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#pounditThursday, June 24, 2021

Jonathan Papelbon admits he was ‘in the wrong’ when he choked Bryce Harper

Jonathan Papelbon Bryce Harper

In an admission that came several months later than it probably should have, Jonathan Papelbon conceded that choking Bryce Harper in the dugout wasn’t a great move on his part.

Papelbon spoke to the media on Friday for the first time since he was suspended by the Washington Nationals for choking Harper in the dugout during a late September game. In fairness to the Nationals closer, he said all the right things when confronted with the inevitable questions about the incident.

“I’ve apologized to him,” Papelbon said, via Mark Zuckerman of MASN. “I’ve apologized to my teammates. I want to apologize to the fans and the coaches and everyone included. I think that with what happened last year, I was in the wrong. Should have never went down that way, and I understand that. I had a lot of time this offseason to reflect on that. I’ve had three months to think about it. I’ve done a lot of reflecting, and I think sometimes in life, good things can come out of bad situations.”

Papelbon couldn’t quite explain why he did what he did.

“I wish I could take it back and go talk it out in a more peaceful way,” he said. “I don’t know, it just happened. Kind of like when you shake up a bottle and you open up the top, it explodes sometimes and you don’t know why. I don’t know why. That’s a tough question.”

Papelbon and Harper reportedly worked things out during the offseason. Papelbon was also the subject of trade rumors, but a number of factors made it near impossible for him to be moved, and the Nationals knew as much.


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