Ed Note: The following occurs via Bloguin’s Phillies blog Macho Row.
This may have been something brewing for a while, but Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon and sports media veteran Howard Eskin apparently needed to be separated in the Phillies clubhouse before Saturday afternoon’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Whoa. Eskin and Papelbon just got into a heated verbal argument by the Phils dugout. Both had to be restrained. Paps went up to Eskin & said something. Eskin said so etching back and Paps was escorted away by PR guy and Eskin was held back by security.” (Via @AntScaramuzzi)
Eskin certainly did little to deny this report, retweeting one of these specific tweets and adding a hashtag of #Papwaswrong. He later said on Twitter it was Papelbon who approached him, rather than Eskin making the first move. Eskin has been taking Papelbon to task in recent weeks, most notably since Papelbon stated he could not a pitch a third straight game in a weekend series on the road against the New York Mets.
Jonathan Paplebon said he knows his body and never on DL. However in checking his stats he was shut down sept 2006. No DL but out all month
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) May 16, 2014
Listening 2 @SportsRadioWIP and talk bout y Jonathan Paplebon wouldn't pitch on Sunday. 2 teams sources told me Pap was out "late" sat night
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) May 14, 2014
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) May 12, 2014
Last week Eskin was tweeting at Ashley Papelbon, Jonathan’s wife, asking about whether or not the Phillies were misleading reporters about Papelbon meeting up with Jacoby Ellsbury. The rumor was Papelbon was unavailable for the third straight game against the Mets because he was out late and possibly hungover, but Ashley Papelbon said that was clearly not the case. Eskin stuck to his reporting and information anyway.
Howard Eskin questioned Ashley Papelbon about her husband’s late night.
Whether this was the beginning of any feud between Eskin and Papelbon is not for me to weigh in and judge. Eskin may have been a critic of Papelbon since the day he was signed by the Phillies, but when a reporter starts going back and forth with a player’s wife like this it certainly is not something that will likely sit well.
The thing is, Eskin probably does not care about this one bit. Eskin is the guy who got under former manager Charlie Manuel‘s skin to the point that Charlie had to be escorted into his office. Eskin has no problem throwing other reporters, local and national, under the bus if it helps prove his point, whether his point is right or wrong.
All I know is the Phillies are 20-25 and this season is driving everyone crazy.