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Nyjer Morgan suspended eight games for role in Nats-Marlins brawl

(By Wilfredo Lee - AP)

Nyjer Morgan has been suspended eight games by Major League Baseball for his role in Wednesday's bench-clearing brawl in Miami, Major League Baseball has announced. Manager Jim Riggleman and third-base coach Pat Listach also were suspended, as was Nats pitcher Doug Slaten.

Morgan's suspension is in addition to the seven-game suspenion he is appealing for throwing a ball into the stands in Philadelphia. The suspensions were announced by Bob Watson, Vice-President of On-Field Operations for Major LeagueBaseball.

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. Listach and Slaten were each suspended three games.

Riggleman will serve his suspension tonight and Saturday in order to avoid an overlap in suspensions. Listach will begin serving his suspension Sunday.

Marlins Manager Edwin Rodriguez was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount. Rodriguez will begin his suspension tonight.

Marlins suspended for their actions in the brawl were: 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.

By Cindy Boren  |  September 3, 2010; 12:56 PM ET
Categories:  MLB , Nationals  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ben Roethlisberger's suspension reduced to 4 games by Roger Goodell
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Are we surprised? I don't think so. Might as well take the rest of the year off, Nyjer. What a shame. I hope he gets some help.

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | September 3, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

No surprise. The man has lost control of himself.

Posted by: shanks1 | September 3, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone find it ironic that all suspensions of the managers are being issued by Frank Robinson, who was ejected and suspended a number of times as a manager?

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | September 3, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

After reading the article about this incident by some Post sport's writer yesterday, I decided that baseball is the most juvenile and immature of all professional sports. BY FAR! Pitchers throw 90 mile-an-hour pitches directly at players because they have stolen bases and scored?! Really?! And their team mates agree with that?! This fight was apparently fully anticipated and no one involved was even slightly remorseful about what happened.

Grow up, you infantile overpaid losers.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 3, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

thru it all, there are no real surprises. the demonization of morgan is a little over-whelming. he's had a sub-par season for sure, but to call him names, and wish he would fall into the dismal bowels of baseball heck, is a little much. many calling the names and wishing for banishment are the same singing his praises after his arrival last season. look in the mirror. you know who you are.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | September 3, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

What difference does it make if I sang his praises last year? He didn't act like a self-absorbed, me-first idiot last year.
He's an embarrassment to the Nationals (exceptionally difficult to do), the city, baseball, and humanity.

I'm actually thrilled to hear he got 8 more. I hope they're looking into his inexcusable play against the Cardinals catcher. There's got to be a few more games in there.

Posted by: bflorhodes | September 3, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Every time I read about an athlete getting suspended it reminds me of the scene in "Step Brothers" when they're banned from television...something funny about adults being put in time out.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | September 3, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

i was at the game and saw the entire thing unfold.morgan in no way intended to injure anyone.he simply threw the ball into the stands with a long ,high toss.
i left a message with two differnt people at the nats offices and never heard anything back.Thats why their organization will never be on par with the Phillies.If that had happend to a phillies player they would overturn every stone in order to get to the truth

Posted by: vebent11 | September 3, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The Umpires should be suspended. Volstad had hit 3 batters (including Morgan) before the pitch behind Morgan that set off the brawl. No way he should have still been out on the mound - warn him (and the Marlins Manager) on the second hit batter, toss them both on the third. The Umps completely lost control of the game.

Sanchez also shoulda been tossed for the clothesline. There is a line between defending the pitcher and mugging someone, and Sanchez was way over that line (as evidenced by the suspension).

The Marlins showed themselves to be a pathetic bunch of whiney punks. It's against an unwritten rule to steal bases when down by 11 runs, but its okay to throw at batters when up by 11 runs? Ridiculous.

Posted by: CommieX | September 3, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

If Morgan had not charged the mound after Volstad threw behind him, none of this would have happened If Volstad had hit Morgan a second time, Morgan should have repeated what he did the first time: steal second and third, smiling and laughing all the time. If would have driven the fish nuts.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | September 3, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Absurd that Morgan and Riggleman got longer suspensions than the Marlins players/coach. Morgan rightfully charged the mound after getting thrown at the second time in the same game, and Riggleman simply defended Morgan's right to steal bases when on first. The problem here is Frank Robinson, who has "old school" ideas about "the way the game should be played" - in other words, that Morgan should not have stolen those bases. Pshaww. He's on base. Shouldn't he play baseball?

A travesty. The Marlins pitcher and manager should have been suspended for a long time for clearly intentionally throwing at a batter twice (pitcher) and for ordering it (the manager).

Posted by: waldmant | September 3, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

They can stop manufacturing those WWND wristbands now. (What would Nyjer do?)

Posted by: shanks1 | September 3, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Since Volstad really started it by throwing at Morgan - and he is a pitcher - his suspension should have been longer.
The umpires did NOT do their jobs.

Posted by: pjohn2 | September 3, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I am getting real sick of people talking about the incident between Nyjer Morgan and the St. Louis Cardinals like it was some kind of vicious act.

Yes, it was stupid. It cost the Nats a meaningless run in a blowout game. But folks are talking about the play like he steamrolled over the Cardinals catcher and left him unconscious on the ground.

Take a look at the play:

The catcher is nudged -- at most. He moves a couple of steps to his right and doesn't even react to the contact in any way. No mention is made about the incident by the announcers, the players, or the umpires. It is a made-up story by people looking for something to use to pile-on Nyjer Morgan.

Get over it!

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | September 3, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

only the degree of praise and now to the degree of distain do i comment on. is there no middle ground? he's just a ball player. no more no less. it's not been a good year for him, obviously, and last august was probably an abberation. to say all the negative things about him with such "arrrgggghhh", to me is just a little much. the player he truly is, is somewhere between the 2. you never had a bad time at work and threw your ink pen across the room? perhaps this is where he is this year. that ink pen could have struck someone in the eye and put their eye out. a little less venom with the critizing.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | September 3, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

only the degree of praise and now to the degree of distain do i comment on. is there no middle ground? he's just a ball player. no more no less. it's not been a good year for him, obviously, and last august was probably an abberation. to say all the negative things about him with such "arrrgggghhh", to me is just a little much. the player he truly is, is somewhere between the 2. you never had a bad time at work and threw your ink pen across the room? perhaps this is where he is this year. that ink pen could have struck someone in the eye and put their eye out. a little less venom with the critizing.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | September 3, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I support Nyjer. All of us should.

Everybody has rough periods in life, and his is being played out in front of the entire country. He should have acted better in some situations, but who among us cannot honestly say the same about themselves? We should support our players instead of trying to tear them down.

Nyjer had a problem with Philly fans...who doesn't?

Nyjer elbowed the St. Louis catcher and missed home plate. Not good.

Nyjer ran over a catcher holding a baseball that was covering homeplate. The catcher seperated his shoulder so Florida was bitter, but it was a clean play. Again, catcher holding ball standing on the plate. That is a hard-nosed baseball play. How quickly we forget Adam Dunn doing his best London Fletcher impersonation to the Indians catcher who was standing on home plate without the ball? Nobody cried foul there.

And finally, the Marlins throw at Nyjer the first time and he takes his base. Then he steals two bases and, due to the fact that we are down by a lot, the Marlins want to cry 'unwritten baseball rule foul' despite the fact that guys take bases in the 9th inning like that all the time and they don't mind; instead they just call it "competitive indifference" and pay it no mind. There are six innings of baseball left and the Nats kept playing hard and almost brought it back. And as Riggelman said, "They don't dictate when we run. We dictate when we run." 'Nuff said then.

The final straw of throwing behind Nyjer after the guy hit him once and then he two other Nats is what it is and he along with the others should be reprimanded and sat down for a couple games to chill out.

Also, no, he should not be cursing out fans regardless of what they say to him and there is no excuse for that.

With all of that said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

So who is going to throw that stone?



Still waiting... now that we've established that nobody here is perfect then how about we support the guy that plays HARD all the time and pray that he works through these issues rather than tear him down and hope his baseball life is ruined?

Go Nats

Posted by: JJstarr | September 3, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

This really sucks. Why on earth was RIGGLEMAN suspended, because he defended his guys afterwards?

Volstad and Sanchez should have taken the brunt of the punishment, Sanchez the most because he was the "third man in" when his guy was a foot taller and over a hundred pounds heavier than the other guy, and because of the extreme viciousness of his clotheslining of Morgan, where it was clearly his intent to cause a serious injury to Morgan's head and neck in a most cowardly, blind-side fashion. That was just evil.

What on earth was Nyjer Morgan supposed to do, let them stand there and take target practice on him all day? He took the first plunking appropriately and dealt with it properly -- the second one absolutely DEMANDED retaliation -- he had no other viable choice.

Suspending Slaten is just plain wrong. Slaten did what had to be done, no more, no less. If Slaten had thrown at Sanchez's HEAD, well then maybe further punishment would be in order. But he didn't, and his ejection should have ended any punishment he might have faced.

Why are they trying to turn baseball into a proper afternoon tea? The game is better when it's played with passion and a fierce loyalty to one's teammates.

I applaud the Nats for standing up for their teammates so staunchly. It's such a rare thing in these days of free agency and hothouse flower prima-donna players. And Morgan and Slaten (and Pat Listache, too) ought to get big bonuses from the Lerners under the table so the weenies in the MLB front office don't get wind of it.

I LIKE my Nats to be fierce! My visceral gut reaction here is that now we need to REALLY start taking people down. Come up to the plate against a Nats pitcher and get ready to bail!

Posted by: FergusonFoont | September 3, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't get how Volstad was even still in the game after hitting three (THREE) Nats players. And, yeah, why wait to hit Nyjer until you are up 11 runs? The Marlins are weak-kneed COWARDS. If, IF, you are going to plunk a player for "retribution", then you do it in the 1st at-bat, get it over with and play a clean game after that.

And if you don't want a guy to steal bases after he's been hit, well, throw him out.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | September 3, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I got my Nyjer bobblehead and my Nyjer No. 1 jersey and I am wearing that jersey PROUDLY to every game I go to for the rest of the season.

GO NATS! GO NYJER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Nats_Lady | September 3, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Nyger's had some bonehead plays this year but he plays hard and plays to win. Some of our "better" players act like they don't care if we lose. I loved him last year and I'm gonna love him some more next year. There's no crying in baseball folks and that's one "unwritten rule" the fish and the Cards both broke.

Posted by: bob29 | September 3, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Morgan, Riggleman, Listach and Slaten earned suspensions as the did the Marlan players. Listach and Sanchez were even, but the others were out of whack. Also, we need to remember that Morgan grew up playing hockey. Not an excuse, but an explanation. If someone calls you out in hockey, you drop the gloves. Throw at a batter twice, means, you want to go. Morgan said as much in the interview afterward. Sort of like when Georges and Brashear line up next to each other on the face off circle. You know a fight is only seconds away.

Posted by: genericrepub | September 3, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@ noslok September 3, 2010 2:33 PM :

Nyjer decided to take a cheap shot at the Cardinals' catcher instead of actually looking at home plate. There was no play in progress. The MLB clip makes him look like an a$$

Marlins' Gabby Sanchez just laid a Jack Tatum clothesline on little Nyjer. Word is out on this thug and he's going to start getting it from every team.

Posted by: joepah | September 3, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

You bleeding heart liberals will defend anything. Morgan is a thug. We have too much of that in this society and you liberals are the reason. Name the vice, crime, drug, deviant behavior, and you a$$ wholes will defend it.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | September 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

So many people have said things that I have been saying/screaming about this game.

1. Volstad hit 2 other Nats between the Morgan episodes. He should have been gone way before Morgan came to the plate again.

2. The Sanchez hit scared the daylights out of me. Did you see the way Morgan's head went back? There was a serious chance there that Morgan was not going to be able to get up from the fight. What would people have been saying if he was taken off on a backboard? It was WWE wrestling move. Thank goodness no one was seriously hurt.

3. The Marlins are being wusses. You want to know another unwritten rule? You plunk someone on their first time up. You don't wait until you are up by an obscene amount of runs. Oh, and if you are up by an obscene amount of runs, don't expect the other team to roll over and play dead. The Rockies lost 11-12 after giving up 9 in the top of the 6th.

Volstad was taking a while to get his pitches to the plate. It would have been silly for anyone with a little speed to not run on him. Even the FL announcers were fine with the steals.

I am sorry the Marlin's catcher's shoulder was separated on the play on Tuesday, but it was clean. The catcher is wearing the pads, remember? He's the heavier one and the one better protected. I would count how many times runners have tried to go over catchers to try to dislodge the ball but I just don't have all that time. Over all the games in a given day, it probably happens at least once. It happens. He did it cleanly (as opposed to another player in our division who "broke" our catcher).

Having said all of that, I do not excuse Morgan's behavior. Something is off with him and they should really try to get to the bottom of it. He is a different person that he has been in the past. It doesn't excuse things but it should be a red flag.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | September 3, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

F-You lp_lodestar...why bring politics into this and why bring the race issue into this "thug"

Posted by: lovtusurf | September 3, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Why is it the word "thug" seems reserved for discussion of minorities? Couldn't folks just use the racial slurs they would rather use?

Posted by: jjhare | September 3, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Not living in the DC area, all I've seen of this story are images on ESPN without volume. My first thought: What's Nyger done now? Second thought: Check out our guys getting his back. That's a good sign. It's nice to see a team have some grit and heart.

You don't win if you don't play the right way. I mean, look at this team. Errors and base-running blunders galore = Don't win much. If they can clean that stuff up, they'd be good. There's some fight in this dog.

Posted by: McLobo | September 3, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

They should send him on vacation for the 2 weeks he's suspended. He needs to go chill and get his head on straight. If he has to sit around the clubhouse all those games, he'll probably just stew and get even angrier.

Posted by: futbolclif | September 3, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse


thank you for the breath of fresh air. i don't even care where you are from(except maybe dallas), no, i kid, those are the very things about this team that make it interesting. there is talent on the team. it is still a young team. it is in the middle of a build up to respectibility. why there is so much anger and frustration, means to me that some of the people who post comments arn't really fans of sports, but bored people with nothing better to do than rag on anything that is slightly less than perfect. the vast majority of the posters are knowlegeable and passionate about their favorite and i enjoy. i have learned a lot more reading the posts than i ever thought i could. the constant nagging about every hang nail though....

Posted by: joerutgens72 | September 3, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't get that "thug" is African-American. Maybe I'm old, but I always thought it was Italian-American, as in "Mafia thug". Oh, well.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | September 3, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

So, apparently the amount of Riggleman's suspension was partly due to "his part in the brawl" (along with the Slaten beaning), and he was given an additional fine for "inappropriate comments regarding the incident."

It would be nice to know exactly what Frank Robinson thinks Riggleman's "part in the brawl" was (any more than anyone else's), and what he thinks Riggleman said that was so "inappropriate". Their pitcher threw at our guys 4 times, and their manager gets 1 fricking game? Ridiculous!

Posted by: NickHammer | September 3, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I actually support Morgan in all of this. I think one of the hits on the catcher on home plate was avoidable, but the rest is part of baseball. I think, like most things, the media makes the mountain of the molehill. Ain't that the truth!

Posted by: 189AROD | September 3, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Here we have it: proof that the NFL doesn't have a monopoly on stupid decisions. Morgan laid out the Florida catcher? It's done all the time, but Volsted hits him. Morgan then steals two bases after Volsted gives him the freebie? Advancing runners to score runs is what baseball is about, but Volsted throws at Morgan again. It looks to me like Volsted is the problem here, but Morgan gets suspended.
What's next? Requiring base runners to ask "Mother may I?" before stealing a base?

Posted by: amstphd | September 3, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Marlins coming here Sept 10-12. Get out the welcome mat.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | September 3, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Morgan's behavior in every one of his incidents is indefensible. His unchecked emotions prevent him from behaving rationally in any situation. He is an embarrasment to the Washington Nationals who have more reason to cut him than to fire Rob Dibble.

Posted by: getitritegov | September 3, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

cowards are using the suspension but it hits in the wallet. WashPost uses it too for unWise behavior. Nyjer Morgan is immature Ive seen it from the beginning. The great ironies are Frank Robinson and the Sports editor using this lame tool on their charges. Maybe politicians will be the next great users of the suspension? Grow up everyone and deal with the problems straight up!

Posted by: msalive | September 3, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer's punishment should fit the crime: he should be barred from participating in the playoffs and World Series this year...

Posted by: johnharr | September 3, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

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