By Annie Ross

Phillies fans may have seen the last of closer Jonathan Papelbon for 2014.

Major League Baseball did not buy Papelbon’s adjustment alibi.

MLB suspended the Phillies closer for seven games and issued an undisclosed fine Monday, a day after Papelbon made an obscene gesture at fans after blowing a save.


After giving up four runs in the top of the ninth inning of a 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins, Papelbon grabbed his crotch while exiting the field as fans at Citizens Bank Park jeered him.

He was immediately ejected by umpire Joe West, and then confronted the veteran crew chief. West made physical contact with Papelbon.

Papelbon later explained that he was merely adjusting his athletic supporter and had no ill intent when he grabbed his groin.

“He basically came over and said I that did an inappropriate gesture and I had no clue what he was talking about,” said Papelbon after the loss. “That is when I got upset. I had no idea what he was talking about. I had no explanation. I was still obviously pretty heated from what had just transpired. Me and Joe we go way back. We don’t see eye to eye a lot of times.”

The Phillies released a statement announcing they support baseball’s decision to discipline Papelbon.

“The Phillies fully support the decision or the Commissioner’s Office, which has exclusive jurisdiction for on-field player behavior,” the statement read. “By Major League Baseball rules, the Phillies have no authority to make official judgments about activity which occurs on the field or to determine the appropriate penalty for misconduct. We apologize to our fans for the actions of our player yesterday.”


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