Nyjer Morgan’s wild week has landed him an eight-game suspension, one of nine punishments handed out Friday by Major League Baseball following a brawl between Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins.
MLB suspended Nationals outfielder Morgan and fined him an undisclosed amount for three separate incidents over the past week. Friday’s penalty is in addition to a seven-game suspension he received Aug. 25 that is currently under appeal.
Six players, both managers and a coach were cited after a review of Wednesday night’s odd and ugly game in Miami, won 16-10 by the Marlins. Florida pitcher Chris Volstad was suspended for six games, pitcher Alex Sanabia for five, first baseman Gaby Sanchez for three, and manager Edwin Rodriguez for one. Volstad and Rodriguez also were fined, as was pitcher Jose Veras.
All the Marlins players who were issued suspensions plan to appeal. Same for the Nationals.
“Whether I believe it’s fair or not doesn’t really matter,” Sanchez said. “You’re going to get punished, especially when a brawl like that happens.”
Listach’s ban was trimmed to two games after Washington asked MLB to review his actions again.
“I’m a little surprised at (the suspensions and fines) overall,” Riggleman said. “I thought they were a little heavy, certainly heavier than I expected. However, I think Major League Baseball is also sending out a message with these suspensions and especially with the fines, and that’s that it doesn’t want bench-clearing brawls in this sport.”
All but two of the suspensions were scheduled to begin Friday. Sanabia’s suspension was set to begin Wednesday in order to avoid overlapping with fellow pitcher Volstad‘s, and Listach’s suspension is scheduled to begin Sunday to avoid overlapping with Riggleman‘s.
Rodriguez was serving his suspension Friday, with bench coach Brandon Hyde tabbed to manage Florida against Atlanta. Rodriguez said Volstad would next start on Tuesday, and Sanchez didn’t expect the appeals to be heard until the Marlins _ get this _ visit Washington next weekend.
Bench coach John McLaren was in charge of the Nationals for Friday night’s game at Pittsburgh.
But the focus is overwhelmingly on Morgan.
His current spate of notoriety began Aug. 21, when he threw a ball at a fan in the stands in Philadelphia. The appeal of his seven-game suspension for that misdeed is scheduled to be heard Tuesday.
“The perception of him, the last month or so, is not a good one,” Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison said.
Then, last Saturday, Morgan ran over St. Louis Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson in the bottom of the eighth inning at Nationals Park, even though Anderson didn’t have the ball. Morgan neglected to touch home plate in the process and was called out. Riggleman benched Morgan the next day for what the manager called “unprofessional” play, and Morgan publicly disagreed with Riggleman’s decision.