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#pounditSaturday, September 23, 2023

Bryce Harper, Jonathan Papelbon fight in Nats’ dugout (Video)

Jonathan Papelbon Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon got into a fight in the Nationals’ dugout on Sunday, almost metaphorically capturing the disappointment and frustration with the team’s season.

Papelbon came into the game during the eighth inning after Washington blew a 4-2 lead to the Phillies and got the final out of the inning. He was in the dugout for the top of the ninth and got into it with Harper, who had flied out but apparently didn’t run hard enough for Papelbon’s liking.

As Harper entered the dugout, sparks flew between them:

Papelbon remained in the game to pitch the bottom of the inning and allowed a 2-run home run to break the tie, while Harper exited the game, probably taking a moment to cool off. Manager Matt Williams explained why he shockingly allowed Papelbon to remain in the game despite choking a teammate:

Papelbon seemed to confirm after the game that he was upset with Harper for not hustling:

Williams has taken issue with Harper over that in the past, even benching his young star because of it. Maybe he agreed with Papelbon’s criticism.

There was already tension between the teammates after Harper complained about Papelbon throwing at Manny Machado, saying he was probably going to get hit in retaliation. Perhaps that contributed to whatever unfolded between them on Sunday leading to the fight.

Image via @MarkMeany


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