Jonathan Papelbon Tried to Choke Bryce Harper

The Phillies scored eight runs in the ninth inning, including five against closer Jonathan Papelbon, to break a 4-4 tie in Sunday’s win against the Washington Nationals. That wasn’t the big story during and after the game, however.

Outfielder Bryce Harper flied out to start the bottom of the eighth inning and he didn’t run it out with a lot of effort. On his walk back to the dugout, Papelbon was seen barking at Harper and continued to jaw at him as the NL MVP candidate made his way down the steps. Harper returned serve, which prompted Papelbon to lunge at Harper, wrapping a hand around his throat. The two were quickly separated.

Here’s video of the incident:

It’s not exactly earth-shattering news, as Papelbon had a few incidents while with the Phillies, though none of them involved attacking a teammate.

The Nationals have been an utter disaster in the second half. Once favorites in the NL East, the New York Mets clinched the division on Saturday night while Nats manager Matt Williams has reportedly lost his clubhouse. The Phillies, despite their track to 100 losses, are not the most embarrassing team in the division anymore.

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  1. Romus

    September 28, 2015 07:59 AM

    Later, they say they are like ‘brothers’ fighting in the family.
    All I know is, the Nats had a one-game lead on the Mets the day Paps was acquired from the Phillies. And approx 60 days later it ended for them.
    Going forward, Rizzo may have to release Paps and dismiss Williams.

    • Evan

      September 28, 2015 08:23 AM

      They had to pick up Paps option in taking the trade, so that is a lot of money that will be dead weight, but they may have to do it out of necessity. And I am shocked that they are letting Williams finish out the year.

  2. All That Nattitude

    September 28, 2015 08:08 AM

    This seems to have stemmed from Harper’s comments about Pap after Pap hit Machado earlier in the week. They’re both just idiots.

    • Evan

      September 28, 2015 08:22 AM

      This was because Paps thought Harper showed a lack of hustle on the previous play, in which Paps was probably right. Jawing was fine and dandy, pretty sure it happens elsewhere as well, but really can’t put your hands on a teammate like that.

      Also sure the Machado incident played a part. Seems like Harper doesn’t have the ‘Unwritten Rules’ mentality.

      Harper has a ton of talent and really took a step forward this year, but something about him….still seems like something is missing with him.

      • All That Nattitude

        September 28, 2015 08:52 AM

        If you think Paps is a stickler for Hustle & that’s what set him off….ok

      • Mark

        September 28, 2015 04:38 PM

        Evan – what exactly is missing from Harper? What more can you possibly ask him to do as a baseball player?

  3. Romus

    September 28, 2015 08:41 AM

    Somewhere down at the Clearwater Complex instructs Nick Pivetta is thinking….’wow, and I played a part in all this’

  4. Boo-urns

    September 28, 2015 09:57 AM

    The Phillies have never been the most embarrassing team in the division, if only for the fact that everyone knew going in how bad we were going to be.

    As for Harper, it’s said that no one on the team likes him, and it’s no secret that Papelbon has little tolerance for, well, anything, so I suspect those two have been oil and water from day one.

    Not sure that acquiring Papelbon has anything to do with the Nat’s decline, though. Pretty silly to try to tie the two together. The Nats as a team have been playing awfully, and that wouldn’t have changed if they’d not gotten him.

  5. Norcalvol

    September 28, 2015 10:21 AM

    I can’t love this enough.

  6. Bob

    September 28, 2015 10:32 AM

    With Papelbon gone, good thing we have Jeff Francouer to police the clubhouse and show the youths how to play the game the right way. You don’t see Jeff Francouer not hustling out a pop out. I bet if Francouer saw someone lolly-gagging on the field he’d say something too because that’s what cagey veterans are supposed to do.

    • Romus

      September 28, 2015 02:43 PM

      He spoke to Odubel this season at one time on hustle….thru an interpreter I think however.

      • Rob

        September 28, 2015 05:20 PM

        Big difference between having a word about hustle and yelling at someone and then trying to strangle them!

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