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Morning Commute: The Two Heroes Of The Nyjer Morgan Brawl

Everything you need to know about D.C. sports in one place.

My quick take on the Nyjer Morgan brawl mirrors what many others have written. Morgan clearly is a bit nuts and had what was coming to him, but this whole unwritten baseball rule that you can't steal bases when your team is down 11 is really silly. It'd be one thing if the Marlins plunked Morgan only because he ran over their catcher last night, but they already hit him for that earlier in the game. To hit him because he had the gall to steal a couple bases in the fourth inning is overkill. Maybe I just don't get these unwritten rules.

Anyway, before we get to the links, I just want to give props to two Nationals for their role in the brawl and its aftermath. First things first, I want to give a gold star to Pat Listach, the Nationals' third base coach who immediately ran to Morgan's defense. I'm pretty sure this is one of the first times a coach has been prominently involved in escalating a brawl, and I would have it no other way.

Finally, I want to give some kidos to Ryan Zimmerman for handling the situation so well when asked about it afterwards. Here's the response he gave to the media, via Mark Zuckerman. (Emphasis mine).

He's definitely done some things over the past couple weeks that are a little questionable, I think. We've all talked. Me and Pudge have talked to him. It's not something that anyone else outside of here needs to know. We handle stuff in here.    

Earlier in the week, I was critical of manager Jim Riggleman for airing his frustrations about Morgan to the media rather than in house, so Zimmerman's response here resonated with me. 

More Morgan links and others below the jump:

Here's what others are saying about the Nyjer Morgan brawl:

  • David Brown from Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew writes that Morgan has built on his negative reputation.
  • Kris Liakos of Walkoff Walk sides with Morgan
  • Federal Baseball writes that Morgan made another wrong decision when trying to steal those two bases.
  • Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra believes the Marlins were also out of line and should have had thicker skin.
  • Fire Jim Bowden writes that it's time for Morgan to go, because he is "out of control."
  • Nationals Enquirer writes that the Nationals need to "fire" Morgan right away if they are serious about the value they place on "character."
  • Keith Olbermann of all people writes that Morgan has "damaged the great tradition of the Washington Nationals franchise." Erm, okay. 
  • SB Nation's Sean Keely has some video of the incident and the postgame reactions.
  • Nats Triple Play writes that Morgan's actions also reflect badly on Mike Rizzo (because he traded for him) and Jim Riggleman (because he doesn't seem to have a good relationship with him).
  • Rob Dibble even weighed in on the whole fight, and actually made some sense. Via D.C. Sports Bog.
And here's the rest of your SB Nation must-reads:
  • SB Nation's Warriors blog Golden State of Mind previews the Wizards to kick off its NBA preview series.
  • Japers Rink counts down the top 10 defensemen in the Southeast Division. Mike Green comes in first, while Jeff Schultz is third.
  • Hogs Haven takes a look at the Redskins' wide receiver battle as cut day looms.
  • Testudo Times is concerned that so many Maryland football players are leaving the program.
  • Black and Red United breaks down a heartbreaking loss for D.C. United.
On tap at SB Nation D.C.: Chris Needham defends Rob Dibble, sort of, in this feature. Meanwhile, Jake Whitacre counts down some of the top D.C. athletes ever over the age of 35.