UPDATE: Nobody Knows What Nyjer Morgan Was Thinking

Nyjer_Morgan_ball

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:

I was at Saturdays game when Nyger Morgan tossed a ball into the crowd. I was a few rows behind the guy who was hit, and he was definitely not the only one not paying attention. A lot of us were looking up at the big screen. There were a few people trying to grab the ball near where the hecklers were sitting, but the ball hit someone in the next section…

I don't know if he intentionally missed the hecklers, but it was clear where they were seated. Ushers had to ask them to even chill a couple times. Nyger Morgan even responded directly to the hecklers. All I'm saying is that if he was trying to hit the hecklers, he could have, from where he was standing. I didn't see him throw it but I saw the guy get hit, and then saw Morgan almost laughing, completely unapologetic. That of course only pissed everyone off.

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.

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7 Responses

  1. I work down @ the ballpark and know the host that was working that section..it was intentional and the host had to tell his side of the story to the phillies, mlb, etc

  2. regardless, he should get the batteries for the fake out he pulled on camera at the very least

  3. This is ridiculous! There should be no suspension. You know I’ve seen Nyjer Morgan, as well as others toss the warm up ball or game ball into the stands before. Seen it at the Phils-Nats game in Washington earlier this month. Fans are all over standing asking for the ball, this would be the same situation. There is no way when a player is 10-15 feet below at field level that he is going to see that one man is not standing for the ball in a sea of red Philly fans all standing. Come on there are no Nationals fans at these games all Philly fans so to say he intentionally rockets a ball at a man is BS. As a fan you are told before the game that you may have balls enter the stands and to pay attention. So now someone complains and the results will be that players will just ignore the fans and not toss up a ball to them due to fears that you won’t catch the ball and than claim that they fired it into the stands. The consequence for this type of claim is that players will no longer give the section in the outfield the opportunity to receive a souvenir.

  4. I was sitting out in centerfield on Opening Day, when the Nationals were in town. The fans heckled Morgan the entire game. The reason why it carried on is that Morgan started gesturing to the fans almost immediately. It seems that he either can’t tolerate the jeers or enjoys getting a rise out of the fans. (The taunting of Morgan was at worst PG-13, from what I could hear). During the game, he faked throwing balls back into the crowd several times, as he did during the eighth inning of the Saturday night game.
    During the late innings of the Opening Day game, Morgan lobbed a ball to a fan with a young kid, and the section applauded him.
    So, for what it’s worth, I know that Morgan has tossed balls to kids at CBP before, and I can see how an usher can misconstrue what occurred, when taking into context the antagonistic relationship he may build with fans during a game.
    Of course, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what happened on that given night.

  5. So maybe less Albert Belle incident and more just like drummer throwing his drumsticks into the crowd at end of show?

  6. Kyle, no doubt you’ve read this by now:
    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20100827_Phils_fan_shocked_he_was_beaned_by_Nationals_Morgan.html
    This concurs with what Brendan and Kirstin have told you.
    I’m telling you, although the hecklers were out of line, what he did as a “Professional” was unacceptable. He’s got to learn to curb his short temper. Just take the suspension, Nyjer, and try to learn from it, you overpaid crybaby.

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