ST. PETERSBURG -- Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon opened his mail before Thursday's game against the Rays and didn't like what was in the envelope. It was a $5,000 fine from Major League Baseball for a pacing violation.
Early last season, in an effort to speed up the game, MLB started having umpires enforce the pace of hitters, pitchers and managers.
Papelbon has been a frequent violator of the rule this season. The pitcher said he has been fined seven times for taking too long to begin the inning.
"Game pace, pace of game, or something like that," Papelbon told the Boston Herald and WEEI.com. "I don't know why they keep coming after me. It's probably because I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm not obeying the rules. I'm taking too long getting to the rubber. You're allowed [two minutes and 25 seconds], and I'm taking too long."
Papelbon said he hasn't discussed the matter with the league. He said the first fine was for $1,000, and that the total balance is well over $10,000. The right-hander -- a four-time All-Star -- is earning a base salary of $6.25 million this season.
"I know it's a new rule and everything and they're trying to enforce it. I guess I'm just the one they decided to enforce it on," said Papelbon.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.