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Papelbon suspended 3 games for hitting Machado


Papelbon suspended 3 games for hitting Machado

Major League Baseball has suspended Jonathan Papelbon three games and fined the Nationals closer an undisclosed amount for intentionally throwing at Manny Machado during Wednesday night's loss to the Orioles.

Papelbon has appealed the ruling and will remain eligible to pitch until his case is heard, the Nationals said.

MLB's ruling, made by senior vice president of standards and on-field operations Joe Garagiola Jr., cited Papelbon "throwing a pitch in the head area" of Machado in the ninth inning of Wednesday's game, an offense the league office takes seriously.

The incident occurred two innings after Machado hit a towering, 2-run homer off Max Scherzer that gave the Orioles a 4-3 lead they wouldn't relinquish. Baltimore's All-Star third baseman admired the home run and took 26.61 seconds to round the bases, according to Tater Trot Tracker, though Scherzer and Nationals manager Matt Williams said they took no issue with Machado's reaction.

RELATED: Harper hitless in 3 straight games for 1st time

Papelbon, though, threw a first-pitch fastball near Machado's head with two outs in the top of the ninth. After a slider away, his again threw a fastball high-and-tight, this time hitting Machado in the left shoulder. Plate umpire Mark Ripperger immediately ejected the right-hander. Both benches emptied, but neither side engaged in any real activities.

"It's something that's uncalled for," Machado said afterward. "It's [garbage]. It's something that you don't do. I expect more from a guy like that, with the past that he has. You've just got to go out there and keep playing baseball. It's part of the game. If you can't take the heat, just stay out of the kitchen and just go on from it. You don't throw at somebody's head. I think that's [garbage]. I think we've just got to keep playing baseball."

Papelbon didn't admit he threw at Machado on purpose but didn't deny the accusation, either.

"They just said they deemed it intentional. They didn't give me any reason," he said. "I don't know if they have to give me a reason or not. But perception is reality. If Manny thinks I hit him, then that's what he thinks. I'm not going to sit here and go back and forth whether I did or whether I didn't, cause it doesn't matter. If he thinks I did, that's what he thinks."

Papelbon didn't receive much support from within the Nationals clubhouse after the game, with right fielder and presumptive NL MVP Bryce Harper publicly calling his teammate out and questioning whether he'd be the subject of retaliation from the Orioles the following day.

"I mean, Manny freaking hit a homer and walked it off, and somebody drilled him," Harper said. "It's pretty tired. It's one of those situations where it happens. I don't know. I'll probably get drilled tomorrow. We'll see what happens."

The Orioles didn't retaliate at all Thursday, with manager Buck Showalter saying beforehand he though the best revenge would be winning the game. His team did just that, riding Matt Wieters' eighth-inning homer off Blake Treinen to a 5-4 victory and series sweep.

MORE NATIONALS: Inexperienced, ineffective bullpen has doomed Nats

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.