Update: 18 September 11.10am EST
MLB umpires are not allowed to make physical contact with players, and vice versa, and West served his suspension Wednesday (Sept. 17). West was suppose to umpire the New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays game in St. Petersburg, FL.
Update: 16 September 9.20am EST
Jonathan Papelbon has been suspended 7 games and fined by the MLB for the lewd gesture that he made to the Philadelphia fans after blowing a save and costing the Phillies the game. Papelbon will serve the suspension immediately. After the suspension was handed out, Papelbon said:
”While I completely understand how the fans would perceive my gesture while being booed, it was not my intent whatsoever to insult the fans of Philadelphia,” Papelbon said. ”If it was perceived in that manner, I sincerely apologize.”
Original: 15 September 1.58pm EST
The closer gave up four runs in what seemed to be a sure win for the Philadelphia Phillies who were playing at home. After the third out was made and the team was making their way off the field, the 30,201fans in attendance booed Papelbon as he was heading back to the dugout.
In response, Papelbon made a silent gesture to the fans to let them know what he thought, grabbing his crotch.
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After the crowd’s booes grew even louder, second base umpire Joe West took action and tossed Papelbon out of the game. Papelbon immediately stormed the field to protest West’s ejection and got in his face.
After the game West said:
“I told him ‘You’ve got to go,” and then he charged out of the dugout and his head bumped into my hat,” West said. “And I grabbed him and I said ‘Get off of me.’ … The whole thing started because the fans booed him and he made an obscene gesture. He had no business doing that. He’s got to be more professional than that. And that’s why he was ejected.”
Papelbon insists he made no gesture and he was simply ‘adjusting’ himself.
“This is baseball,” Papelbon said. “I had to make an adjustment and I did it and by no means am I directing anything at any fans. … When I’m out there and in the moment, the fans are irrelevant to me. I don’t see them. I don’t hear them. To me, this is pretty stupid, to be totally honest with you.”
Gesture or no gesture, let this be a lesson to not grab your crotch in public.