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Phillies fan defends Nyjer Morgan

A Phillies fan sitting in the center field stands Saturday night at Citizens Bank Ballpark defended Nyjer Morgan's actions and said the throw that struck a fan did not appear to be deliberate.

On Wednesday, MLB suspended Morgan seven games and condemned his "inappropriate actions" Saturday night. A league official said Morgan had an "ongoing dialogue" with one fan in center field. Morgan appealed the suspension, played last night and is the lineup tonight.

The version of events recalled by Adam Holman, a 25-year-old from Marlton, N.J. who sat in the section where a fan was hit by a ball Morgan threw into the crowd, described Morgan as playful with hecklers and his toss into the crowd as a typical, "rainbow-style" throw.

Holman contacted The Post unsolicited in order to describe what he saw. He e-mailed a photo of his ticket stub from that night as proof he was present.

In Holman's recollection, Morgan began being heckled in the fourth or fifth inning. One made fun of how Morgan wore his socks high and pants baggy. Morgan, Holman wrote, laughed at some of the comments.

While the Nationals warmed up in the bottom of the eighth inning, Morgan played catch with left fielder Roger Bernadina. Before the inning started, Morgan looked at the crowd. A boy of about 12, Holman recalled, leaned over a railing and called for the ball.

Standing 30 or so feet away, Holman wrote, Morgan lobbed the ball "rainbow-style" in the direction of the boy. The ball sailed over the boy and smacked a fan who was looking in a different direction in the shoulder.

"It wasn't even directed towards the heckler," Holman wrote. "It's unfortunate that the ball was overthrown, but it shouldn't be Morgan's fault that the one guy in the section who wasn't paying attention got hit, there were a number of us standing up trying to catch the ball."

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 26, 2010; 3:56 PM ET
 
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Comments

Props to the Phillies fan for giving his account. (stupid Internetz)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Now...based on this account, it sounds like Morgan only deserved an E8.

(Also note that Adam Holman is an anagram for Madam Lohan. So this report could also be a veiled attempt by Lindsay's mother to grab more media attention.)

Posted by: Ted_Striker | August 26, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I think we all know my feelings on Philly fans, but thanks to this guy for speaking up. Decent thing to do.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 26, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"Morgan lobbed the ball "rainbow-style" in the direction of the boy. The ball sailed over the boy and smacked a fan ..."

Sigh, even when tossing one into the stands Nyjer overthrows the cutoff man ...

Posted by: erocks33 | August 26, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I am supposing AK and WaPo knows how to get this fan's story to the MLB jury? Sounds more like the T Plush I see at the park.

Posted by: HondoHomers | August 26, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Once this news is learned by the Phillies fan base, Holman will be hunted down like an escaped convict.
He better find out where Steve Bartman hides out.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | August 26, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's because we're playing Florida.

Posted by: 202character | August 26, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

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 26, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

This account sounds exactly like what I expect happened. If he'd gunned it at a specific fan, then by all means sit him for a while. But I've been to enough games to know players toss a lot of baseballs to fans, and that you need to watch out for things leaving the field.

I am so tired of Philly fans.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | August 26, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to the Phillies fans for speaking out on what they saw with regard to the Nyjer incident. I never heard anything about it until Charlie and Dave mentioned it on the Weds night broadcast. (They hadn't heard about it, either, till they received the press release.) But it's very decent of Phillies fans who were at that game to speak out.

Posted by: samantha7 | August 27, 2010 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Given the accounts here, 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 publishing 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 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Crud, "published" on the Internet.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I WAS THERE I HAVE A PHOTO OF MORGAN

I am a Phils fan and was also at the game this particular day, Saturday 21 August 2010. I was seated in Section 148 Row 14 Seat 10. This is the small section in center field just above the "State Farm" sign.

I was 3 rows behind the hecklers. Yes they were a little drunk. Yes they did make fun of Morgans socks. Were they rude? In my opinion yes.

The hecklers did NOT use any profanity. They heckled for 1 inning w/o a response from Morgan. The next inning Morgan responded to their taunts, by turning and making some comment, which just egged the hecklers on further.

The next inning Morgan was not joking around when he began to use profanity and slurs. I did not hear him but was able to read his lips. I could lip read M***ERF***ERS and F****TS. It was uncalled for.

The Usher finally collared the hecklers and they ceased most of their taunts.

Throughout the game fans were wanting a baseball from Morgan after he was done warming up. He NEVER threw one in the crowd. It changed in the bottom of the 9th when I saw the ball flying into the stands to strike a fan.

Uncalled for and very "UNPROFESSIONAL". This guy says he has a gentlemen's name of "Tony Plush". He ain't no gentleman.

Posted by: a2007nomad | September 2, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

For a bunch of fans that booed Santa Claus, this is a remarkable turn of events. Honesty wins out and a man's reputation is upheld. MAJOR KUDOS to all the Phillies fans who wrote in supporting Mr. Morgan. BOO HISS at the Nats and MLB for their knee-jerk reaction to what ultimately is much ado over nothing.

Posted by: taegubus | September 2, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

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