According to what I've read - last night, after getting hit hard by a pitch- as retaliation for a home plate collision the night before, Nyjer Morgan took his base and then was able to steal two more bases. Two innings later, with Morgan at bat again, the Marlins' pitcher, Chris Volstad, intentionally threw behind him, because the Marlins felt disrespected by Morgan's base stealing - which threw Morgan into a rage as he bolted towards the mound and resulted in the "brawl."
I understand that Morgan's aggressive behavior is inexcusable, but doesn't he have the right to steal bases if he can? And is the baseball "tradition" of intentionally hitting a batter to get revenge such a great idea?
The Marlins were upset at Morgan the night before plowing over the catcher (a play in which, had he slid, he probably would have been safe), dislocating his shoulder. So they hit him with a pitch.
Baseball is filled with unwritten rules and traditions, one of which is not to steal bases when the outcome of the game is no longer in doubt. When Morgan stole the two bases, the Nationals were down by 10 or more, and that violated the unwritten rule.
You may remember earlier in the year that a pitcher for the A's threw a fit when A-Rod crossed the mound when returning to first after running on a foul. It's another one of the unwritten rules, according to the pitcher.
Ok. Morgan deserved the first one... as much as anyone deserves getting hit by a 90mph pitch. And he took his base without comment. Then FL gets mad at him for stealing bases? Really?
They may have been down by 10, but it was the FOURTH INNING. And Washington ended up scoring 10 in the game. And there have been several huge comebacks this year. To get mad at a guy for not giving up in the fourth inning is the height of arrogance. And to throw at a guy for a second time in a game is too much.
Mind you, when he throw behind Morgan the second time, he had already hit a total of THREE Natinals () players. Umps are as much to blame as anyone for not removing Volstad after the second or third.
Somebody had to stand up and say "We're not taking any more of this abuse." And at that point it was just bullying.
Volstad deserved a black eye. Morgan is a hot-head no doubt, but in this game I don't have a problem with anything he did, except his triumphant attitude as he was lead off after the brawl.
Last edited by dukebluelemur; 09-03-2010 at 12:21 AM. Reason: spelling
I agree with BlueLemur. The Nationals WERE DOWN...it's the fourth inning. You hit a guy and expect him not to steal? It is absurd that Volstad was allowed to throw repeatedly at guys. Once is ok. Two and umps should consider tossing him. Third intentional should be guaranteed kicked out. People can portray Nyger as the bad guy all they want...yeah he took out some catchers, but that goes on almost all the time a catcher is blocking the plate.
I don't condone charging the mound, personally, but I can see Morgan's point in this case. They hit a few of his teammates, not to mention him, and then they throw behind him for stealing a couple bases? As someone pointed out, the final score was a LOT closer and it was only the 4th when he stole the bases. In my opinion, as long as the game is going on, you keep playing. Do football teams down 30 in the 2nd quarter start kneeling on the ball? Um, no.
The irony of the situation is that you can see the ump in the background tossing Volstadt AS Morgan's charging the mound. If Morgan had kept his temper for two more seconds, the whole thing might have been avoided. However, I can't blame the guy for trying to protect himself and stick up for his teammates. I agree that the umps deserve at least some blame for not tossing Volstadt after the second hit batsmen. I think it should be like technicals in basketball. You hit three guys and you're out automatically, and maybe lose a start.
LET'S GO DUKE!
Which stands for Not For Long.
He is a marginal player with one of the weakest teams in the majors. He has committed numerous bonehead plays, like the one that occurred Tuesday, when he sacrificed the go-ahead run by trying to score from second on an INFIELD OUT. That was the play where the catcher was injured.
There may be an unwritten rule about not stealing bases when you are ten runs BEHIND, but it is totally dumb and should be discarded. The sensible rule, if even then, is not stealing bases when you are ten runs AHEAD. I believe it is about showing up the other team, and maybe about injuries in hard slides at second or third.
IMHO, where the Grouse's H is usually silent, a lot of these rules go back to before chartered flights or even airplane travel. The teams had to catch the next train out of town or else face long delays. IIRC (and there is always a first time), the shortest major league game was just under an hour in exactly those circumstances: the teams raced through the field changes and the at-bats in order to make the train schedule.
Color me a Nats fan, but I though the unwritten rule was not to steal bases when you were 10 up. I have no problem with Morgan stealing bases that early in a game if they did not hold him on. Cripes, the Nats had an epic comeback against the Yankees in 2006 after being way, way down. Comebacks happen. Yes, Morgan did it right after being plunked, but he was playing the game. Now, as for charging the mound, I don't like it, but I don't blame him. I probably would have done the same, hothead that I can be sometimes when disrespected. Maybe Volsted thought he didn't plunk Morgan hard enough the first time with the ball hitting Morgan's elbow pad. Morgan's antics leaving the field were totally unacceptable and embarrassing to me as a Nats fan. I hope he's suspended for a good long time and is gone next year. He's had some other childish plays this year and has been unprofessional at times, like throwing down his glove after not catching a ball at the wall which ended up giving the batter a triple instead of a double. Give me Bernadina in center - that's where he was playing before breaking his ankle last year - Willingham in left and platoon right with Morse and whomever.
If you have not seen it, this version of the fight is worth listening to.
-Jason "FWIW, Nyjer Morgan is a me-first, low-class player and will not be in major league baseball for long with his attitude" Evans
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He was indeed one of the more promising players and showed some real hustle last year, a commodity sometimes lacking amongst the Nats. They must be sick of stumbling around the league; Ryan Z was tossed early in a game last (?) week for bellyaching about a pitch when it looked more like, at times, he was tired of the frustration of the season.
And, for sure, the Nats and Marlins don't sit around braiding each other's hair...they do not like each other.
But Morgan's MO is stealing and the Marlins should have dropped the lace doily routine and kept him embraced in a close, warm hug .
I like Bernandina too but geesh, can somebody take him to the hitting store and treat him to a bat?
if you need a refresher course on baseball's "code" here you go. Basically it goes into detail on all the related infractions of the code of Mr. Morgan.
"The future ain't what it used to be."
I think the Nats don't like the Marlins because the Marlins usually pound the Nats all season. Now the Marlins don't like the Nats because of Morgan's antics. As long has he's on the team, there will probably be fireworks.
Hm, something about brawls in any sport other than hockey really upset me. I just don't think there is any excuse for it in a game like baseball. Then again, I also don't think there is ANY room for a pitcher pegging a batter. None. That can do real damage, and I'd be awful tempted to take a bat to the head of any pitcher who hit me, silly "code of the game" or not.
Last edited by Lord Ash; 09-03-2010 at 06:41 PM.
The Marlins are 1000% wrong in this, and come off looking the worst. The pitcher hit three batters in 4 innings, and was trying to hit Morgan for the 2nd time. Good for him for charging the mound.
What a bunch of pompous ...es, especially as a crappy team. Nyger is being vilified here, but I don't think he's the one with the problem. I would have loved seeing that first baseman get laid the heck out after clotheslining Morgan like that...
FTR, I'm a Yankees fan, not a Nats fan.
Outside of professional baseball, would throwing an object at 90 mph with the intent to strike and injure be considered assault and battery? I get all the complaints about Morgan, but IMO the pitcher should be suspended for multiple attempts to inflict harm. Sorry, tradition or not, that's just wrong.