Nyjer Morgan was suspended eight games for his role in the Marlins-Nationals brawl. Nyjer Morgan was suspended for the Marlins-Nationals brawl, but Major League Baseball most likely took into account a string of behavior that took place in the weeks before this brawl. By itself, this suspension of Morgan seems pretty harsh, especially after Florida Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad threw at him twice during the course of the Marlins-Nationals game on Wednesday. Morgan is now being denoted as the villain in a game where it was the Marlins that instigated the whole brawl.
This is the second time that Morgan has been given a suspension by the MLB this season. The first suspension was a seven-game stint stemming from Morgan throwing a baseball into the stands and gesturing at fans on Aug. 21. Morgan has since appealed that suspension, and the League has been reviewing it, but with what happened on Wednesday, it seems unlikely that the first suspension will be reduced by much, if at all. Hopefully the League took into account the total number of games when deciding the latest suspension, because it wouldn’t be right to punish Morgan twice for the same grievance.
According to ESPN, in addition to the Morgan suspension, Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad was suspended for six games. This is a more than fair suspension, especially after he threw at Morgan twice in the span of the game. Throwing at him the first time has become something accepted in baseball because the Marlins were upset at Morgan for injuring their catcher in a home plate collision during the previous game. The second time he went after Morgan was much worse, but by baseball not coming down more harshly on Volstad than Morgan, they are again saying that pitchers can throw at hitters, but hitters aren’t allowed to react.
Outside of Volstad and Morgan, pitcher Alex Sanabia has received a five-game suspension for fighting; first baseman Gaby Sanchez has received a three-game suspension for his aggressive actions and fighting; and Nationals pitcher Doug Slaten has received a three-game suspension for intentionally throwing a pitch at Sanchez.
The best thing that Morgan can do at this point is to simply take his suspensions, serve them in silence, and move on with his career. There are plenty of fans who don’t approve of him charging the mound, even if he was right in doing so. Maybe the next time someone throws at Morgan, they should let him take the mound and zip one in on the opposing pitcher when they come up to bat in order to show why what Volstad did was unacceptable. That’s not going to happen, so Morgan needs to drop off the radar for a bit, let this all blow over, and come back even stronger in the 2011 season to help the Nationals.