Nyjer Morgan Returns To Nationals Lineup After Eight-Game Suspension

Nyjer Morgan's eight-game suspension has ended, and he's back in the Nationals' starting lineup.

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Nyjer Morgan Returns To Lineup Against Braves

Nyjer Morgan's eight-game suspension is now up, and he has returned to the leadoff spot of the Nationals lineup. Here are the lineups for today.

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
2. Roger Bernadina, LF
3. Ian Desmond, SS
4. Adam Dunn, 1B
5. Michael Morse, RF
6. Adam Kennedy, 2B
7. Wilson Ramos, C
8. Alberto Gonzalez, 3B
9. Yunesky Maya, SP

Braves
1. Omar Infante, 2B
2. Jason Heyward, RF
3. Martin Prado, 3B
4. Brian McCann, C
5. Derrek Lee, 1B
6. Nate McLouth, CF
7. Alex Gonzalez, SS
8. Melky Cabrera, LF
9. Derek Lowe, SP

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MLB Also Fines Nyjer Morgan $15,000

In addition to the eight game suspension MLB just handed down to Nyjer Morgan, Adam Kilgore is reporting that Morgan will also face a $15,000 fine.

Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan will be suspended eight games and will begin serving his suspension Friday when the Nationals begin a three-game series at Philadelphia, according to two baseball sources. The league also fined Morgan $15,000, Morgan said in a phone conversation.

Kilgore also provides some clarification about the suspension itself.

 

Morgan had been appealing two separate suspensions: one seven-game suspension for an incident in which he allegedly exchanged dialogue with a fan and threw a ball in the stands at Citizens Bank Park, and one eight-game suspension for three other separate incidents, including his role in a brawl with the Florida Marlins. The league did not reduce the eight-game suspension but completely threw out the seven-game suspension.

That makes sense. There wasn't enough evidence to support the seven game suspension for throwing a ball into the stands, particularly when so many Phillies fans who were there came to his defense. On the other hand, there was simply too much evidence to reduce the eight game suspension at all.

"Mainly, what I'm really happy about is that," Morgan said. "I'm a fan player. When anybody says something about the fans, I get a little disappointed on that one. I'm fans first. I'm just glad to get all this [stuff] over. Now I can focus on doing what I do."

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Nyjer Morgan Officially Suspended Eight Games By MLB

It took almost a week, but we now know the results of Nyjer Morgan's suspension hearing. According to Bill Ladson, Morgan has been suspended for eight games by MLB.

I just learned that Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan will be suspended for eight games starting Friday.

So the fifteen total games Morgan was originally suspended for has been cut nearly in half. That fifteen game total was comprised of separate eight and seven game suspensions. There is no word as of yet regarding how much each of the individual suspensions were reduced to reach the final eight game figure.

Morgan will be eligible to return to the team on September 25th.

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Mike Rizzo Stands By Nyjer Morgan

In light of the 8 game suspension the MLB commissioner's office laid down upon Nyjer Morgan, Nationals' general manager Mike Rizzo has thrown his support towards the currently embattled outfielder.

Via the Washington Post's Nationals Journal:

"Some of the things that he did were disconcerting to me," General Manager Mike Rizzo said. "A lot if it snowballed after that. Most of the incidents I really have little or no problem with at all. They were pure baseball things. But there were a few situations that were unfortunate mistakes by a young, aggressive player who should know better.

"He's never had a problem off the field, outside the white lines. Between the white lines, there's been some issues. But he's been a model citizen off the field, in the clubhouse and in the community. Let's not forget that."

"He's going to be a guy we're going to depend on to play stellar center field for us and hit at the top of the order," the GM said. "When we get good enough to compete for championships, he'll have proved himself in that role or he'll have an opportunity to play himself out of it. Right now, that's the way I view him. It's certainly too early in his career ... to give up on him."

While it is interesting to hear that Rizzo considers it to be too early in a 30 year old player's career to give up on him, it is not completely surprising that he supports Morgan so much.

The trade that brought Nyjer Morgan to the Nationals was Rizzo's first real move as a general manager. He gave up Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan for Morgan and to give up on him now, while Milledge and Hanrahan are both still performing at major league levels, would be a clear admission that Rizzo failed in his first move to improve the team.

Looks as if Nationals fans should expect to see Nyjer Morgan to be in a Nationals uniform for quite some time.

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Nyjer Morgan In The Lineup For Tonight's Game

Nyjer Morgan must be appealing his eight-game suspension, because he is apparently in the lineup tonight. He'll hit leadoff, per usual, as the Nationals take on his former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

This means Morgan is now appealing two separate suspensions, which I believe is a first. 

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Nyjer Morgan's Reaction To His Suspension: 'They Threw The Book At Me'

Nyjer Morgan's reaction to MLB's decision to suspend him for eight games following a series of incidents last week was calm, contrite and apologetic ... if by that you mean the complete opposite.

In an interview with MLB.com's Bill Ladson, Morgan disputed the decision, saying "Man, they threw the book at me." Morgan also had this to say:

"What did I do? I feel I haven't done anything. They are blowing this way out of proportion because I'm a hard-nosed player -- because I knocked over a catcher. They throw the ball at me. Come on, what am I supposed to do?"    

The irony in Morgan's words, of course, is that the book was not the only thing that's been thrown at him this week. It remains unclear whether Morgan intended the pun, but if he did, kudos to him.

In all seriousness, Morgan is probably right that he's been punished because of his demeanor as much as for his actions. Unfortunately, that's just how life works, and Morgan certainly isn't helping himself by displaying little remorse in his remarks.  

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Report: Nats Manager Jim Riggleman's Role In Brawl Earns Him A Two Game Suspension

Nyjer Morgan wasn't the only one who earned a suspension with his actions in the benches clearing brawl between the Nationals and Marlins on Wednesday. According to Cindy Boren of the Washington Post, Nats manager Jim Riggleman will also be missing some action.

Nats manager Jim Riggleman was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount by Frank Robinson, senior vice-president of major league operations, for his comments regarding the incident.

The fact that former Nats manager Frank Robinson was the man who handed down the suspension, is a delicious icing on this bizarre cake. There were also a number of Marlins who were disciplined for their roles in the brawl.

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount ... Chris Volstad six games; Alejandro Sanabia five; and Gaby Sanchez three. Marlins pitcher Jose Veras was fined an undisclosed amount for his actions and comments.

So that's three Marlins players suspended to the Nationals one. Looks like the Nats came out on top on that one!

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Nyjer Morgan Suspended Eight Games For Events Last Week

Major League Baseball has suspended Nyjer Morgan eight games for his actions last week, according to Sports Illustrated's John Heyman.

nyjer morgan getting well-deserved 8-game suspension after 3 incidents this week. that's in addition to the 7 games hes appealing

That suspension would be served consecutively, not concurrently, with the seven game suspension that he will appeal next week.

This suspension encompasses Morgan running over the catchers from both the Cardinals and the marlins in the past week, and his charging the mound against Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad on Wednesday.

There are only 25 games left in the Nationals season, and if both suspensions hold, Nyjer Morgan will not participate in 15 of them.

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Nyjer Morgan Suspension Hearing Pushed Back To Next Friday

Nyjer Morgan has received another reprieve of sorts from his imminent suspension stemming from his inciting a riotous brawl between the Nationals and Florida Marlins on Wednesday. A report issued by Bill Ladson of MLB.com states that Morgan's hearing has been pushed back from next Tuesday to next Friday, coincidentally before the Nationals are scheduled to resume their rivalry with the Marlins.

Also noted in the report is that Nationals Third Base Coach Pat Listasch has received a three game suspension for his part in Wednesday's brawl. Listasch entered to fracas to retrieve his errant center fielder.

There has been much speculation over severity of Morgan's punishment. My reading of the push back is that when a committee needs MORE time to determine your fate, then you should expect he worst. I can see Morgan getting around 15-20 games, or enough of a "cool-off" time so that the Nationals will be able to distance themselves from their troubled center fielder.

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Report: MLB Expected To Hand Down Nyjer Morgan Punishment

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Washington Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan, who was involved in a memorable fight on Wednesday night, will likely be hearing from Major League Baseball officials this week.

Major League Baseball is likely to hand down a ruling on a punishment for Washington Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan on Friday, according to sources.

According to sources, the league is reviewing a range of incidents involving Morgan since he hit a fan in the head with a ball he threw into the stands and gestured at fans at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 21.

Both the video of the fight and Nyjer Morgan’s quotes afterwards are worth another look.

For everything Washington Nationals, head over to SB Nation’s FederalBaseball.com.

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Reaction From The Nats To Nyjer Morgan Charging The Mound

The big story in Wednesday's Nats game was Nyjer Morgan charging the mound after Marlins starter Chris Volstad threw at him twice. Mark Zuckerman has a nice collection of quotes from the Nationals clubhouse after the game.

Nyjer Morgan on being thrown at the first time:

It was a hard play yesterday. I understand they had to get me back a little bit. It's part of the game. I'm hard player. I'm going out there and just playing the game.

On being hit a second time because he stole bases while down 11 runs:

"That was garbage. That's just bad baseball. It's only the fourth inning. If they're going to hold me on, I'm going to roll out. The circumstances were kind of out of whack, but the game was too early. It was only the fourth inning. If it happened again, I'd do it again. It's one of those things where I'm a hard-nosed player. I'm grimey."

On why he thought he needed to charge the mound:

He hit me the first time, so be it. But he hit two other of our guys? Alright, cool. But then he whips another one behind me, we got to go. I'm just sticking up for myself and just defending my teammates. I'm just going out there and doing what I have to do."

That sounds like the kind of quote that will earn Nyjer Morgan a healthy suspension from Major League Baseball. If there is anything he commissioner hates more than the act, it's the lack of remorse afterward.

After Manager Jim Riggleman got on Morgan's case this weekend, one might expect he would be critical of Morgan in this game. But he surprisingly wasn't, particularly when it came to Morgan stealing two bases after being hit the first time.

"You know, my feeling has always been, if you hit somebody, then you did what you set out to do. You hit him, and now if he decides to run on you, that's his business. I got no problem with that. We decide when we run. The Florida Marlins will not decide when we run. We will decide when we run. Nobody will decide when we run. I don't put restrictions on when somebody else can run. That's not in my control. But nobody's going to put the controls on me as to when our club runs. If Nyjer decides to run, he ran. That's his business. He felt that's the way I'm going to get my payback."

But that might be the biggest problem in all this. Nyjer Morgan stealing two bases after being hit the first time is considered, "payback," when it could just as easily be seen as Morgan trying his hardest to get his team back into the game.

Back to Riggleman ... on contemplating retaliation of his own:

"But they made the decision to throw at Nyjer. They did. Then, the question is: Do we throw at them? I got some of my veteran players together. I said it's your ballclub. If you want somebody getting thrown at, I'll order it right now. And everybody said, 'Nah, it's over. It's over. They threw at him, and it's over.' That being the case, when they threw at him the second time, then it's not over."

Finally, the hero of the night in the mind of many Nats fans, Pat Listach, who was coaching third base but ran over to join the melee.

"My intention is to not let anybody get hurt. Chris did what he thought he had to do, and Nyjer did what he had to do. But I'm not going to allow it to be six guys on one, with Nyjer out there by himself. I'm going to defend him and make sure he doesn't get hurt, or anybody hurts anybody else. It's to really break up the fight, that's all."

You can see some video of the Nationals reaction on MLB.com.

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Nationals Lose To Marlins 16-10

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Wes Helms drove in five runs and Florida blew out the Nationals, 16-10, in a game marred by a benches-clearing brawl in the sixth inning.

It was during the top of that frame when Washington center fielder Nyjer Morgan charged the mound and punched Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad. Both players were ejected.

Florida was ahead 15-5 with one out in the inning when Volstad threw a pitch behind Morgan, who was hit on the right side by an offering in the fourth frame. The Marlins were ahead 14-3 in the fourth, but Morgan stole second and third base during the inning.

In the sixth, though, Morgan became upset and immediately threw down his bat and charged the mound. Volstad tossed down his glove and Morgan connected with a left to the pitcher’s neck.

Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez then raced in and delivered a clothes-line hit to Morgan, who immediately tumbled to the ground. Players for both teams scuffled near the mound and then Pat Listach, the third base coach for the Nationals, joined the fray by piling on Volstad and possibly throwing a punch.

“Obviously, he’s not coming out there to talk,” Volstad said. “I had to defend myself and not to get hurt.”

After being ejected by home plate umpire Marvin Hudson and upon leaving the field with the front of his jersey unbuttoned, Morgan motioned to the crowd and banged his chest with his fist.

“I’ve been part of a few bench-clearings, and this one was pretty up there as far as the amount of intensity and physical actions on the field,” Helms said. “It’s going to happen. It’s part of the game. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just going to happen, it doesn’t happen often. Tonight was one of those nights where it got out of hand.”

Morgan was also involved in a home plate collision Tuesday night that left Marlins catcher Brett Hayes with a separated shoulder.

“It’s a hard play yesterday,” Morgan said. “I understand that you have to get them back a little bit, go out there and explain the game. I guess they took it the wrong way. They hit me the first time, so be it. But he (Volstad) hit two other of our guys, all right, cool. But then he whips another one behind me and we’ve got to go. I’m just sticking up for myself, defending my teammates.”

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez and relief pitcher Jose Veras were also ejected.

The harsh feelings continued in the seventh inning when Nationals pitcher Doug Slaten was ejected for plunking Sanchez with a pitch. Nationals manager Jim Riggleman was also shown the door. Riggleman and Rodriguez were jawing at each other.

“My feeling has always been if you hit somebody, then you did what you set out to do,” Riggleman said. “You hit him and if he decides to run on you that’s his business. I have no problem with that. We decide when we run. The Florida Marlins will not decide when we run.”

This is the second recent major incident for Morgan, who was dealt a seven- game suspension on August 25. Morgan appealed the penalty, which came about for intentionally throwing a baseball into the stands at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park during the middle of the ninth inning of an August 21 contest. The throw hit a fan in the crowd.

Donnie Murphy knocked in three runs for the Marlins, who took the rubber match of this three-game set. Murphy, though, departed the game with a dislocated right wrist.

The result was much different than Tuesday’s 1-0 Marlins win that came in 10 innings on Chad Tracy’s RBI single.

Mike Stanton delivered a two-run homer, while Cameron Maybin and Brad Davis added solo shots.

Ian Desmond ended with three hits and two RBI for Washington.

Nationals starter Scott Olsen (3-8) allowed eight hits and nine runs in 1 2/3 innings and lost his sixth straight start.

Volstad (9-9) yielded nine hits and six runs to win his third consecutive appearance.

Mike Morse singled in a run in the top of the first, but the Marlins scored 14 times over the first three frames. Helms’ two-run doubled keyed the big opening frame, during which Hanley Ramirez and Davis also had run-scoring two- baggers.

Morgan and Desmond drove in runs in the top of the second, but Helms singled in a pair in the bottom half and Stanton’s blast to left capped the five-run frame.

The Marlins continued to pour it on in the third. Sanchez singled in two runs and scored on a Murphy double. Helms followed with an RBI base hit for a 14-3 cushion.

Davis hit his first career homer in the fourth, before Adam Kennedy singled in a run in the top of the fifth.

The Nats got a bit closer in the explosive sixth thanks to three runs, the last on a Danny Espinosa RBI double.

Wil Nieves homered in the seventh and pinch-hitter Willie Harris singled in a run for a 15-10 game before Maybin homered to left off Slaten to start the bottom half of the frame.

Earlier in the day, the Marlins selected the contracts of pitcher Jorge Sosa from Triple-A New Orleans and catcher Chris Hatcher from Double-A Jacksonville…Florida has won seven of the last eight encounters…The teams will meet for the final time in Washington from September 10-12…Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco will have surgery next week to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. Nolasco had been scheduled to start on Friday against Atlanta, but he will be replaced by Andrew Miller.

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Nationals Look For Series Win In Florida

The Washington will wrap up a three-game series with the Marlins tonight, in a game that will start at 7:05 p.m. and can be seen on MASN2.

Nyjer Morgan is in the lineup tonight fresh off running into, rather over, Marlins catcher Brett Hayes last night. Morgan isn't just in the lineup, he's batting lead off; so he'll be the first batter of the game. If the Marlins were planning on retaliation, we should be able to get it out of the way early.

Former Marlin Scott Olsen will take the mound for the Nats, while Chris Volstad will be pitching for the fish.

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