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."
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