Thursday, September 2, 2010
Updated: September 3, 7:47 AM ET
Sources: Nyjer Morgan ruling due Friday
By Buster Olney
ESPN The Magazine
Major League Baseball is likely to hand down a ruling on a punishment for Washington Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan on Friday, according to sources.
Morgan was ejected Wednesday night after charging the mound and touching off a benches-clearing brawl with the Florida Marlins.
According to sources, the league is reviewing a range of incidents involving Morgan since he hit a fan in the head with a ball he threw into the stands and gestured at fans at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 21.
Morgan was given a seven-game suspension and fined for that incident, but he filed an appeal and has been allowed to play until the appeals process is complete. The 30-year-old center fielder was also involved in a controversial collision at home plate on Tuesday night that left Marlins catcher Brett Hayes with a separated shoulder.
According to sources, there is no question that all the things that have happened since the August 21st incident will be looked at by MLB.
It's possible Morgan will be given a suspension in the range of 5-10 games, on top of the seven-game suspension currently under appeal.
The fact that he's a repeat offender could factor into MLB's decision. Typically when a player is facing discipline, he stays quiet and out of trouble throughout the process, but MLB will take notice that Morgan has not done so.
MLB may also suspend Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad, who threw at Morgan, and other members of both teams who scuffled in the fifth inning of Florida's 16-10 win.
Morgan charged at Volstad in the fifth inning after Volstad, who had plunked Morgan in the fourth inning, sailed a pitch behind his back. Morgan flipped his bat aside, ran out to the mound and took a roundhouse swing that appeared to graze Volstad's face.
That's when Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez flew in and clotheslined Morgan, knocking off his batting helmet and sending him to the ground. Both benches emptied and converged on the scrum, including Nationals third-base coach Pat Listach, who jumped into the pile to defend Morgan.
Managers Jim Riggleman of the Nationals and Edwin Rodriguez of the Marlins jawed at each other and Morgan, with his shirt unbuttoned, was escorted off the field with his arms raised to the boos of the crowd.
Morgan, Volstad, Rodriguez and Marlins pitcher Jose Veras were ejected.
Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. The Associated Press contributed to this report.