Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon has been hit in the pocketbook a second time this season for slowing down a game.

Major League Baseball slapped Papelbon with a $5,000 US fine for taking too long to throw his first pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.

The new rule allots pitchers two minutes 20 seconds from the last out of the previous inning to the first pitch of the next.

The hurlers also are allowed 12 seconds to throw the ball once the batter steps into the box.

"After this, I don't know, man," Papelbon joked to the Boston Herald. "I think they're going to call my parole officer and put me away."

Still, Papelbon isn't pleased with the new regulation.

"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," he said, according to the Herald. "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, one of the best closers in the game, has 34 saves in 37 opportunities this season, with a 1.84 ERA.

With files from The Associated Press