The Washington Nationals failed to make the playoffs but there was still plenty to talk about in Washington. Closer Jonathan Papelbon and outfielder Bryce Harper got into a scuffle in the Nationals’ dugout that ended with Papelbon’s hand around Harper’s throat. Sons of Sam Horn has collected some of the best articles on the matter from around the country.
Reporter: Did you grab Harper by the neck?
Jonathan Papelbon: You want answers?!
Reporter: I want the truth!
Papelbon: You can’t handle the truth!
Son, you might not realize it, but we play a game with unwritten rules. Sure, no one knows what those unwritten rules actually are and who made them up, but it’s my job and Brian McCann’s job to enforce those rules as we see fit. If we don’t do it, no one will. And you know why we do it? Do you? We do it for the kids. That’s right, we do it for little Johnny because you won’t! Do you ever talk about those rules at your little hoity toity champagne parties? Hell no you don’t! And you know why? I’ll tell you why! Because you rely on people like me and people like McCann to blindly enforce them, even against our own teammates. You want me on that mound! You NEED me on that mound! Because all you fans live out there in a world of make-believe where hustle, not throwing at the batter’s head… um, wait, it’s okay if I do that, no bat flips and don’t admire your home runs are real things. They are the backbone of this game and you use them as your personal punching bags. And I’m not gonna waste my time explaining why I do what I do. All I know is that even though you call this a game, it’s not supposed to be fun. If you’re not gonna thank me or Brian then grab a bat and step into the box. And until you do, I don’t give a damn what you think. And that’s another unwritten rule. If we hit your guy, you get to hit one of ours. And I don’t give a damn which teammate of mine is gonna be hit after I hit a batter. You know why? Because I haven’t faced a pitcher since I was in high school. No skin off my ass if someone else gets a broken wrist or a skull fracture because I enforced an unwritten rule.
Either way, I don’t give a damn what you or anyone else thinks.
Aaron Gordon uses Statcast to show that Papelbon was in the wrong when accusing Harper of not hustling.
Dirk Hayhurst explains that the main problem in this whole situation is the unwritten rules of baseball.
Finally, Matthew Kory shows us why the latest drama in Washington is par for the course for this Nationals team.
Barry Svrluga details how the Nationals could not overcome injuries despite Harper reaching superstar status.
The Washington Nationals roller coaster season was finally derailed with the acquisition of Papelbon.
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Check out Brandon Magee’s Greenville Drive pitching review and Tom Wright’s San Francisco Giants elimination article.