WASHINGTON — Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon will miss the rest of the season after his dugout fight with teammate Bryce Harper — four games because of a team suspension for that episode and three because he dropped his appeal of a Major League Baseball ban for throwing at a player's head last week.
Manager Matt Williams said Harper, a leading NL MVP contender, was held out of the starting lineup Monday for "his part in the altercation" with Papelbon on Sunday. Harper, though, said after Sunday's game that he was scheduled to be off Monday.
"It's been a very difficult 24 hours for the organization," Williams said at his pregame news conference. "Incidents like that in the dugout (are) not the way we want to play our games."
On Sunday, after Harper flied out in the eighth inning against the Phillies, he headed to the dugout, where he and Papelbon exchanged words. The argument escalated, and Papelbon reached out with his left hand and grabbed Harper by the throat.
Papelbon then shoved the outfielder toward the bench with both hands before teammates and members of Williams' coaching staff pulled the pair apart.
Williams was at the other end of the dugout and, he said Monday, was not aware of exactly what happened until after he saw video. He added that because he was unaware of the extent of the confrontation, he sent Papelbon back out to pitch in the ninth.
"I could have asked for more specifics," Williams said Monday.
When he eventually did see video of Papelbon clutching at Harper's neck, Williams said, "I was upset. I was appalled."
But he hinted that a truly bothersome aspect was that everyone saw what happened. "Generally, this happens between players in the confines of a private clubhouse. It doesn't happen in the open, generally," he said.
MARINERS PICK GM: Seattle found its new general manager, announcing that it had hired former Angels GM Jerry Dipoto. He replaces Jack Zduriencik, who was fired in late August. Dipoto was the Angels' general manager for 3½ years before resigning July 1 after clashes with manager Mike Scioscia. He has been working as a consultant for the Red Sox since mid August.
BLUE JAYS: SS Troy Tulowitzki, out since Sept. 12 with a fractured left shoulder blade, took about 40 swings in an indoor cage and felt good.
CARDINALS: RHP Adam Wainwright (torn left Achilles) threw a simulated game and could be cleared to return to the team this week. … C Yadier Molina, diagnosed Sept. 21 with a slight ligament tear in his left thumb, was ruled out for the rest of the regular season.
YANKEES: RHP Masahiro Tanaka, who missed his previous start with a hamstring strain, will return to the rotation Wednesday against the Red Sox.