Nationals pitcher Jonathan Papelbon suspended for remainder of season for starting fight with Bryce Harper

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The Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball came down hard on pitcher Jonathan Papelbon for his fight with Bryce Harper on Sunday.

After Harper flew out to left field and jogged to first base, Papelbon called him out on his way back to the dugout.

When Harper said something back, Papelbon reached for his throat, and the two scuffled until they were broken up.


On Monday, the Nationals announced that they suspended Papelbon for four games for the incident. In addition, Papelbon has accepted MLB’s 3-game suspension for a previous incident in which he was ejected for intentionally throwing at an Orioles batter. The league suspension begins Monday, followed by the Nationals’ suspension, which will take him through the rest of the season. With the Nationals out of playoff contention, Papelbon’s season is over.

Here’s the team’s statement:

In the statement, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said, “The behavior exhibited from Jonathan yesterday is not acceptable. This is not at all in line with the way our players are expected to conduct themselves, and the Nationals organization will not tolerate it any way.”

Nationals manager Matt Williams said Harper will also miss Monday’s game:

Amazingly, Papelbon was still allowed to go out and attempt a save on Sunday, which he eventually blew.

The Nationals dealt for Papelbon in July. He has one year, $11 million remaining on his deal for 2016.