Nyjer Morgan looked to have a bright future with the Nationals when he came to the team during the 2009 season. I was able to attend a July game soon after Morgan was traded, and observed he possessed all the assets of a leadoff hitter including a high on-base percentage and exceptional speed.
Soon after, Morgan cooled off and got into trouble. He was a below-average player during the 2010 season. After a dismal year, Morgan provided a very entertaining span of a few games in the later part of the year.
It all started when he threw a ball hard into the stands in Philadelphia, which hit a fan in the face. Later, Nyjer intentionally ran into Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson, who was well out of the base path. And then, the night before he charged the mound, Morgan plowed over Marlins’ catcher Brett Hayes, separating Hayes’ shoulder.
The climax of this ongoing controversy occurred the following night in a blowout by the Marlins. Morgan was plunked by Chris Volstad, and proceeded to steal second and third base. Volstad threw at Morgan again, later in the game, which prompted the bench-clearing brawl.
The reason why Volstad threw at Morgan again is misunderstood. It was said that the Marlins took offense to Morgan stealing second and third in a blowout. Frankly, he should have. He was trying to get the Nationals back into the game. But after Morgan scored later in the inning, he taunted the fans on his way back to the dugout. This is what Florida took offense to, and this is why they threw at him again.
My favorite moment of his Nationals career was when Gaby Sanchez clothes-lined him during the fight. Last weekend Morgan was traded to the Brewers, and hopefully there he can play to his fullest potential.