Amid a tumultuous time for the Washington Nationals, general manager Mike Rizzo discussed the punishments handed out for Sunday's altercation between Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper, revealing that Papelbon was discontent with his suspension.
Rizzo first highlighted that the lengths of the suspensions divvied out in the wake of the incident were a direct reflection of the team's thoughts on who held the lion's share of the blame for the melee.
Papelbon's suspension was four games, whereas Harper's was only a game and the 22-year-old slugger was already anticipated to have an off-day on Monday.
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"You could see, by the type of discipline we placed on both players, which we thought was weighed the most," Rizzo said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. "We felt that they were both equal and equitable ways to handle the situation."
Rizzo revealed Papelbon was unhappy about his suspension, which in effect shut him down for the rest of the season due to a prior three-game suspension he received for hitting Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.
"He was upset with the suspension, and we discussed about the nature of the incident and how I felt that it was an unacceptable way to handle yourself as a Washington National," Rizzo said. "We parted amicably, and I left it with: We will see him shortly after the season."
Despite the incident, which raised plenty of speculation regarding Papelbon's future with the team, Rizzo doesn't believe he is a distraction in the clubhouse.
"I think for the most part he has fit into the clubhouse culture fine," he said. "You can ask the players in there. I think they respect what he's done in the game and the way he prepares and goes about his business. I'm not going to judge his entire body, his whole career, by this one incident. It was unfortunate and unacceptable. And I think the suspension says that."
As for Papelbon's future with the team, Rizzo says the closer will be assessed alongside the rest of the Nats' underachieving franchise.
"He's under contract," said Rizzo, who became the Nats' GM in 2009. "We're going to evaluate every moving part that we have after the season, and we'll make all those decisions once the final out is made in 2015."