While executive vice president Joe Torre confirmed West acted "appropriately" in ejecting Papelbon, who was suspended seven games and fined Monday night for making a lewd gesture and then bumping an umpire, he also acknowledged umpires "cannot initiate physical contact" with players.
"Joe West handled himself appropriately in ejecting Papelbon after the player's lewd gesture to the fans," Torre said in a statement. "I fully understand that Joe was reacting to a player who was acting aggressively, and can understand his frustration with the situation.
"However, Joe knows that an umpire cannot initiate physical contact with a player just as a player cannot initiate physical contact with an umpire. I spoke to Joe about the incident, and he admitted that there was a better way to handle the situation. I consider this matter closed."