. Nearly all the players in the dugout rushed over to break it up.

    • I didn’t realize there were still any Papelbon fans out there. The guy is so gross, he’s a classless tool who is poison to any clubhouse. Anyone who groaned when he was signed knew this kind of jerk move would be coming at some point and thankfully it should precipitate the departure many of us desired the second he put on the Nats uniform. He and Matt Williams can go ruin another team somewhere.

    • Too little too late on firing Williams, unfortunately. He’s an absolutely terrible manager on the bench. He consistently makes terrible calls. Maybe he had some special locker room mojo, but I have to believe that’s been rapidly depleted. The Nats would have looked bad firing him after getting NL manager of the year – though in my opinion the Nats won the division last year IN SPITE of him, not because of him. I miss Davey.

  • Do you even Natatude Bro!!!!

  • Just watched the video – wow. Someone test Papelbon for ‘roids… What a thug.

  • #seasoninanutshell

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