The mess that has been the Washington Nationals was put on serious display when acquired closer Jonathan Papelbon and eventual NL MVP Bryce Harper got into an altercation in their dugout in front of cameras for all to see. The picture of the Nationals season can be the visual of Papelbon's hand being around Harper's neck. The thing is both players were wrong for their actions in the altercation. Papelbon didn't have to snap at Harper in public and Harper should've been more careful with the words he used when addressing a veteran. Since the altercation there has been plenty of words written about it, but what has intrigued me is that former players support Papelbon more than one would think. Harper has gotten a pass from most members of the press and critics of the game. Harper can do no wrong in their eyes and that has caused Harper to act like he's bulletproof. It got to the point where his manager got criticized for pulling Harper from a baseball game where he didn't hustle out a fly ball. After the altercation Bryce Harper pulled himself from the game that's not what 22 year old ballplayers usually do.
Has Harper earned some respect? Sure. Is he the only one to blame? No. Matt Williams, who is the manager of the Nationals for now, has more blame than some would think. This altercation should've been squashed before it got to this point. When Harper called Papelbon "tired" a few days ago in the news Williams, or another veteran for that matter, should've talked to Harper about how things are done and taken care of in house and not in front of cameras. Harper's actions with the media lit Papelbon's fuse and he was just waiting for Harper to do what Harper does and then he exploded grabbing and slamming Harper into the dugout wall by his neck. Papelbon, the bully, wasn't actually the complete scourge this time the pampered baby was.