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Nats' Papelbon apologizes: 'I'm not a perfect human being'

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Nats' Papelbon apologizes: 'I'm not a perfect human being'

After a long offseason of silence following his suspension from the Nationals, Jonathan Papelbon officially returned as their closer by reporting to 2016 spring training in Viera, Fl. on Friday.

He greeted his teammates, then met with the media to speak at length about his fight with Bryce Harper last September and the fallout that ensued. Papelbon was contrite in his comments, asking for forgiveness from the organization and their fans.

"I've apologized to [Harper]. I've apologized to my teammates. I want to apologize to the fans and the coaches and everyone included. I think that with what happened last year, I was in the wrong. It 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. I've done a lot of reflecting and I think sometimes in life, good things can come out of bad situations," Papelbon explained.

Papelbon said he spent a lot of time with his family throughout the offseason and that their support helped him find peace with his actions.

"My family's my No. 1 support group. It was a tough time, probably one of the toughest points of my career," he said. "I wish I could take it back and go talk it out in a more peaceful way. I don't know, it just happened. It's kind of like when you shake up a bottle and you open up the top, it explodes sometimes and you don't know why."

The Nationals and their players seem to have forgiven Papelbon, Harper included. But his return to Nationals Park this spring will be interesting to watch given his unpopularity among the fanbase.

Papelbon shared some thoughts on Nationals fans and what he hopes they understand about him.

"I didn't feel like I got to say and apologize the way I wanted to apologize to the fans and everyone the way I wanted to last year," he said. "I think the fans will see that I came here for one reason. I came here to bring a championship to a city that's never had a championship. And that's my No. 1 goal. That's the No. 1 thing that I want to do this year, to be a part of an equation that has a team that's great. To me, that's the ultimate satisfaction."

"I think the fans will see from me that I play with a great deal of pride," he continued. "I'm not a perfect human being. I'm an imperfect person living in an imperfect world. I don't claim to be. So for me, I realize that what I did was wrong and the fans see that, and I see that. But my whole point is that good can come of this. I can redirect this, and we can go out and win 95 games this season and go into the playoffs and be hot and go win a world championship still. That does not deter from that."

Quotes courtesy of the Washington Nationals

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE