UPDATE: Nobody Knows What Nyjer Morgan Was Thinking
UPDATE: Reader Brendan Connor, who was seated just a few rows behind the person who got hit, tells us via email that it seemed like Morgan's throw was malicious:
Of course, that begs the question, why would he throw the ball into a section other than where the hecklers were, if his plan was more insidious than to just simply give a freebie to a fan?
But, reader "Kirstin" tells us in the comments, that she works at the ballpark, and the usher of that section also believed it to be malicious and told MLB as much.
It sounds like a big cock-up, if you ask me.
One Phillies fan, Matt Holman, has come forward and told the Washington Post that Nyjer Morgan didn't appear to intentionally throw the ball at a fan: [Washington Post]
While the Nationals warmed up in the bottom of the eighth inning, Morgan played catch with left fielder Roger Bernadina. Before the inning started, Morgan looked at the crowd. A boy of about 12, Holman recalled, leaned over a railing and called for the ball.
Standing 30 or so feet away, Holman wrote, Morgan lobbed the ball "rainbow-style" in the direction of the boy. The ball sailed over the boy and smacked a fan who was looking in a different direction in the shoulder.
"It wasn't even directed towards the heckler," Holman wrote. "It's unfortunate that the ball was overthrown, but it shouldn't be Morgan's fault that the one guy in the section who wasn't paying attention got hit, there were a number of us standing up trying to catch the ball."
Morgan, who's appealing, should be all over this. Maybe let's hold off on those batteries…
I always wondered when someone was going to complain about a ball thrown into the stands. Doesn't look like all the facts are there on this, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it was just a pissed off fan who wanted to get a player in trouble.
Were any readers there? Did anyone see this? We'd love to know.