High & Inside: NL Notes

Washington's Nyjer Morgan raises his arms to a booing Florida crowd as he is led off the field after Wednesday's fracas.
Washington's Nyjer Morgan raises his arms to a booing Florida crowd as he is led off the field after Wednesday's fracas.
Posted: September 03, 2010

He sure can draw a crowd

Washington Nationals spark plug Nyjer Morgan has become more of a lightning rod lately - in this case, chain lightning.

In Wednesday night's game against the Marlins, Florida pitcher Chris Volstad's first offering of the sixth inning sailed behind Morgan, and Morgan, deciding this was probably not a chance occurrence, charged the mound. Both dugouts emptied. (Fortunately, as with most baseball "brawls," no one got more than a scrape or a bruise.)

Once the dust had settled, Morgan, Volstad, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez and Marlins pitcher Jose Veras were ejected. An inning later, Washington reliever Doug Slaten and manger Jim Riggleman were ejected after Gaby Sanchez was hit with a pitch. A total of four batters were plunked in the game.

Morgan's sixth-inning dustup was no doubt tied to the fourth inning, when he was hit by a Volstad pitch. Once on, Morgan promptly stole second and third base, which might have prompted the buzzing in the sixth.

And as for the plunking in the fourth. . . . well, Morgan was the one who gave Marlins catcher Brett Hayes a separated shoulder in a home-plate collision Tuesday night.

See how actions create equal but opposite reactions?

Morgan, you may recall, is also the player who got a seven-game suspension (which is currently under appeal) for hitting a fan with a thrown baseball against the Phillies Aug. 21 at Citizens Bank Park.

Morgan also freight-trained Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson last Saturday, and Anderson wasn't even blocking the plate. Even Morgan's own manager, Jim Riggleman, called his actions "unprofessional."

All this controversy can't be helping his appeal process on that suspension.

Oh, and Washington eventually lost Wednesday's game, 16-10.


The Fish are dropping like flies

The Florida Marlins' clubhouse is getting emptier these days as the injuries pile up. Pitcher Ricky Nolasco is done for the season with a tear in his right knee and catcher Brett Hayes is out indefinitely with a separated left shoulder. Nolasco (14-9, 4.51) said he will undergo surgery next week. He will be replaced by lefthander Andrew Miller. Hayes was injured on an inning-ending double play in the 10th inning Tuesday when Washington's Morgan slammed into him trying to score from second base on a ground ball. Another Marlins catcher, John Baker, will undergo Tommy John surgery Friday to repair an injury to his throwing elbow that has sidelined him since May 12. He might not play again until 2012. And reserve infielder Donnie Murphy underwent surgery Thursday to repair a dislocated right wrist. He was injured making a tumbling catch in Wednesday's win over Washington.


An attorney says Ford Motor Co. has settled a Mississippi lawsuit over damages sought from a 2001 rollover crash that killed New York Mets prospect Brian Cole in Florida. The settlement Thursday came after a jury in Jasper County awarded $131 million in actual damages to the family and before it was to consider possible punitive damages. The attorney said the settlement amount and terms were confidential.

Contact staff writer Al Campbell at acampbell@phillynews.com.

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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