Tag:Nyjer Morgan
Posted on: September 27, 2010 11:14 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:57 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

A couple of crowds on Monday night were not what some of the people on the field wanted them to be, and the players made it known.

The Rays had a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win at home against the Orioles, and just 12,446 showed up. And it really wasn't even that many -- remember that baseball uses "tickets sold" as attendance, so season tickets count whether the people show up or not. The crowd was just over half Tampa Bay's season average of 23,047.

Rays ace David Price took to his personal Twitter account to complain, writing "Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing."

Tampa third baseman Evan Longoria told the St. Petersburg Times that the small crowds down the stretch are "disheartening" and embarrassing."

In Washington, there were a few more fans -- 14,309. What troubled the Nationals was that way too many of them were Phillies fans there to watch their team clinch the National League East title.

The Washington Post quoted Nats shortstop Ian Desmond as saying it was "kind of embarrassing when everyone in the stadium is clapping against you when you’re at home."

Outfielder Nyjer Morgan had this to say to natsinsider.com:
"Damn, it was a lot louder at our place than it was at their place when we go there. It felt it was a home game for the Phillies."

It's not generally a good business practice to criticize the customers, but sometimes frustration takes over.

UPDATE: After his comment spread across the internet, Price tweeted: "If I offended anyone I apologize I did not think it was gonna turn into this ..."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 26, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2010 6:33 pm

Riggleman wants new leadoff hitter for Nats

Roger Bernadina Nationals manager Jim Riggleman isn't sure who will be his leadoff hitter in 2011, but he's hoping the name comes from outside the organization.

There are several internal candidates such as Roger Bernadina, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Nyjer Morgan, but the Washington skipper sees them as options for the No. 2 spot, not leadoff.

But what if he has no choice but to choose a leadoff hitter from his current list of options?

"The players will make the decision, whether it's Morgan, Espinosa, Bernadina, whoever," Riggleman told MLB.com . "Somebody has to hit up there, and the one that doesn't will hit in the two spot. It's almost interchangeable.

"I think Nyjer can be a real plus for us in that two spot, but that means Desmond doesn't hit in the two spot, Bernadina [and Espinosa don't hit there, either]. It's going to have to work itself out at the end of the year and spring training."

All told, Morgan is likely the best internal option. Although suffering a down season by hitting .257/.317/.319 in 551 plate appearances with 33 stolen bases (and 17 caught), Morgan represents the best blend of on-base percentage and speed for Washington. After all, this is a player that stole 51 bases across two seasons of 2008-09, hitting .304/.363/.385 in full-time duty.

Bernadina (pictured) is receiving extended playing time in the bigs for the first time as a 26-year-old and has amassed 438 PA, hitting .256/.312/.400, stealing 16 bases. Bernadina has the speed and some more power than Morgan, but needs to improve his plate discipline before he can be viewed as a No. 2 hitter. Bernadina could end up the best long-term option, but Morgan should receive the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

Desmond, the starting shortstop and candidate for Rookie of the Year, has thrown up a .278/.316/.408 mark in 544 PA, swiping 16 bases. If Desmond can reclaim some place discipline he lost on the transfer from the minors to majors, he could be an excellent No. 2 hitter. Until then, he belongs in the No. 6 or 7 hole on a postseason-caliber team.

Lastly, Espinosa, in the hunt for the second base job next season, has a .224/.280/.539 line in 82 plate appearances, blasting six home runs. Power aside, Espinosa is struggling with the adjustment to the bigs. The 23-year-old hit .268/.337/.464 across Double- and Triple-A in 542 place appearances, so it doesn't seem like he'll have the bat skills to lead off or even bat No. 2, although he does have 25 stolen bases down on the farm. Espinosa, if he can improve his batting average/OBP and prove his power isn't a fluke, could be the ideal No. 5 hitter.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 19, 2010 3:15 pm

Morgan makes up with fan

Nyjer Morgan Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan hosted the fan who he hit with a ball in August, the Washington Post 's Adam Kilgore reports .

Morgan was initially suspended for the incident, but several fans came forward to absolve Morgan and his appeal was upheld.

Morgan is currently serving an eight-game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing brawl at Florida.

With the Nationals back at Citizens Bank Park, the site of the incident with the fan, Morgan invited the fan to the park as his guest. The fan received a free ticket and Morgan signed a ball for him and presumably just handed it to the fan instead of throwing the ball at him. The fan also got a tour of the clubhouse and met manager Jim Riggleman and some other players.

Morgan declined comment.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 16, 2010 1:03 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 1:57 pm

Nats' Morgan gets eight games

Nyjer Morgan
Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan will serve an eight-day suspension for a series of on-field incidents, beginning Friday.

Morgan had originally been given a total of 15 days, but appealed to Major League Baseball officials last Friday. MLB threw out a seven-game suspension handed down for an incident in which Morgan had an exchange with fans in Philadelphia and threw a ball into the stands. An eight-game suspension for later incidents, including charging the mound against the Marlins, was kept intact. Morgan was also fined $15,000.

The outfielder said he was pleased that the seven-game ban was tossed. His position, supported by several fans who witnessed the incident, was that he was engaging in some good-natured ribbing with fans and threw the ball to someone, not at them.

"Mainly, what I'm really happy about is that," Morgan told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. "I'm a fan player. When anybody says something about the fans, I get a little disappointed on that one. I'm fans first. I'm just glad to get all this [stuff] over. Now I can focus on doing what I do."

Morgan will continue to travel and work out with the Nationals, but must leave the dugout and clubhouse areas when the games start. He'll be eligible to return for Washington's final seven games.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 14, 2010 4:01 pm

Morgan delay getting ridiculous

Nyjer Morgan
What is taking so long for baseball to decide on Nyjer Morgan's appeal?

The Nationals center fielder was in the lineup Tuesday for the 11th straight game since setting off a brawl by charging Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad. It has been nearly three weeks since he was suspended for throwing a ball into the stands in Philadelphia. He met with Major League Baseball officials last Friday to appeal suspensions totaling 15 games, yet there still has been no decision.

Seriously, what's the holdup? What information could disciplinarian Bob Watson need that he doesn't have? What circumstances of Morgan's behavior are different today than they were last Friday? And what kind of message does it send for him to continue to take the field every night?

The Nationals are playing the Braves now, and their next series is against the Phillies, so while Washington isn't in a pennant race, it's playing games that affect one. It's time for the disciplinary process to move forward.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 10, 2010 6:28 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2010 6:36 pm

Marlins' Sanchez drops appeal

Gaby Sanchez Nyjer Morgan is playing for the Nationals this tonight against the Marlins, awaiting word on his appeal, but Florida's Gaby Sanchez has decided to forgo his appeal and serve his three games starting today.

Sanchez received a three-game suspension for his part in the Marlins-Nationals brawl. The Marlins first baseman reached the mound at nearly the same time as Morgan in the brawl, clotheslining the Nationals outfielder.

According to the Sun Sentinel , Sanchez told manager Edwin Rodriguez about his plan to drop the appeal during early batting practice on Friday. He decided the team needed him more against the Phillies than against the lowly Nationals.

"I just want to get it over with and not worry about when it's going to be," Sanchez said. "If I wait, then who is [the suspension] going to be against? Is it going to be against the Braves, who are ahead of us, or the Phillies, who are ahead of us? Just want to get it out of the way and not have to think about when a hearing is going to be, when this is going to be, what kind of suspension am I going to get?"

Wes Helms is starting at first against left-hander John Lannan on Friday.

UPDATE: Nationals pitcher Doug Slaten is also dropping his appeal, MASNSports.com reports . Slaten will miss all three games of the series with the Marlins.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 10, 2010 2:30 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2010 2:30 pm

No news on Morgan punishment

Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan was scheduled for a hearing to appeal separate suspensions of seven and eight games, but a league official told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that the results might not be announced until after the weekend. That would make Morgan available for a three-game series against Florida beginning today.

Kilgore also weighs in on an ESPN report in which two scouts said they had the impression the Nationals would try to unload Morgan this winter. He points out that general manager Mike Rizzo has been supportive of Morgan during his odd spate of trouble, and that while his offensive numbers aren't great, Morgan is an exceptional defender and he's not eligible for arbitration until after 2011, making it financially risk-free to keep him. Kilgore thinks Washington ultimately will stick with him.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 8, 2010 2:01 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 2:01 pm

Nats prepare for life without Morgan

Danny Espinosa
Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan will be sentenced Friday for his baseball crime spree, and while he might not have to serve his entire 15-game suspension, he's definitely going to be out for a while.

Roger Bernadina will likely man center field in Morgan's place, but manager Jim Riggleman will need to figure out who will bat leadoff. One intriguing possibility is rookie second baseman Danny Espinosa. The 23-year-old (pictured) spent most of the season at Double-A but has turned heads since his arrival, entering play Wednesday 9-for-18 with three homers and 10 RBI.

Those don't really sound like leadoff-man numbers, but Espinosa also has wheels. As CSNWashington.com notes, the switch-hitter was one of only two players in the minors to hit 20 homers and also steal 20 bases (Espinosa stole 25 total). Morgan's troubles could mean an opportunity for the rookie to make himself a big part of the Nationals' future plans.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com