Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Jonathan Papelbon may be a pitcher, but he sure seems comfortable handling the wood. At least that’s what Philadelphia fans discovered this weekend when the Phillies closer grabbed his crotch in reaction to boos after blowing a three run lead in the ninth to the Florida Marlins.

Papelbon maintained his innocence in a post-game interview stating his shock over the umpires ejection after his lewd gesture, "He said I was doing an inappropriate gesture, and I didn't know what he was talking about. And that's when I got pretty upset.”

Yeah, right.

Papelbon has made no secret that he is unhappy with Philadelphia’s train wreck of a season. After signing a four-year deal for $50 million back in 2012, the Phillies missed the playoffs in 2013 and are currently in dead last in the NL East. Here’s a clip of him talking about the club’s troubles:

Though Papelbon is no Jack Parkman, his shimmy certainly does make Philadelphia fans sick.

I have no sympathy for fans of any Philadelphia sports team, but Papelbon’s gesture is the mark of a sore loser. It’s also a sign that he’s letting his frustrations affect his mental game—and that’s the most offensive part about his little display. As any Yankees fan can attest to, chatter from the stands is part of the game and it’s up to the player to have the mental toughness to tune it out.

Do you think Derek Jeter would let a little heckling throw him from his game and show emotion directed toward the crowd? I doubt it. Can you imagine Papelbon in pinstripes?

There’s other famous instances of players taking their frustrations out on those in the stands. Back in 1995, Yankee Jack McDowell left the game after a dismal performance on the mound against the White Sox and figured since he couldn’t throw strikes he’d  throw fans the bird instead. And then of course there was Chad Kreuter of the Los Angeles Dodgers who went into the stands after a fan after they reached into the bullpen and swiped his cap.

Papelbon is suspended for 7 games.  You gotta wonder if the suspension should have been more severe.

--Alexis Garcia, BYB's "Eye on MLB" Columnist
Twitter:  @heylexyg

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