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USA Today via Reuters

Stephen A. Smith’s recent fiery rant targeting Mike Trout‘s injuries ignited a war of words. This war not only took the audience and fans by shock but also triggered a debate within the sports world. Now, a former six-time All-Star throws a punch, exposing the “shady side” to the sports commentator.

While Smith’s earlier comments criticized the frequency of injuries in baseball, the retired pitcher of the Boston Red Sox didn’t have it with Smith’s portrayal of baseball’s physical demands. This ignited the ongoing verbal back and forth, with Papelbon accusing Smith of “irresponsible” and “stupid” commentary. But Papelbon didn’t stop there.

He went on to share a lesser-known side to the story. The 6x All-Star claimed that Smith was once ejected from an MLB clubhouse for “snooping” around restricted areas. His words were, “There have always been whispers about Stephen A.’s access in clubhouses. Guys talk. It’s a small world. Papelbon might be the first to come out publicly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more to this story.” This accusation revealed a side of Smith’s that questions his credibility and professionalism.

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Smith vehemently countered the accusation, calling it a “lie” and threatening to take legal action.  Nevertheless, some reports suggest that Smith’s response lacked the usual fire. So this started a conjecture that there might be potential truth behind Papelbon’s claim.

This isn’t the first time Smith has been embroiled in controversy. Throughout his career, he has made sensational statements that have drawn criticism for being disrespectful. Not only that, these statements come off as lacking nuance. Remember the scathing words he sent new Dodgers player and unarguably baseball superstar, Shohei Ohtani‘s way? And all for not speaking English. Upon receiving criticism from renowned names in the MLB world, Smith backtracked, apologizing.

https://twittercom/stephenasmith/status/1414661475373920267

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But his ways have not changed as a recent instance came to light when he spoke about Ohtani’s former Angels teammate Mike Trout saying he was “disgusted with his lack of availability,” questioning how Trout could “always” be injured. His defense came in the form of former player Ken Griffey Jr.

But Smith’s flurry of seemingly tasteless comments has clearly not gone unnoticed.

The Jonathan Papelbon – Stephen A Smith Saga – Is There Smoke Behind the Fire? 

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Jonathan Papelbon, a player who spent 15 years in the majors stepped up taking a jab at Smith’s words. He said, “Stephen A. thrives on hot takes. He knows these comments get attention, even if they upset players or coaches.  But when someone challenges him, he deflects or threatens lawsuits instead of addressing the core issue.”

How far Papelbon’s specific accusations hold truth is yet to be confirmed. However, these comments do raise questions about Smith’s credibility. In the thick of this argument, one thing is clear: the war of words between Stephen A. Smith and baseball figures is far from over. One can only wait and watch the situation unfold.