Papelbon suspended and it could’ve been avoided

Major League Baseball is home to a boat-load of talent and with that talent comes a few “outgoing” personalities who love to rock the boat. Jonathan Papelbon is a longtime boat rocker.

He’s got a fiery attitude and his latest combustion occurred after giving up four runs in a series finale against the Marlins, blowing the save.

Now 37-41 in save opportunities for the year, the 33-year-old decided to pull a rookie move while returning to the Phil’s dugout in response to his booing fans: a crotch grab. Two crotch grabs, actually.

Umpire Joe West promptly walked over to the dugout and ejected Papelbon for his lewd gestures. Shocked, the reliever quickly confronted West, cornering the umpire and yelling in his face.  West responded by grabbing the reliever’s jersey and pushing him out of the way.

Call it an attitude problem or Joe West typically making something out of nothing, but Major League Baseball didn’t take well to the closer’s suggestive moves.  Papelbon was suspended 7 games along with a fine of an undisclosed amount.

He later apologized but denied making any gesture towards fans.  The Phillies organization later addressed Sunday’s incident, leaving their reliever hanging out to dry,


In 2012, Phillies starter Cole Hamels admitted to intentionally hitting Nationals star Bryce Harper and served only a five game suspension. This hints that Papelbon could have easily drilled a Marlins’ batter with a 93 mph fastball and served less suspension time which means that his seven game suspension is about as outlandish as it sounds.

This isn’t the first time a player has been suspended for a gesture but what’s interesting is that had Papelbon been more subtle about his actions, he could’ve gotten away with it.

Former reliever Chris Resop, who racks up eight service years in the show and a career 4.62 ERA over 243.1 innings had the crotch grab down to a science.

Resop made it a point to “adjust himself” not every now and then, but after every homer, rbi, triple, double, etc.  Take a look:

Adriane Beltre homer off Resop TEX @ OAK 5/14/13


If you still don’t believe me, check out a further in depth post on Resop’s behavior on CFBBQ. Eight years Resop performed his signature crotch grab and for eight years it was ignored. He was not ejected a single time for his lewd gestures.

So to Papelbon, Puig, Harper and all the other “outgoing” boat rocking personalities in Major League Baseball, just remember: be subtle about your insults.  The front office will never know.