Results tagged ‘ suspension ’

Papelbon Ready for His Return to Philly

Jonathan PapelbonOh, boy. Jonathan Papelbon should have a good time in his return to Citizens Bank Park.

He pitched tonight for the first time since Major League Baseball suspended him seven games for grabbing his crotch in a perceived gesture toward Phillies fans. He maintained his innocence after the 2-1 victory over Miami, saying if he really wanted to let booing Phillies fans know he was upset with them he really could have let them know.

“It’s been rough, it’s been bad,” Papelbon said about the suspension. “I’ve just had to really try – I don’t know how to say this but – I’ve just had to try to put (umpire) Joe West in the back of my mind and carry on even though I feel like I got the raw end of the deal.”

West ejected Papelbon from a Sept. 14 game against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Papelbon had just blown a save when he rather aggressively adjusted himself before he entered the Phillies dugout. West ejected him at that point. The two argued and made contact with one another on the field with West grabbing Papelbon by his jersey and pushing him away.

MLB suspended West one game without pay for his actions.

The Phillies finish their series against the Marlins at Marlins Park on Thursday before returning to Philadelphia for the final series of the season beginning Friday against Atlanta. Ruben Amaro Jr. and Ryne Sandberg said Papelbon is their closer, inferring he will pitch in a save situation this weekend if it presents itself.

“Do I wonder about that?” Papelbon said about the fan reaction. “Do you think I wonder or do you think I know exactly what it’s going to be like?”

He knows exactly, doesn’t he?

“That’s right,” he said.

Is he looking forward to it?

“Yes, I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I wouldn’t say bathing in the boos. I’m looking forward to getting back there and pitching there. I enjoy pitching there, I really do. I don’t let the boos get to me. They don’t bother me. Like I said, I don’t hear them. For me, I like pitching in that kind of environment. Whether the fans are booing or cheering, that don’t make no difference to me.”

Of course, the league and the Phillies thought Papelbon let the boos get to him, which was why he grabbed himself and why he got suspended. The Phillies said they fully supported the suspension and apologized to fans.

“I did it because I needed a readjustment,” Papelbon said. “I truly feel like if the fans really got to me and they wanted something I would have given them a little bit more than that. Everyone has their right to an opinion and what they think. I said what I said and it’s the truth and I’m not going to waver from that. Like I said earlier, if I really, really wanted to do something back it would have been more than just a little ‘umph’ with the pants, you know what I mean? People are going to take it for what they want, you know what I mean?”

Papelbon said he did not appeal the suspension because it would have lingered into next season.

Papelbon Suspended 7 Games, Fined

Jonathan Papelbon insisted he only had to adjust himself Sunday at Citizens Bank Park, but Major League Baseball didn’t buy it.

It suspended the typically loquacious closer seven games and fined him an undisclosed amount for his actions in the top of the ninth inning Sunday at Citizens Bank Park, where umpire Joe West ejected him after he made an obscene gesture toward the crowd. Papelbon, who also made contact with West, will not appeal the suspension and will begin serving it immediately.

The Phillies issued a statement saying they completely supported the suspension.

“We apologize to our fans for the actions of our player yesterday,” the team said.

Papelbon has been a handful since he joined the Phillies before the 2012 season, criticizing the organization’s operations from the top down in July 2013 and saying this July how he hoped to be traded because he no longer cared to play for a losing team. But asked before Monday’s game against at PETCO Park about Sunday’s incident, he said nothing.

“I would love to say something, but I can’t,” Papelbon said. “Once I figure it out I’ll talk to you, right? You know I would, but I can’t.”

Papelbon’s agents later issued a statement from the closer, which read, “I am accepting my suspension and regret making any contact with the umpires. While I completely understand how the fans would perceive my gesture while being booed, it was not my intent whatsoever to insult the fans of Philadelphia. If it was perceived in that manner, I sincerely apologize. … I look forward to returning this season and closing it out strong. For those reasons, I will not delay this process with an appeal.”

Papelbon blew a three-run lead in Sunday’s 5-4 loss to the Marlins. Fans booed him as he left the mound. Just before he reached the dugout he grabbed his crotch in an exaggerated manner. West noticed it and ejected him. Papelbon and West then got into a heated confrontation. Papelbon made contact with West, who grabbed Papelbon’s jersey.

There is no word if West will be disciplined for the altercation.

The Phillies made it clear Monday they had no jurisdiction in the matter. They said in their statement they “have no authority to make official judgments about activity which occurs on the field or to determine the appropriate penalty for misconduct.”

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg held an 18-minute meeting with Papelbon in his office Monday afternoon. He said it was the first time he had spoken to Papelbon about the incident. He said Papelbon stuck to his story that he wasn’t disrespecting fans.

“That’s not my job or position to believe him,” Sandberg said. “As we are right now, he’s our closer. … All I can base it on is what he told me and he had no intentions of that being toward the fans. It’s not my position or my spot to make any judgment on that, but just to listen to him.”

Does he at least understand why fans are upset?

“Well, I could understand the perception and he indicated to me that he understood the perception also and he thought that was unfortunate,” Sandberg said. “But yes, I do understand the perception. From him it was poor timing. He’d have much rather waited to get in the dugout. He indicated that to me. That was basically our conversation.”

Is he at least satisfied with his explanation?

“I just listen,” Sandberg repeated. “There was nothing for me to judge. It’s not for me to judge. I just listened to hear what he had to say.”

Sandberg also declined to say if West overacted.

“That’s not my area, either,” he said.

The seven-game suspension is one of the longer non-PED suspensions for a player in recent memory. MLB suspended John Rocker 28 games (reduced to 14) in 2000 for his controversial comments in a Sports Illustrated story. Ian Kennedy was suspended 10 games last season for his role in a brawl between the D-Backs and Dodgers. Sammy Sosa was suspended eight games (reduced to seven) for using a corked bat in 2003. Carlos Carrasco was suspended eight games (reduced to seven) last season for hitting Kevin Youkilis with a pitch after he had just finished a six-game suspension (reduced to five) for a similar incident in 2011.

“He’s been great this year,” Sandberg said about Papelbon. “He’s been a leader with the young pitchers. He’s been on a tremendous roll all year for us. He’s been a big part of the team, which he still is. He’s been outstanding. He’s been one of the leaders. The last three or four weeks with the team playing well, he’s been a part of that, doing his part.”

Ken Giles is likely to close in Papelbon’s absence, although Sandberg said that is to be determined.

Reports: Bastardo Suspended 50 Games

Antonio BastardoThe Phillies got another dose of bad news today when Major League Baseball suspended left-hander Antonio Bastardo 50 games for violations in relation to its Biogenesis investigation.

Bastardo will begin serving the suspension without pay immediately.

He had been one of the only reliable arms in one of the worst bullpens in baseball. He is 3-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 48 appearances. He has allowed 32 hits, 11 earned runs, 21 walks and has struck out 47 in 42 2/3 innings.

He had been serving as the team’s setup man with Mike Adams on the disabled list recovering from right shoulder surgery.

Phillies president David Montgomery issued a statement that read: “Obviously, the Phillies are very disappointed to learn of Antonio Bastardo’s violation of Major League Baseball’s Drug Program. We strongly believe in the Program and look forward to a time when performance enhancing drugs are completely out of baseball. Hopefully the sanctions announced today will bring us closer to that day. We respect the fact that Antonio has acknowledged his serious mistake and accepted his 50-game suspension.”

The Phillies said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was unavailable for comment.

Bastardo is making $1.4 million this season, which means he will forfeit about $460,000 in salary. He is eligible to return for the team’s final game of the season Sept. 29 in Atlanta, although that is unlikely.

Former big-league pitcher Dan Meyer expressed his anger toward Bastardo on Twitter. He pitched with the Phillies in Spring Training in 2011, going 2-0 with a 6.75 ERA in five appearances. He was assigned to Minor League camp before the Phillies released him.

“Hey Antonio Bastardo, remember when we competed for a job in 2011. Thx alot.” He added later, “Never said I was good enough but what about the players that never got their chance? Their lives could have been completely different.”

Ruiz Apologizes

Carlos RuizThis is not the spot Carlos Ruiz wanted to be this afternoon.

He took a seat on a picnic bench, just outside the Phillies clubhouse at Bright House Field. Reporters and TV cameras surrounded him as planes buzzed overhead, generators whirred and wind whipped the palm trees nearby. The words coming from the typically soft-spoken Ruiz’s mouth were barely audible, but intentionally or unintentionally he repeated his message so everybody eventually heard what he had to say about his 25-game suspension following the use of Adderall, which is in violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Ruiz got emotional at the end, his eyes welling up.

“Everybody,” he said, “I feel so sorry. It’s very difficult, having to explain. I love baseball. I love my city, Philadelphia, and Panama. I want to do my best and show everybody … I’ll do my best.”

Ruiz got caught twice using Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But Major League Baseball bans it because it is an amphetamine, unless a player receives a therapeutic use exemption.

Ruiz did not have the exemption.

“I got caught two times, and I have to pay for that,” he said. “I want to put that behind and now focus on this year and give it 100 percent for the city and organization.”

Asked if he would try to receive a theraputic use exemption for Addreall, Ruiz said, “That’s something that’s between my doctor and me. Major League Baseball has rules, and when you make a mistake, you’re going to pay. So I’ll pay my 25 games, and I apologize to my teammates, my organization, my family and fans, and I’m ready to put everything behind and get ready for the regular season.”

Ruiz will be able to participate in Spring Training workouts and Grapefruit League games in Florida in February and March. He also will be allowed to take batting practice before the gates open before regular-season games. He is eligible to begin a rehab assignment five days before the end of his suspension, which would be April 23.

He is eligible to rejoin the team April 28 against the Mets at Citi Field.

But what player will he be once he returns?

Ruiz, who will forfeit about $770,000 of his $5 million salary, had a career season in 2012, hitting .325 with 32 doubles, 16 home runs, 68 RBIs, a .394 on-base percentage, a .540 slugging percentage and a .935 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. But some will view those numbers skeptically considering the help he received artificially.

“I am working really hard,” said Ruiz, when asked if he can put up similar numbers without the help of amphetamines. “I trust myself to put up some good numbers. But at the same time, baseball is baseball. You have to work hard every day, and when you work hard, you get a lot of good things.”

Ruiz, 34, will be a free agent after this season, which means this is a big year for him. He hopes it ends better than it began Wednesday.

“I feel so bad for this,” he said. “I’m trying to put everything behind me and do my best this year and bring a championship back to Philadelphia.”

Manuel Suspended, Davidson Suspended

Major League Baseball suspended Charlie Manuel one game for his involvement in Tuesday’s “on-field incident” in the eighth inning at Citizens Bank Park. He will serve that suspension tonight against the Red Sox.

But MLB also suspended umpire Bob Davidson one game for “his repeated violations of the Office of the Commissioner’s standards for situation handling.”

Guess that means Davidson did not handle that situation and others very well.

I imagine Manuel got suspended because the brim of his cap appeared to graze Davidson’s forehead. Or maybe it was just what he said. But it seemed more than fair that Davidson got dinged, too. Clearly, the Phillies bench thought Davidson interferred with Brian Schneider on the play, but Davidson escalated the situation immediately. You can hear him yelling back at the Phillies dugout on the replay.

Manuel hasn’t said anything about the incident, but it’s interesting that while he was saying something to Davidson from the dugout he didn’t seem to be overly heated. He was just kind of sitting there talking to him. But once Davidson tossed him Manuel charged out of the dugout.

You can see some expletives exhanged at that point, especially from Davidson.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, 4801 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Del., 2:00 p.m.

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Victorino Begins Suspension Tonight

Major League Baseball reduced Shane Victorino’s suspension to two games.

He will begin serving it tonight.

MLB initially suspended Victorino three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for his role in a bench-clearing brawl against the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 5 at AT&T Park. Victorino spoke with the commissioner’s office earlier this week to plead his case, which resulted in him having his suspension reduced one game.

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