Jonathan Papelbon claims he was just re-adjusting his uniform, but Major League Baseball isn’t buying that explanation.
The league announced Monday night that it has fined the Philadelphia Phillies closer and suspended him for seven games after he made an obscene gesture toward fans at Citizens Bank Ballpark on Sunday.
After blowing a four-run lead in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins, Papelbon was booed by the hometown crowd as he walked off the field and responded by grabbing his crotch.
Umpire Joe West saw the gesture and immediately ejected Papelbon, prompting an outburst from the former Boston Red Sox closer.
A week off might not be the worst thing for the 33-year-old closer, who has allowed at least one hit in four of his last six appearances. The Phillies also are firmly entrenched in last place in the National League East after yet another dismal season, so it’s not like Papelbon will miss much.
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