It’s been a rough season for the Washington Nationals. Despite being picked to win the National League East by basically everyone prior to the season, the Nationals never quite put it together and are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
During Sunday’s game against the Phillies, emotions boiled over for two of Washington’s more fiery players. All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper and closer Jonathan Papelbon exchanged words after Harper flew out in the bottom of the eighth inning, which led to Papelbon lunging at Harper and the two getting into a fight. Teammates and coaches had to come over and break things up, as they were really going at one another.
Athletes exchange words and shove each other all the time, but this looked much worse than any public teammate fight that we’ve seen in some time. It actually managed to get worse for the Nationals, too – right after this happened, Papelbon allowed a go-ahead home run to Philly’s Andres Blanco.
For all of the low points that the Nationals have had this season, this very well could be the lowest. There’s almost certainly going to be a ton of turnover within the organization this year, and today again showed that turnover may not necessarily be a bad thing.