Skip to main content

Hockey commentator Don Cherry throws the ceremonial first pitch before the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox American League baseball game in Toronto on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.

Frank Gunn/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Popular hockey personality Don Cherry defended troubled Washington Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon for choking teammate Bryce Harper in a multi-tweet rant on Tuesday.

Cherry, co-host of the popular "Coach's Corner" segment on "Hockey Night in Canada," said Papelbon shouldn't have confronted Harper publicly, but had no problem with the choke.

"Alright, Papelbon shouldn't have done what he did to Harper on the bench. He should have waited for him in the tunnel and choked him there," Cherry tweeted.

Story continues below advertisement

The Nationals suspended Papelbon for four games without pay for his dugout altercation with Harper during Washington's 12-5 home loss to Philadelphia on Sunday.

Harper flied out in the eighth inning against Philadelphia and, after getting out of the batters box slowly on the play, headed to the dugout, where he and Papelbon exchanged words. The argument escalated, and Papelbon reached out with his left hand and grabbed Harper by the throat.

Cherry criticized Harper, a serious National League MVP candidate, for not showing enough hustle during the routine out.

"Some people say they can understand how Harper just jogs down to first on a pop up," he posted. "They say well, hey they have already played 152 games. The guy is getting 10 zillion dollars a year, at least he can hustle to first base."

Papelbon will miss the rest of the season. His four-game ban starts after he finishes serving a three-game suspension from Major League Baseball for throwing at an opponent's head.

Harper has indicated he would be OK with Papelbon returning to the Nationals in 2016. The reliever has an $11 million guaranteed contract for next season.

"If 'Paps' can help us win a World Series next year, that's what I need. That's what this whole clubhouse needs," Harper said on Monday. "We can't be fighting or anything like that."

Story continues below advertisement

— With files from The Associated Press.

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter