Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Crotchgate: Papelbon suspended 7 games

New York, NY -- Say what you want about Jonathan Papelbon, but it certainly has been interesting having him around for the last three seasons.

On Monday, the combative Phillies closer was handed a seven-game suspension from Major League Baseball for inappropriate behavior during Sunday's contest against the Miami Marlins.

After giving up four runs in the top of the ninth inning to relinquish a 4-1 lead in an eventual 5-4 loss to the Marlins, Papelbon appeared to grab his crotch toward the home fans at Citizens Bank Park as he walked off the mound. He was promptly ejected by second base umpire Joe West for the gesture.

West also made a critical mistake in physically restraining the fiery Louisiana native, an action which Papelbon stated he'd file a grievance with the MLBPA. Umpires are not supposed to make direct physical contact with any member of either club, particularly during an argument. 

The Phillies issued a statement immediately following the announcement of the suspension to chastise Papelbon for his actions.

"The Phillies fully support the decision of the Commissioner's Office, which has exclusive jurisdiction for on-field player behavior," said the team. "By Major League Baseball rules, the Phillies have no authority to make official judgments about activity which occurs on the field or to determine the appropriate penalty for misconduct. We apologize to our fans for the actions of our player yesterday."

Papelbon, who elected not to appeal the ruling, began serving the ban when the Phillies opened a four-game series Monday in San Diego. He will be eligible to return at Miami on Sept. 23.

The outspoken reliever was also issued an undisclosed fine for the incident.
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