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Nationals awaiting word on Nyjer Morgan's suspension

The Nationals are still awaiting word on Nyjer Morgan's suspension, which may or may not come before today's game. The appeal hearings for both his seven-game suspension and his eight-game suspension were scheduled for this morning, but one league official said it's possible the results may not be announced until after the weekend.

Meanwhile, Morgan's name has managed to make its way into the news in a different way. ESPN's Jayson Stark talked to two scouts who are convinced Morgan will not be returning to the Nationals next season and that the team is determined to trade him.

From what I can gather, there are some in the Nationals organization who believe Morgan should be jettisoned, that his presence in the locker room is a negative influence and his play, especially since he is hitting .256/.316/.316 this season, is easily replaceable, if not preferable to replace.

But General Manager Mike Rizzo, while not condoning Morgan's interactions with fans and the bumping of Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson, has stood behind Morgan and his general behavior. Rizzo, on the basis of statistical analysis, also believes Morgan's defense has returned to an elite level and that Morgan's offensive downturn this season owes to misfortune on balls in play.

The Nationals take practically no financial risk in keeping him since he is not eligible for arbitration until after the 2011 season. Rizzo is determined to build the Nationals around defense, and he believes Morgan is a rare gem in center.

It's worth asking if Morgan will return next season, and it's probably still an internal debate for the Nationals. The sense I get is that Rizzo's voice will win out and Morgan will be here. We'll have to wait and see.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 10, 2010; 1:03 PM ET
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Great..., we have Gentlemen Jim AKA CAPT Hook in the dugout afraid of his own shadow when the 5th or 6th inning roles around. Now we have Mike "the enabler" Rizzo to damn proud to admit that maybe, just maybe the Nyger experiment has run its course. They pulled the trigger on Dukes, let them do the same to Tony Plush. LernerStanK open the wallet and go get Carl Crawford! Problem solved.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 10, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Let's see -- keep an ineffective Morgan, dump a potential HOFer in Dunn. Looks like another 90+ loss season next year too. But it saves on salary. Why doesn't Rizzo see that Zimm's errant throws stopped almost the day he got that big target of Dunn at 1B? Does he think a .200 Pena who'll be lucky to hit 15 HRs in a strange league and while likely to be hurt will force Ps to throw to Ian and Zimm? Does he think he can sign Pena for less than Dunn with Scott Boras on the other side? Does he believe in the tooth fairy?

Sign Dunn!!!!

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | September 10, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Lerners open the wallet? Bwwaaahahahah!

Morgan stays and Dunn goes. Plus a few bargain basement free agent signings. Yep. We'll be in the cellar again next year.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 10, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

>>The sense I get is that Rizzo's voice will win out and Morgan will be here.

Morgan, DoubleSwitch Riggleman....Rizzo is the worst. He just can't admit when he's made a mistake and move on. What a terrible characteristic to have. Especially for a GM.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 10, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I like Nyjer... I've defended Nyjer (to an extent)... but he should go. Or start next season in Syracuse and make him earn his way back to Nats Park with better concentration and much a higher OBP. He's cheap and under club control - so maybe it would make sense for him to be on the 40 man playing everyday in AAA, ready to fill in here for an injury (like Maxwell this season). I suppose they could get a flyer of a prospect for him along with a bag of balls - if that happens, so be it.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 10, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"...and he believes Morgan is a rare gem in center."

Wasn't thinking of the term "gem." Rare, yes, but not gem.

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 10, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

From "What can you say about Nyjer Morgan, other than that he's not very good at baseball? Amazingly, some have interpreted his elbow-throwing, catcher-flattening, mound-charging, crowd-inciting act of the last two weeks as reflective of his "passion for the game," when it's just as easily characterized as sad macho bluster or the first bloom of a budding hothead."


Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 10, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

While the insanity continues in DC, at least sanity and good baseball have returned up 95. The Os will leave the Nats in their dust next season. A real manager makes all the difference! Man just think what Buck coulda done with the Nats. It's a shame.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 10, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Re-post to NatsFly regarding ST renewal: We were part of three season ticket packages. The ballpark was a second home. Now we still go to the games once in awhile, a few times a year, but that's it. I want to see the Nats make a commitment to the fan base before I up my commitment.

Signing Dunn keeps the Nats even in 2011 relative to 2010. Continued improvement by the current rookies can get the Nats above even with their record in 2010, although the Nats will still be likable losers in my judgment. I would like to see some further improvement beyond that; for example, by adding a Carl Crawford to go with Dunn, Zim, the Hammer for another year, Des, Espinosa and the others. What a lineup that would be.

For me, Nyjer can stay, but not be relied upon as a starter. Here's a FA list. Who looks like a reasonable target to you?

Posted by: EdDC | September 10, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@EdDC -- Austin Kearns, baby! Straight up swap for Nyger.

Posted by: DavidandDonald | September 10, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see that the O's are actually better run now than the Natinals.

How long before this team pulls up its stakes and leaves town?


Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I think Jorge Cantu would be a fairly good pickup for the Nats - though he's had a down year (especially since the trade to Texas). He's a good glove at first (and can play third for Zimm days off) - can bat 3-4-5. Knocked in 100 in '09 - 29 HR in '08. Younger than Dunn with + defense, but certainly won't inspire fans with his bat. Just a thought.

I think that the Marlins want to sign him back after moving him though.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 10, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

How long before this team pulls up its stakes and leaves town?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 2:13 PM

How long before you die in a fire?

Posted by: Kev29 | September 10, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

ROFL! Good one.

Posted by: logan9 | September 10, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Ah, nothing is more mature than anonymously wishing death on someone. What a big boy you are.

How long before you realize your wife is making a cuckold out of you? Seriously, you think it turns her on to see you hunched over your computer, furrowing your brow trying to come up with "zingers" on a blog?

Yeah that's what I thought.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

*Rizzo, on the basis of statistical analysis, also believes Morgan's defense has returned to an elite level and that Morgan's offensive downturn this season owes to misfortune on balls in play.*

This is classic Rizzo speak. It means nothing. Speaking badly about Nyjer is not going to increase his value, now is it?
I'm not saying Nyjer's staying, or Nyjer's going. I'm not pretending to know what Rizzo wants to do or will try to do or will actually do.

I just know Rizzo (like other sports execs) says what is expedient and in his best interest. He has no interest or desire or motivation to actually say how he really feels about anything at all.

And my opinion; stats might show Nyjer can get to fly balls, but there ain't a sabermetrician or statistician who can develop a number to make it appear Nyjer has a decent throwing arm.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 10, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

And Jorge Cantu?!?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA.

Yeah, he'll lead the Natinals to the promised land.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Buck Showalter has done more with the O's in just one month than Riggleman, Rizzo, and the rest of the Natinals front office have done in the whole time they've been there.

Talk about sad.

O's rule
Natinals drool

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

If you're gonna keep him, atleast assign him to Triple A. If he doesn't make it through waivers then, happily take the draft pick. The guy needs seasoning. He has horrific instincts. The major leagues are not training grounds ... they're the show gawd darn it.

Posted by: nfb987 | September 10, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Peeps we can talk all we want about free agents and who may or may not be here but the fact is, with Riggleman still the manager and Rizzo still the GM, it doesn't really matter. If you look just a bit north you'll see that good managers not only really matter, but they really make a difference.

Riggleman is not only not a good manager, he's a very bad manager. And the fact that Mike Rizzo is continuing with this charade shows us that Rizzo is a very bad GM. So debate all you want, but next year will just be more of the same debacle you've grown accustomed to. Unfortunately.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 10, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Next year with Adam Dunn gone and Strasburg out the Natinals will be lucky to draw 100 people per game. Home fans I mean.

Visiting teams fans will continue to invade the Natinals home ballpark.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

EdDC: I fear I am about to join you as a former ST holder. I have hung in there with my ST package because I was so happy to have baseball in DC and wanted to support it while it grew. I loved being at the old dump and the new park is great. I bought into The Plan for years. I was very disappointed in the record the last 2 years, but hung on (and even moved to more expensive seats) thinking that there was a commitment to improve and it just had not come together yet. But for me, letting Dunn go, if that happens, will be the last straw. I just feel like the Lerners are playing the fans for fools, taking our money and refusing to invest their own in the team. I attended the game just after the trade deadline passed in July, and was a part of the stadium-wide standing ovation the fans gave to Dunn when he stepped to the plate. We know he isn't perfect, but he contributes so much to this team--I don't care how great the defense is, a team that can't score can't win. And now Pena for Dunn? That is just insulting to the fans.

If they re-sign Dunn, that will be an indicator to me that they are serious about fielding a real MLB product in the present, not in some ever-receding promise-them-anything year. There is more that could be done to improve the product, but that one act would be sufficient to keep me on as a ST holder for another year to see how the rookies mature. I think decent free agents might consider coming here if they are serious, but they will not if it is all about having a bottom of the barrel payroll and top of the league profits. Why would any serious free agent want to come to a team that lets go a possible HOF player in his prime who is not holding out for an absurd amount? I would love to see Crawford here to go with Dunn, but I think we will have neither. I look at the list on the website you sent and I can't imagine any of the premier free agents wanting to come here.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 10, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Let me know when the Riggleman/Rizzo bashing is done. It's boring. They are what they are and they're doing what they can with their roster and budget. This team is progressing from the debacles of the last few years and these two are playing key roles. Do you not think this team is better than '07, '08 or '09?

As somebody pointed out earlier, there's more talent here than in the past and, yes, there's hope for the future. Relax a little, people.

And, Poopy, you can't possibly be an Orioles fan. I was a die hard Orioles fan for decades, I know more about the Orioles in my little finger than you'll ever know, and I know tons of Orioles fans.

You're too moronic to be a real Orioles fan.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 10, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Morgan is going to be here, I think Rizzo is as sick of him as the fans but doesn't want to lower Morgan's trade value any more than it already is by degrading him publically. Nobody in the organization gave any indication that the Elijah Dukes release was coming either.

Posted by: raymitten | September 10, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

sorry to burst your bubble baltova1 but I've probably been to more O's games this year, and I live in California.

Suck on that

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and the Natinals can't even put together a winning record playing the lesser NL East. Lord knows how bad they would be if they were in the powerhouse AL East.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

>>The Nationals are still awaiting word on Nyjer Morgan's suspension, which may or may not come before today's game.

Come on MLB, As Clint would say, Make My Day! Don't make us wait. Drop the hammer now so we can enjoy the weekend. I'm starting to feel all tingly inside.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 10, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

If we can some how morph Morgans speed and skills with Morse's power and brain we would have the rare gem Rizzo keeps selling us.

Posted by: hansenjo | September 10, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Let me pre-empt some attacks on my previous comment by asking this question: if the Nats are such a disappointment right now, and this has become a "lost season" and they have such a terrible outlook, exactly how many games should they have won this year?

Posted by: baltova1 | September 10, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Snappy comeback, there, Poopy, you sure are a sharp one.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 10, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

You gotta believe a "skins_fan_22" knows bad management when he sees it.

Posted by: nfb987 | September 10, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Next year with Adam Dunn gone and Strasburg out the Natinals will be lucky to draw 100 people per game. Home fans I mean.

Visiting teams fans will continue to invade the Natinals home ballpark.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 2:37 PM

Coming from an Orioles fan - a franchise that draws flies when their beloved park isn't hosting the Yankees or Red Sox.

Fu$k off troll

Posted by: Kev29 | September 10, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo sees Morgan as an elite defensive gem in CF? Morgan can go get the ball, no one doubts that. But his routes are somtimes laughable, his arm is suspect and he too often botches plays any MLB CF should make. And combine his simply awful OPS and very questionable base running capabilities (he has found amazingly imaginative ways to make outs on the base pathes this year) with a pension for making a bad baseball decision in the heat of the moment and you've got a 30 year old guy with not much of a future in MLB, sad to say. I may very well be wrong, but the guy has holes in his game all over the place and we learned the hard way with Dukes, big talent is not everything. This is a game of preparation, execution, repetition and adjustment. Morgan has not shown us that he can do that stuff and he'll be 31 before next year's All Star Break -- does anyone really expect the light to go off in his head to clear it all up now?

Posted by: dfh21 | September 10, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

wow, is someone here really talking smack about the orioles despite the fact that they have a worse record, $20M higher payroll and lower attendance than the nats? really? is he really heckling the nats for having other teams fans in their stadium? really? guess that california medical marijuana really works.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | September 10, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Fine, Rizzo. If you like Morgan so much let him play Center Field. But DON'T let him lead off, for Heaven's sake! We don't need a .250 hitter leading off. Let him hit 8th where he belongs UNTIL he brings it up above .270. Sheez! Also don't forget the morale of the fans when someone like Morgan is protected when many people don't like him anyway.

Posted by: shred11 | September 10, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

RE: McPoop.

So let me get this straight. This brain surgeon is touting the Freaking Orioles as Exhibit A on how to run a franchise? Priceless.

And love the overdone NATINALS reference. So original – yawn.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | September 10, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I get that Rizzo doesn't like to tip his hand, it does no good to badmouth your players in the media, etc., but "trade value" of Nyjer? Rizzo continually refers to him as "young," but I think the other GMs can references Nyjer's birthdate, and I imagine these astute gentlemen are well aware of every aspect of Nyjer's game, including his August antics. OTOH, Nyjer's stock couldn't be lower now--if any other GMs share Rizzo's assessment of Nyjer, they might try to buy low?

On his low BABIP, could it be because of all those telegraphed bunts to the third baseman? That is correctible, at least.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | September 10, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The major leagues are not training grounds ... they're the show gawd darn it.
Posted by: nfb987 | September 10, 2010 2:33 PM
And yet we"re constantly told that Ian Desmond's terrible play in the field just needs major league experience to make him better. I thought that's what Harrisburg and Syracuse were for.

Posted by: mrcart | September 10, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

any clusterxxx in the Bud selig doamin.....the car salesman buffoon...should surprise no one..he is a JOKE !!!!

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | September 10, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Shred, two comments:

Morgan's only "comparative advantage" is in leading off, given the other players on the team. (At least, that's what economists would call it.) If you don't happen to like that term, think of it as, he does the least damage in the #1 spot while maximizing those (few?) things he does well/fine/marginally ok.

Strikes me as pretty silly to ask the front office of a professional sports team to determine who to play/"protect" based on the idea that "many" people don't like him.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 10, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Let's see........................He was the toast of the town last year and this year Nyjer's been called a thug, a triple A player at best,a poor defensive CF'er,a horrid baserunner,and a lockeroom cancer,with fans the likes of some of you he doesn't need any enemies. He will be here next season because without him an outfield of Roger,Josh,and Morse is a formula for disaster and unless they can convince Carl Crawford to come here(highly unlikely)without Nyjer in CF the overall defense will be worse than it was this year(is that possible?). Nyjer Morgan is far from the worst CF'er in MLB but to hear it from some of you he's the second comming of Nook Logan. I'm sticking with Nyjer i think he can turn it around and as i said he's gonna make a lot of you eat your words.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 10, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

It's really too bad that all of this is coming out and that the Nyjer experiment with the Nats looks to be ending.
He is a raw talent that could be one of the best if ego didn't get in his way.
It is probably best to see Nyjer go, I just hope that it can be with a team that will care about him, but more importantly not let him get out of hand.
Frankly I blame Riggelman for not keeping a really tight leash on him, I really think that Nyjer is best when someone tells him what he can and can't do. Nyjer needs that kind of manager, one that tells him when it's OK to steal and when it's not, things like that. Also Nyjer needed some hard love months ago when crap started to happen, and it wasn't there.

Posted by: Golfersal | September 10, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I love the attendance argument from Natinal fans. Your team hasn't been in town for even a decade and you all are already in the bottom of the attendance standings.

It took Peter Angelos a decade of ineptitude to finally push down O's attendance numbers. I know the first couple of seasons Camden Yards was sold out nightly. The only times the Natinals sell out their new ballpark are when the Phillies, Mets, and O's come to town.


Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

my g-d what a waste of pixels this thing is becoming.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 10, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Yeah thats what your wife said you lazy waste of space sec3mysofa. How's that butt-grove of yours in the sofa coming along?

Gotta be a real turn on for the wife to see the rut in the couch from your fat lazy behind.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 10, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I thought President Reagan released the mentally ill more than 20 years ago. . . .

Gotta think that Rizzo's endorsements of Riggleman (who, remember, has a one-year contract for all intents and purposes) and Morgan are next to meaningless. At least one of them will be gone next year; I'm guessing both will be gone before August 1, 2011.

Posted by: paulkp | September 11, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

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