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With Nyjer Morgan at leadoff, early fireworks possible

Manager Jim Riggleman gave Ryan Zimmerman the day off to rest "various aches and pains," particularly a pain in his left side. Zimmerman did not take batting practice today, either, but he said he is feeling OK and could have played. He is available to play off the bench, Riggleman said, another sign his ailment is minor.

Zimmerman's day off also led to Nyjer Morgan batting leadoff. Riggleman wanted to drop Adam Kennedy, who had been batting leadoff, lower in the lineup in order to provide protection without either Zimmerman or Ivan Rodriguez playing.

The main consequence of Morgan hitting leadoff today: The Nationals will find out with the first pitch of the game if the Marlins and starting pitcher Chris Volstad intends to throw at Morgan in retribution for his collision at home plate last night with catcher Brett Hayes.

Morgan reported some minor soreness in the aftermath of the collision. The Marlins learned today that Hayes separated his shoulder and will miss two to four weeks, likely the rest of the season. There could be some retaliation early on.

"I don't know," Riggleman said. "I'm not expecting anything. I'm not going to be surprised, though."

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 1, 2010; 6:29 PM ET
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Next: Game 134 discussion thread: Nationals at Marlins


Certain the umpires will have a conversation with the managers before first pitch.

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 1, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I can only hope that the Volstad gets it out of the way fast, gets him in the butt with a 75 mph changeup and go on to business as usual and that the umps let the first one go with no hassle

Posted by: Golfersal | September 1, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Dibble became a polarizing figure in the broadcast booth. Some fans believed he made games entertaining with enthusiasm for the Nationals -- he had a penchant for called the team "we" -- and his willingness to criticize a team that has lost 179 games since he began. Others believed his grunting, cheering, back-when-I-played style made games intolerable without a mute button.

The Nationals will have a new analyst for their games. The one guarantee is he will not stir as much passion and opinion as Dibble.

By Adam Kilgore | September 1, 2010; 5:22 PM ET

You're a real piece of work Kilgore. As one of the sloppier journalists I have ever encountered, the above half-**sed summary of fan sentiment toward Dibble is not surprising, given the source. But it is not very accurate either. The vast majority of Nats fans liked Dibble, and not just because of his "enthusiasm for the Nats." It was much more than that. The man was one of the better color analysts around and was incredibly funny too. He knew the game as well as anyone and wasn't afraid to speak his mind--rare in today's age.

The politically correct powers that be won again...make no mistake about it. You can say anything these days that MIGHT be (mis)construed as offensive, or you are sent packing.

Not surprising that Kilgore, a complete and utter hack and a worthless journalist, didn't get the whole story.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 1, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah! Thank gawd, the old, bad (read: not expressing sentiments similar to my own) Barno is back. I don't have to worry about the end of the world being imminent . . .

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

The Nats from here on out to be known as the Stalin Comrads. And don't ever speak ill of Comrad Kasten.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Why do you read Kilgore's blog if you dislike his writing so much? Just curious.

I and many other Nats fans disliked Dibble and are glad he's gone. I've seen no scientific poll of fans, so I think Kilgore was correct in interpretting the variety of opinions you see. If anything, he was too nice to your side. I see far more negative comments about Dibble than positive.

Posted by: cassander | September 1, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

My concern with Elijah Dukes was that he would demolish someone on the basepaths and get one of our guys hurt in a fight or in retaliation. Now it looks like Nyjer has become the Dukes Mini-Me. AFter he cross-checked the Cardinals catcher Tim Kurkijan on ESPN said Morgan plays the game like no other player he has seen -- in the field or on the basepaths. He now seems totally ego-driven and out of control. It's very strange that given the opportunity to become an established starter he's acting like an entitled veteran very much like Manny Ramirez. I'm sure Rizzo and Riggleman are wondering if they really want him around.

Posted by: Natmeister | September 1, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a high inside pitch will knock some sense into Nyjer. What was he thinking? If he slides, the Nats are up 1-0. Instead, he takes his 150 lb. frame and launches it into a catcher for some reason. My only guess is he was trying to give the catcher one of those Milli Vanilli chest bumps.

As I seem to ask once a week....what was Nyjer thinking?

Posted by: d-35 | September 1, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

What is going on with Nyjer? Is he on new medication or something? Problems at home? Not enought sleep? This is a much different side to him that I'm not sure I like.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | September 1, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

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