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Nyjer Morgan suspended seven games by MLB [UPDATED]

Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan was suspended seven games by Major League Baseball for his actions Saturday night. In the middle of the ninth inning, Morgan threw a ball into the stands at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia and struck a fan. Morgan was to begin serving the suspension tonight, but he will appeal the decision and remain in the lineup for at least tonight.

The league also fined Morgan an undisclosed amount and classified Morgan's actions as "inappropriate." Morgan caught the final out of the game and then faked a throw into the center field stands. But the official press release, handed down by MLB disciplinarian Bob Watson, stated the throw occurred in the middle of the inning.

UPDATE, 7:15: Morgan threw the ball into the stands at the end of the eighth after he had exchanged in "an ongoing dialogue" with one fan, according to a league official. The back-and-forth with Morgan and the fan escalated until Morgan threw a ball into the crowd, which hit a different fan in the head. The league believes Morgan's intent was not to simply toss the ball to a fan, as is custom.

Morgan's case has some precedence. Last season, MLB fined Tigers closer Fernando Rodney and suspended him for three games for firing a ball into the press box at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay. In that case no one was harmed and Rodney claimed he was trying to throw the ball to fans. After an appeal, Rodney's suspension was lessened to two games.

UPDATE, 10:41: Morgan had little to say about the suspension following the game aside from allowing he was surprised by the news.. "As far as I know, I've got to just wait for my appeal process. I can't really say too much. ... This is brand new news to me. We've just got to take it from here."

Thirty-one seconds into a group interview, a Nationals spokesperson cut off questions to Morgan.

"I'm not sure what happened," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "Today is the first I'd heard about it. Right before game time, it was brought to my attention that there was an issue there. Something took place there that, Nyjer had an issue with a fan or something. MLB is going to take care of it with Nyjer."

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 25, 2010; 6:39 PM ET
 
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Next: Game 127 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Cubs

Comments

he struck a philly fan...?

Posted by: elsshoe | August 25, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Great. A new reason for the networks to revive that clip of him throwing a tantrum and slamming his glove into the ground while an in-play baseball awaits retrieval by the mature left fielder. All positive publicity for the Nats.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | August 25, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in Philly and am a Phillies fan, but live in DC area and like the Nats, too. I've watched Morgan in games in Philadelphia get into it with the fans sitting in his area of the outfield. I've seen him catch a fly ball for the third out and turn like he is going to toss the ball to the fans, as the home team fielders often do, and then hang on to it and stare at them. He needs to learn to ignore the hecklers and fan comments, or he will constantly be treated poorly and get some results like this apparent suspension. He's not the first outfielder to get needled by the fans and it happens in most ballparks, not just Philly. He has potential, but his maturity and body language needs to improve.

Posted by: DWinReston | August 25, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Ridiculous. Precedent has now been set, and anyone who throws a ball into the stands -- even though 99 percent of them are thrown to fans as gifts -- MUST be suspended, or MLB loses any credibility in this matter. Here they are trying to read minds and assume motives again, just as they do when it comes to pitchers who may or may not be throwing at batters, and it's a pointless exercise.
Meanwhile, fans are allowed, even encouraged in some ballparks, to throw opposing teams' home run balls back onto the field. Make any sense?

Posted by: mjhoya12 | August 25, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

agree last comment..and adding "philly fan"...after they lost a game at home...
sorry..philly fans are not to be trusted. They just go out of their way to ruin games for anyone..other fans, other teams, including their own.

Posted by: elsshoe | August 25, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Seven games sounds like a bit much.

Posted by: jbartelloni | August 25, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the game, so the replays may so his intent. However, how do they know if he was maliciously trying to hurt a fan or just tossing the ball into the stands to give the ball to a fan? Since he didn't even hit the right person. It could be he was teasing them about throwing the ball and he finally threw it into the stand, maybe a little too hard, but wasn't trying to hurt anyone, just trying to shut them up. Anyone see the play?

Posted by: brothbart | August 25, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

If it's Jeffrey Maier, throw it harder next time. (Yes, still bitter, obviously)

Posted by: McLobo | August 25, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

BTW, is it bizarro-time, or is that said Morgan at bat right this minute?

Posted by: McLobo | August 25, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't think seven games enough.

Posted by: PHILLYBIRDS | August 25, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

mjhoya12, don't be retarded. Morgan obviously was pissed and threw the ball angrily into the stands, he certainly deserves to be punished. No one with a brain would confuse this act with that of a friendly ballplayer tossing a souvenir to fans.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | August 25, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

McLobo:
"Morgan was to begin serving the suspension tonight, but he will appeal the decision and remain in the lineup for at least tonight."

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | August 25, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I really enjoyed the recent ad to the right of the Post's Nationals home page: "The average Phillies' fan's IQ is 87. What's yours? Take the IQ test.''

Posted by: nats24 | August 25, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Was that 87 or 8.7?

Posted by: lesatcsc | August 25, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

All jokes about Phils' fans aside, this is another serious warning sign about Nyjer's ability to comport himself like a major league ballplayer. I don't know what Nats' brass are doing behind the scenes, but I hope they are doing something.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 25, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

So MLB wants to further remove any interaction between the players and the fans from the playing fields? What's the penalty incurrd by the fan for foul language, drunk in public and poor sportsmanship...if you want to behave like a moron, be a Fillies Fan I guess.

Posted by: rvrtis | August 25, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

When is dargregmag going to say "why are you band wagon jumpers bad mouthing Morgan... he was the only reason a lot of us were even watching the Nats play in 2009... who cares if he is the leagues worst leadoff hitter and base runner... who cares if he throws temper tantrums in CF while an opposing player rounds the bases... who cares that he assaulted an innocent fan with a dangerous projectile"...

I digress... the only reason I'm watching is becuase I'm a loyal baseball fool... I might say right now the only enjoyable thing to watch for the Nats is seeing Zimmerman play defense and hit... but, I'd by lying... even if Zimmerman left, I would still be watching these lousy games...

Posted by: Ghost7 | August 25, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I saw what happened. The ball hit the guy right next to me. Morgan threw it at the heckling fans in between the top and the bottom of the ninth, completely missed the fans and hit the guy sitting to my left in the head. Morgan was doubled over in laughter in the outfield immediately afterward, apparently not knowing that the ball had missed the actual fans that were heckling him and hitting the guy who hadn't said two words all game.

Morgan had not thrown a ball into the stands all game, and the ball was not tossed, it was thrown because it hit with a considerable amount of force. The people in our section reacted in a state of shock and the usher came down to help him. The fan was a bit confused as to what happened because he was watching the video screen at the stadium (since it was between innings) and the usher informed, with a bit of a shocked look, that the ball came from the centerfielder.

Morgan might say that the ball was "tossed" as a "gift" to the heckling fans, but I don't think any reasonable person would take that argument seriously.

Posted by: GoMariners11646 | August 25, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. 45 years ago this week, Juan Marichal was suspended eight games for attacking John Roseboro with a bat, lacerating his scalp, and nearly fracturing his skull.

Seven games for Nyjer Morgan's flippin' transgression seems perhaps somewhat disproportionate.

I'll bet Dibble thinks the fan should have toughed it out. (Come back soon, Rob.)

Posted by: passaic75 | August 25, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. 45 years ago this week, Juan Marichal was suspended eight games for attacking John Roseboro with a bat, lacerating his scalp, and nearly fracturing his skull.

Seven games for Nyjer Morgan's flippin' transgression seems perhaps somewhat disproportionate.

ADDENDUM: If the intent was indeed malevolent then the proposed punishment would fit the crime.

I've been on the receiving end of one of Nyjer's crowd tosses into the centerfield stands; the ball came in hard enough, and he (of course) overthrew the intended recipient/cut-off man.

Posted by: passaic75 | August 26, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Nyjer was aiming the ball at Philadelphia's Super Bowl trophies, but since they don't exist, the ball struck a Filthydelphian.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 26, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Assuming GoMariners is on the level, the suspension is well warranted. And Nyjer shows us another layer of his real, immature self. If he wasn't playing his way off the Nats before, now he's behaving his way off the team.

Posted by: rbelleisle | August 26, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Assuming GoMariners is on the level, the suspension is well warranted. And Nyjer shows us another layer of his real, immature self. If he wasn't playing his way off the Nats before, now he's behaving his way off the team.

Posted by: rbelleisle | August 26, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Agreed -- Morgan should grow up.

But . . . he's already 30!

Posted by: ADCWonk | August 26, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

HA HA!!!

Thank you Nyjer for doing something all Nats fans want to do:

Shut up the Philties fans by hitting them on the head.

I'm actually proud of you Nyjer. I'm serious, THANK YOU!!!!

Posted by: big_game_lannan | August 26, 2010 2:48 AM | Report abuse

He has potential, but his maturity and body language needs to improve.

Posted by: DWinReston |

He's 30 years old. You don't get potential at 30 years old. He is who we thought he was...

Posted by: asdfghj1 | August 26, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

How about suspension for Jimmy Rollins? A DC Native fan, I was at the Phillies/Nats game on Sunday afternoon and Rollins, in two consective pitches hit two foul balls and hit two fans right in the head. Both fans required EMT's to carry them out of the stands. Why isnt Rollins suspended for not being able to hit a fair ball? This is ludicous!

Posted by: dank32 | August 26, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

dank32-

Give me a break. MLB is suspending Morgan because they have reason and evidence to believe that he threw (not tossed, threw) a ball into the stands with the malicious intent to do damage. It is not the act of a ball going into the stands and doing damage that MLB is punishing, but the intent and reason behind the act. You can't seriously suggest that this is the same thing as a player hitting a foul ball into the stands.

Posted by: GoMariners11646 | August 26, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

So, if I go to a game and the guy two rows away heckles the ballplayers, I deserve to get hit in the head with a ball?

Posted by: Grandslam | August 26, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Nyger. Phillies fans, especially the ones who sit out in center field, are racist scum. Hitting them hard with a baseball or fists in Philadelphia and at Nats Park is the least thing Nats players and fans should do to the Philly fan scum. Nyger is my hero. Free Nyger!!

Posted by: lucysun | August 26, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm with rbelleisle, if the account from GoMariners is accurate. I'd prefer to see actual footage before making a judgment, but, hey it's the Internetz and all.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Had this happened anywhere else I'd say the suspension was warranted, but in Philly? Hell no, give the man a medal and throw a bonus on top of that.

Posted by: thedude1974 | August 26, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Grandslam: If you were paying attention to the game, you'd be able to catch the ball or block it from hitting you in the head. If you're a Phillies fan, yes, you deserve to be hit in the head, even if you weren't heckling but were vocally rooting for the Phils - either in Philadelphia or at Nats Park. Pay attention to the game and you won't get hit in the head. Free Nyger!

Posted by: lucysun | August 26, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

It's hysterical to read the comments from all the faux-fans of this terrible team. These comments only reinforce the truth: the tiny, pathetic fanbase here has a gross inferiority complex to EVERYONE else in baseball.

We in Phillies Nation (especially those of us living in the metro DC area, like me), take great pleasure in converting your ballpark into Citizens Bank Park South each and every time the Phillies roll into town. We take the place over, we outnumber what few Nots fans actually show up, and we cheer the Phillies to victory. The fact that our presense burns you up is the cherry on top of a great experience for the fans of the visiting Phillies whenever they're here. We look forward to doing it again in late September. Good seats won't be hard to come by, as they never are. I personally look forward to a having a seat in center field so that I can personally let that garbage center fielder on the Nots know that we are everywhere, and we will not be silenced by his bush-league antics.

Like Nyjer Morgan (a nobody in the bigger picture of baseball talent), you folks need to grow thicker skin. I say this because you cannot stop visiting fanbases (not just the Phillies, but also the Mets, Cubs, Cardinals, etc.) from taking over your own ballpark (Opening Day anyone?). Learn to live with it, or just don't go; this will continue to be the norm.

Enjoy last place...again. Losers.

Posted by: jworrell03 | August 26, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

lucysun--

The only problem with your logic is that the incident did not happen while a ball was in play. It happened in between the top and bottom of the ninth inning while the Nats were warming up on the field. Therefore there was no need to pay attention to what was going on in the field because there was no ball in play. They had a video playing on the big screen which was attracting the attention of many of the fans.

You will have a hard time finding footage of the incident because it was between innings. So unless a camera got very lucky you're not going to see it.

There seems to be some media outlets that are reporting that it happened after Morgan caught the last out of the game, but that is incorrect. It happened about fifteen minutes before that. So any footage you see of Morgan catching the last out that relates it to the incident in question is inaccurate.

Posted by: GoMariners11646 | August 26, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

On Nyjer Morgan bobblehead night I could not get ONE philly fan to SELL their bobblehead. Closet Nats fans! Go figure.

Posted by: BrownBagIt | August 26, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

GoMariners---

Do you really think that I was serious about my comment? Come on. Get a grip and dont take everything so seriously.

jworrell---

your dumb. really dumb.

Posted by: dank32 | August 26, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

danks32--

If you weren't serious about your comment, then perhaps you can clarify what about the situation you find to be "ludicrous", because it sure reads like from your comment that you think that all balls flying into the stands should be understood and treated equally. Why else would you joke about the situation by comparing it to Rollins hitting foul balls in the stands?

Posted by: GoMariners11646 | August 26, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

jworrell : get a life.

Thanks

Posted by: DCfan8397 | August 26, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

This incident seems pretty out for character for Morgan.
When he played in Pittsburgh he seemed to genuinely enjoy the fans and I'm sure he heard a lot from opposing fans then too.
Obviously, he's going to face suspension if he fired the ball into the stands because he was upset with fans as well he should.
Just doesn't seem like him in general though.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | August 26, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

jworrell : get a life.

Thanks

Posted by: DCfan8397 | August 26, 2010 11:40 AM


DCfan8397: Get a life. Calling people out in a comment section suggests anti-social behavior and/or far too much spare time.

Thanks

Posted by: jworrell03 | August 26, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

jworrell---

your dumb. really dumb.

Posted by: dank32 | August 26, 2010 11:28 AM


How ironic is it when the person calling me dumb can't even grasp basic grammar?

Posted by: jworrell03 | August 26, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Totally stupid

Posted by: southportwave | August 26, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

If you run your mouth, you should expect something in return. In this case, a souvenir. I'm not saying I condone Nyjer's actions, but I understand.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | August 26, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

One thing is certain here, NM threw a ball into the stands, whether intending to hurt or not. What is not mentioned in most of the comments here, is what was said that might have pushed NM to the point of doing this deed.
Obviously, (at least to me), someone in the stands said or did something bad enough for NM to do what he did, and that should be taken into consideration as well.

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | August 26, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

jworrell---if you love philly so much please go back, we don't want you here. Good for Nyger, if I had a bat in my hand on any game including OD when the dirty filthy-delphians slithered down I95 to soil Nats Park I would have used it and pleaded self-defense.

No greater joy then seeing the Braves take the division, and the Giants grab the WC. Have a nice winter vacation JRoll!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | August 26, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

This is outrageous!

Anyone who has watched Nyjer play for any length of time knows that there is at least a 50% chance that he was trying to hit the cutoff man.

Posted by: noslok | August 26, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

GoMariners: In every game, Nyger throws the ball into the stands after he and his fellow outfielder are finished warming up in between each inning and the next half inning is getting ready to start. He usually spots someone in the crowd who he tries to throw it to. In this case, he may have thrown it harder than he usually does. I assume the Phillies fans in the center field seats were prepared for the ball since he had thrown it there in between each previous inning. And he was probably a little ticked off by the racist garbage coming out of the Philly redneck fans' mouths.

Posted by: lucysun | August 26, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

jworrell: I'm confused why you're living in the D.C. area if you're a Phillies fan. Please move back to Philadelphia or start supporting the local teams where you live. And what is this nonsense about "Phillies Nation"? That's as ridiculous sounding as the awful Larry Michael show "Redskins Nation." As I've said many times before, Nats fans need to band together and make life miserable for fans of visiting teams who decide to show up at Nats Park in order to deter them from attending future games. The Lerners and team management are certainly not doing anything to prevent other teams' fans from showing up. So it's up to us fans to do whatever it takes, hopefully out of the sight of security officials, to ensure Phillies, Red Sox, Mets, etc. do not come back to Nats Park (at least don't come back and vocally root against the host team.)

Posted by: lucysun | August 26, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes Mr. Worrel. There is a way to keep you out of our park. Same way we keep your philth out of the Verizon center. Our president needs to step up and not sell tickets to anyone outside of DC area. Any IP addresses and area codes outside of the DC tickets will not be permitted to get tickets!

Hmm. Who should we believe in this incident. Philadelphia phans or a player that no matter how much he's riled has ever had an incident against a fan. Why should we believe fans who CHEER when our best pitcher is injured and boo when that injured player is taken out of the game?! Why would he open up his team to bad publicity and lawsuits. I'll bet you'd blame a foul ball into the stands on the NATS! Why? because fans from Philadelphia mean nothing but trouble. The sign says watch out for batted balls and bats coming into the stands. This nut probably wasn't watching!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | August 26, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Great. A new reason for the networks to revive that clip of him throwing a tantrum and slamming his glove into the ground while an in-play baseball awaits retrieval by the mature left fielder. All positive publicity for the Nats.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | August 25, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey moron, he didn't know the baseball was "in-play" when he did said actions, he thought it had gone out of the park.

Get a clue.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 26, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Y'all might want to check out the post with an eyewitness account from a Phillies fan. Morgan comes off a lot better in that account than in various ones around the Internez today.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who still supports professional sports by going to games might deserve a good smack to the head.

Posted by: thesilverback | August 26, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@lucysun:

You do realize this is a game, right?

Posted by: thesilverback | August 26, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

WHO CARES. IT WAS A PHILLY FAN. THOSE JERKS DESERVE WHAT THEY GET. AS FAR AS MORGAN, HE COULD NOT HIT WATER IF HE FELL OUT OF A BOAT. TRADE HIM AND BE DONE WITH IT.

FROM A $274K A YEAR PNC DIAMOND CLUB MEMBER

Posted by: Cobra2 | August 26, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

lucysun --

Morgan did not throw any balls into the stands prior to the incident. I know because I was there actually watching the game behind him. You might be thinking about when you see Morgan at Nationals park, but on this day at Citizen's Bank Park he wasn't throwing anything into the stands. Think about it for a second...if MLB really thought that there was a reasonable chance that Morgan was just "tossing" a ball to a fan he had pointed out by throwing a frozen rope into the stands from about sixty feet away from the outfield wall, why would they suspend him for seven games? Clearly they must be motivated by some other reason or verification that Morgan threw the ball maliciously into the stands because there is virtually no precedence in MLB for a player getting suspended for tossing a ball into the stands and having it miss its intended target.

Posted by: GoMariners11646 | August 26, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I posted these comments on another article, but after reading some of the comments here I needed to re-post them on this article.

I was also at the game. This should be a joke that he has been suspended, but unfortunately it is not. This ball was not thrown with any intent to injure.

I was also there on opening day and witnessed one fan heckling Nyjer Morgan the entire game. Nyjer joked back, laughed and played it up nicely for a rookie playing opening day in Philadelphia. Towards the end of the game Nyjer threw a ball to this fan, a Philadelphia fan wearing a Phillies jersey.

Most of the people in the area of this fan that witnessed the heckling the whole game gave applause to Nyjer after he threw the ball to the fan.

I watched last Tuesday as Shane Victorino, who throws about 7 or 8 balls a game into the stands in Centerfield, hit someone square in the chest about 15 rows up. That person didn't even get the ball and I didn't see him complain. At least 2 or 3 balls that he throws into the stands every game are not caught on the fly. In fact, a few years ago I saw him hit someone in the side of the face when the guy wasn't looking after someone else missed the throw.

I am a Phillies fan and partial season ticket holder. I'll say it again this is a joke and I hope he wins his appeal. More players should have Nyjer's attitude towards fans.

Posted by: nitlyn | August 27, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

IMO, this post should be updated with a link to the later post wherein numerous Phillies fans give accounts of the incident that would seem to exonerate Morgan.

Given the accounts there, I would be very interested to know what sort of investigative work was done before handing down the suspension. Was the hit fan interviewed? Were other fans interviewed? Were amateur videos or photos sought out (seeing that it evidently happened between innings, there wouldn't be official game video)? Was the decision based on an account published on the Internet? If so, who wrote the account? If the accounts here are accurate, MLB owes Nyjer an apology, at the very least.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

TippyCanoe:

If you had your way, you'd be in prison by now...thankfully.


lucysun:

Rather than author a short story highlighting points that confirm your insanity, I'll sum it up in one statement...

You need to be on meds. Seriously.


CALSGR8:

Perhaps you don't realize that people can walk right up to the ticket windows around the ballpark and acquire tickets. Nots Park doesn't exactly sell out. Additionally, management openly welcomes fans of the visiting team BECAUSE THEY NEED THE MONEY. When management travels to Philly and OPENLY INVITES Phillies fans to come down I-95 to watch their team, they're doing it BECAUSE THEY NEED THE MONEY. It may drive you crazy that we take your ballpark over, but you need to live with it. It's not going to change.


Posted by: jworrell03 | August 27, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

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