Combustible closer Jonathan Papelbon has always been the man you love to hate – unless he’s on your team – but apparently Nationals fans didn’t get the memo.
Following Sunday’s 12-5 loss to the lowly Phillies, which came the day after the Nats were officially eliminated from postseason contention and featured Paps choking teammate Bryce Harper in the dugout and getting tagged with the loss after giving up five runs (two earned) in the ninth, a second-half filled with frustration finally boiled over. Harper and Papelbon may have said all the right things after their altercation made headlines, but one Nats fan wasn’t hearing it, taking to Twitter and offering to donate $100 to a charity of the team’s choosing if they parted ways with Papelbon. And soon, others followed suit.
Now, there’s close to $2,000 on the table – with more potential donations piling in by the hour.
By my count, fans are pledging to donate $1,800 (and growing) to charity if the Nationals cut Papelbon today. https://t.co/b5eGQSNSIT
— Jacob Emert (@JacobEmert) September 28, 2015
Unfortunately for beleaguered Nationals fans, it doesn’t look like their dream will come true. On Monday, the team announced it had suspended Papelbon four games without pay for choking Harper, which will be added to the three-game ban he received from Major League Baseball for plunking the Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado last week. In short, Paps has been shut down for the rest of the season.
Whether he returns next season remains to be seen – the Nationals have already picked up his option for 2016, meaning they owe him $11 million even if he’s let go. But, hey, maybe Nationals Nation will be satisfied by the presumed sacking of manager Matt Williams?