With umpires, opposing players, coaches or managers. Even teammates.
No biggie to me. Not even if the verbal fisticuffs lead to some physical altercation.
But, the reason for the commotion has to be legit, and so does the initiating combatant.
Sorry, Jonathan Papelbon fans and proponents of his actions Sunday afternoon in D.C., but your boy fails miserably on both counts. If you need a visual, check it out.
Yeah, yeah, we get all the unwritten codes and how in-house policing works, But we’re not talking about a guy who follows either. He marches to his own drum, at all times, and that drum in solely and constantly banging for one reason, to promote himself. Period. End of story.
There is no wavering on that. If “Paps” surfaces outside of his own head, makes himself known in any way, there is but one rationale for it: attention.
The guy makes proclamations that NFL wide receivers are sports’ ultimate divas laughable, if not moot.
If you believe, truly believe, that Papelbon was righteous in what he did, calling out Bryce Harper and then putting a choke hold on the young MVP candidate when the latter responded in kind, because of some higher calling, like he was a beacon of sportsmanship sanity and, its ever-popular calling, right-hand calling card, “playing the game the right way,” well, bless your blinders-wearing, gullible soul.
Put it this way, the words “professional” and “Papelbon,” or any variation of it, should never cross paths and join in a united front, even in convoluted fashion.
Seriously, if Paps is your idea of a “team player” or someone willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the organization, start taking “reality check” classes. The guy was an all-out, only-for-Paps d-bag with the Red Sox, the Phillies and now Washington, where, not for nothing, the demise of the prohibitive NL East favorite into pathetic joke was pre-ordained the moment Nationals management traded for him.
A cancer has been used ad nauseam through the years to describe athletes detrimental to their team’s chances. No one identifies more with that than Paps.
The hilarity of this latest “look at me, look at me, LOOK AT MEEEEEE” exhibition by this mid-30s child is that while his complaint aimed at Harper, which contests that the superstar should give full effort in every circumstance, indeed, may have been legit if it came from someone else, it isn’t coming from someone who doesn’t do so himself.
How many times did Phillies fans, after witnessing another late-inning implosion, have to listen to this nincompoop babble on about how he just didn’t have it because the stakes weren’t high enough, that his juices weren’t flowing because the playoffs weren’t on the line? Ten, 15, 20 … does it even matter?
Paps, in what he did, showed what a hypocrite and weasel he is, and what dopes those who support what he did Sunday are.
The silliness that emanates from “those who really know,” with current and former ballplayers espousing old-school beliefs as if they’re gospel scripts that they truly follow at every juncture, the type that suggest Paps was, if anything, showing his teammate much-needed tough love and giving him an education in real baseball, reeks of a distaste for Harper than anything else.
Sorry, but this concept of locker rooms, especially baseball locker rooms, being the end-all, be-all of the hard edge in society, as if “the rest of us” cannot relate, may be the most comical thing ever hatched in the minds of hero-worshippers, not to mention the objects of that worship themselves.
Been in a lot of locker rooms, professional ones, in all the major sports, and there is nothing shared in there or stated in there that hasn’t seen life outside of locker rooms, and, frankly, you’d have to look far and wide to find a more pampered, babied, coddled lot than what resides in your typical, professional baseball locker room.
Paps AND Harper, at least their personalities, are byproducts of that whole deal, and Paps’ most recent attack … well, really, does he comes across as anything other than baseball’s version of a teenage girl throwing a tantrum for not getting enough likes or comments on a “selfie” she posted on whatever social media is most popular this second?
Not to me he doesn’t.
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com