Phillies’ Jonathan Papelbon Ejected After Blowing Save, Grabbing Crotch

The Phillies closer said he wasn't making a rude gesture to fans as he walked off the field. Umpire Joe West thought otherwise.

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Jonathan Papelbon gave up four runs in the top of the ninth inning, blowing his fourth save of the year in the Phillies’ 5-4 loss to the Marlins. Papelbon has actually been pretty good for the Phillies this year — he’s saved 37 games, and is having his best year of his three seasons with the Phillies — but was booed as he walked off the field after surrendering a three-run lead.

This is when things got interesting. As you can tell from the back page of Monday’s Daily News, Papelbon grabbed his crotch as he left the field. Was it directed at the crowd? Papelbon said afterward it wasn’t: The umpire “basically came over and said that I did an inappropriate gesture and I had no clue what he was talking about,” Papelbon told reporters afterward.

That ump, Joe West, saw otherwise. “The whole thing started because the fans booed him, and he made an obscene gesture,” West told a pool reporter. “He had no business doing that. He’s got to be more professional than that. And that’s why he was ejected.”

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Who’s to say what Papelbon was doing. It sure seemed like he was gesturing to the crowd with his crotch grab, but maybe he’s just adjusts himself wherever, whenever. “I mean this is baseball. I had to make an adjustment and I did it,” he said after the game.

Mike Schmidt’s excuse on the Phillies’ broadcast was particularly great: “He did kind of adjust his — for those who don’t know out there, baseball players wear kind of a jock strap and a cup, and there’s a lot going on down there. And he did, you know, adjust it as he was walking off the field. Now, to say for sure that it was in response to some booing, I couldn’t do that. Only Jonathan knows.”

After his ejection, Papelbon got into a huge argument with Joe West, who Deadspin once noted is hated in “every single MLB clubhouse.”

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Paps got the last laugh, however, when he threw this water onto the field.

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The Phillies lost their 80th game yesterday. They have 13 games left.