Washington Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon took time to talk to the media, returning from suspension the result of an incident on Sept. 27 in which he grabbed teammate Bryce Harper by the neck.
The Nationals suspended Papelbon for four games as a result of the altercation on top of the a three-game suspension from Major League baseball for throwing near the head of Baltimore’s Manny Machado, that ended Papelbon’s season.
Papelbon expressed remorse, apologizing publicly to Harper, the team, coaches and the fans.
“I think that with what happened last year, I was in the wrong,” Papelbon said. “Should have never went down that way, and I understand that. I had a lot of time this offseason to reflect on that. I’ve had three months to think about it.”
“The last week of the season, for me personally, that was tough,” Papelbon said. “Obviously you want to finish the season out with your teammates that you’ve been fighting with all year long. … But I had to do what I had to do and step aside from the team. … It was a tough time, probably one of the toughest points of my career.”
Papelbon walked into the clubhouse Friday, he seemed to be welcomed back without issue as he exchanged greetings and laughs with numerous teammates.