Nats president Mike Rizzo: Jonathan Papelbon's behavior 'unacceptable'

null Baseball null Nationals team president and general manager Mike Rizzo spoke publicly for the first time Monday about the Bryce Harper-Jonathan Papelbon dugout spat that resulted in a season-ending suspension of Papelbon.“We talked to a lot of his (Papelbon's) teammates at Boston and he’s a guy that annoys you if he’s on another team, but I think he's acclimated to this team fine and we’re not going to judge his career by one incident," Rizzo told reporters, via MASN Sports. MORE: 15 times Jonathan Papelbon was the worst | Must-see photos from Bryce Harper's career“His behavior was unacceptable and I think the suspension speaks for that. We ended our meeting amicably and I think this is an isolated incident.” The Nationals announced Monday that Papelbon is done for the season in the wake of Sunday's dugout confrontation with Harper. Papelbon will miss the last seven games through a combination of two suspensions: He will drop his appeal of a three-game ban handed down by Major League Baseball last week for throwing at Orioles star Manny Machado, and the team will sit him for the final four games for unacceptable behavior.Papelbon verbally and physically attacked Harper Sunday when he perceived a lack of effort on Harper's part during a flyout. But Rizzo said he doesn't see any issues with the way his 22-year-old MVP candidate handled himself. Papelbon later apologized.“I have no problem with Harper’s effort level, or the way he plays the game," Rizzo said. "Pap must have seen it differently and called him out on it. It takes guts to call a player out.”Manager Matt Williams may not be in quite as good a situation as Harper or even Papelbon, however, as Rizzo seemed less than impressed with his lack of involvement in the dustup."I thought it was odd," Rizzo said. "It's his job to manage the dugout and he made a mistake. There were plenty of mistakes made in that situation."He later defended Williams by saying it's not his fault the Nationals underperformed this season.“I think Matt’s had to persevere through a lot of injuries and other circumstances and we will make all 2016 decisions after the 2015 sea

son."Hardly a bode of confidence, but it appears Rizzo understands a lot of what happened this season was out of Williams' control.


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