SAN DIEGO — Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon has been suspended seven games and fined by Major League Baseball for making a lewd gesture and then bumping an umpire.
Papelbon said in a statement Monday night (Tuesday, Manila time) that he would immediately begin serving the suspension given by the commissioner's office and that he was sorry for making contact with umpire Joe West on Sunday.
But the right-hander says that he wasn't making a gesture toward fans as he walked off the field to boos in the ninth inning of Philadelphia's 5-4, home loss to the Miami Marlins. He apologized to Phillies fans in the statement.
Papelbon was ejected by West after the umpire thought Papelbon grabbed his crotch while walking off the field after blowing a save.