Updated: September 4, 2009, 8:48 PM ET Baseball fines Papelbon $5,000
ESPN.com news services
Baseball's attempts to speed up the pace of the game have taken some getting used to for Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon -- to the tune of thousands of dollars.
Papelbon was fined $5,000 by Major League Baseball for taking too long to deliver his first pitch Tuesday night, according to Boston-area media reports. It was at least the fifth time he's been cited for failure to adhere to baseball's new speed limits for pitchers and Papelbon says he's been fined more than $10,000 total.
"After this, I don't know, man," Papelbon said, according to the Boston Herald, which first reported the fine. "I think they're going to call my parole officer and put me away."
Baseball put two pitching-related rule changes in place this season to speed up play. The pitcher must throw the first pitch of a half-inning no more than 2 minutes, 20 seconds from the final out of the previous half-inning. And pitchers have 12 seconds to throw once a batter settles into the box.
Papelbon also had a ball called on him Tuesday night for taking too long between pitches.
"It's something I've got to get used to," Papelbon said, according to The Boston Globe. "When I come in from the bullpen, I've got to speed it up."
But that doesn't mean Papelbon is happy about paying.
"I know it's a new rule and everything and they're trying to enforce it," he said, according to the Herald. "I guess I'm just the one they decided to enforce it on. A rule's a rule. I don't know who else is getting fined. I can't say I'm being picked on. They may be saying the same thing to everyone else.
"If I have to get my agent involved and see if there are other guys doing the same thing I'm doing and not getting fined, then I have a case. If I don't, then I don't."
Papelbon has 34 saves in 37 opportunities this season, with a 1.84 ERA.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. LINK